Dear Younger Me,
You like to think of yourself as strong. In some ways you are – you have determination and perseverance, you don’t give up easily, and you fight your way through challenges and setbacks.
The problem is that you equate strength with holding your feelings inside and battling on alone, never letting anyone see when you are struggling, but that’s not true strength – it’s pride and stubbornness.
As I pointed out to you before, we’re all broken in different ways. All of us are weak. The sensible thing to do is not to try and hide that, but to acknowledge it and to hand it over to God, allowing him to work through it.
He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT)
It is as you come to him in your weakness that you will find true strength, strength in him.
“Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15 NLT)
Over the last couple of years, I have learned about the Japanese art Kintsugi, and it is a beautiful illustration. It involves taking broken pottery and mending it with gold lacquer. The result is stunning. Rather than discarding the broken, or attempting to hide the brokenness, Kintsugi sees value in the broken. It is repaired in such a way that the brokenness is not hidden but highlighted, and it is transformed into a thing of beauty.
God takes the same approach with the brokenness in our lives. We are precious to him and he longs to see us healed and restored. The weak places, the broken places, are where we can experience his power and where it can shine out to witness to others.
“The world breaks everyone, and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” (Ernest Hemingway)
So I encourage you today to let go of seeking strength in self-sufficiency. Instead, bring your brokenness to God and let him make you strong in the broken places. That is what will enable you to serve others well.
This post is part of “Dear Younger Me…” – a series for Write 31 Days in October 2019. Each day I am basing my writing on the one-word prompt provided. Today the prompt is “strong.” You can find an introduction to the series and an index of all the posts here, and you can find out more about the challenge and check out other people’s series here.