I take pride in being tough. I remember being ten years old playing as the goalie on my soccer team, diving out in front of kicking feet telling myself, “Pain is not real. It will only hurt for a little while and then it will be over.” I was an intense little ten year old! That same mentality has carried me through a lot over the past five years of my life. However, at some point I crossed over into putting too much pressure on myself to be tough. I got in the habit of telling myself, “Just keep pushing forward and do not look back. You are going to be fine. You will make it. The pain is not that bad. It will not last forever.” While saying all of this, I was keeping the Lord at arm’s length because I thought He wanted me to be strong. Weakness was not an option in my mind.
A few weeks ago, I was laying in bed about to go to sleep and I was just beating myself black and blue in my mind. I was so upset with myself that I could not do the things I used to before I became sick. I felt like a total loser because I had gained weight on the medication I was on at the time. I believed that I should be able to pull it together and lose the weight, and do everything I did when I was healthy while simultaneously being the perfect pinterest wife! Come on, Taylor! Get it together! It may sound ridiculous, but it really is how I felt! The Lord gently took control of the situation and showed me a picture of the way He saw me. I started weeping. Like straight up ugly crying. It was just a picture of myself, but I felt the Father’s heart towards me. He showed me that He already saw me as a mother that was fighting for her children. He saw me as a warrior and He was so proud. The whole time I was feeling totally defeated and being so hard on myself, the Father was nothing but proud of me.
Later on, I was praying and the Lord said to me, “How am I supposed to be the strength in your weakness if you never let yourself be weak?” Wait, what? Jesus, you are telling me it is okay to be weak? At this point, I realized I was keeping the Father out of my situation by trying to carry it all on my own. By trying to make sure I was not perceived as weak, I was pushing away my one real source of strength. 2 Corinthians 12:19 says, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” Boast in weakness?! Seriously?! That sounds like the worst thing ever! But I am realizing when I admit I cannot do this on my own, I am too weak to go on, Christ’s strength is so much greater than anything I could ever muster up on my own.
Many times, we hold ourselves to a standard that the Lord simply does not. The Lord is a kind and loving Father. His grace is abundant towards us. Allow yourself to need Jesus. Allow yourself to be weak and see how strong He truly is.