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No Longer Strong

This morning I took off my be strong necklace. It was just a simple silver thing, a tiny pendant inscribed with those two inspiring words in delicate cursive. 

And I took it off today. The necklace that I've been wearing daily for well over a year. 

That doesn’t sound good, does it? 

I removed this necklace because I’m not going to try to be strong anymore. You see, my anxiety has been bad - really bad - for the past four months. And I kept thinking it would get better. 

Sure, I just got in a car accident, but once the stress of finding another car is over…

I have a new car but now I have to get used to talking to this new (amazing) guy. Once I find a routine with him and gain trust… 

But I keep getting sick and missing the gym and getting depressed so once I go back to the gym… 

And now the holidays stress me out so once that is over and the busyness dies down… 

Maybe if I try a new anxiety medicine? Once I do that I’ll feel better… 

I better go see a counselor. Figure out how to be in a healthy relationship before I push him away… 

And that last one turned out to be too late (I’m still going to see a counselor though, because clearly my anxiety is negatively impacting my life).

Maybe now you’re seeing why I am done with the be strong goal. Because I tried to be. And that was my problem. 

Without even realizing it, I tried to help myself all on my own. I tried to take control, instead of letting God be in control. 

I was trying to wrestle control away from God. That's not good.

As Jacob can attest, God will win that fight every time; and no, my hip may not be injured like Jacob's, but my mind certainly is. My pride certainly is too. 

I’ve been humbled by the mess I've made, by trying things on my own.

And sure, I was still praying to God... but I was also still having my own plans and insanely unreasonable expectations and not even knowing how my pain was hurting others too. 

We can be doing the 'right things' and saying the 'right prayers,' but our hearts can be in the wrong place.

Which is why I’m done with being strong. Because I am the opposite of strong.

And knowing this? That is good. 

Friends, we cannot be strong on our own. We just can’t be.

Our strength can only truly come from God because our own pseudo-strength, our temporary feeling of power and might, is just that… temporary. 

I felt like, as long as I was trying to fight my fear, that I was okay. But I was not. And deep down, I knew it too. I knew I was spiraling, and what’s worse, I knew I was taking this wonderful Godly guy I had the blessing of knowing… down with me. 

That’s why, in the wake of the pain of losing him, I've decided to replace my necklace. From be strong to a single, delicate feather. 

The passage in Matthew 6 - where Jesus talks about the Father providing for the birds and the flowers - has always been a solace of mine. It reminds me that, if He cares for useless, fleeting creations that will be gone the next day, then of course He will care for His Children. His Masterpieces

I have not been living out the trust found in Matthew 6. But I want to now.

This feather necklace is my reminder that I am weak and fragile and blowing in the breeze. I need my strong God. My Anchor. My Healer and Savior. And you need Him too. 

So friends, I urge you, whatever you are trying to control, whatever you are clinging to for dear life, surrender it to God. Place it in His capable hands.

May we not forget that when we are weak, He is strong. That His grace is sufficient for us, because His power is made perfect in our weakness. That in our brokenness, He can sustain and transform and heal and remake. 

We are the clay; He is the potter. So enough with being strong. Let’s be weak, moldable, and yielding to our Maker’s hands. 


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