Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Not a Four-Letter Word

"I always want people to see me as strong."  

As I read her confession on my screen, I realize that she's me, hiding behind her mask.  It's so comfortable here in the hiding place, but it's also completely lonely.

This culture of ours teaches us that weakness is unacceptable.  We must always be strong!
Strong to accomplish.
Strong to stand out.
Strong to be liked.

There is no room for the weak in our world of masquerade.  Feeling emotional?  Suppress it.  Wanting to share what's really on your heart?  Save it for your journal.  Needing to reveal sin and ask for prayer?  That's something we only do in Bible studies!

"Weak is not a four-letter word." (p. 81, Grace for the Good Girl)

Dear friends, we've been trained to hide.

Enter Jesus.

"That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses... For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Cor. 12:10)


And suddenly everything turns upside down.  Taking pleasure in weakness?  Embracing it?  What?  How?!

"As a good girl, I have a hard time with that one [sharing our weaknesses], especially if it means people might think I don't know everything or that I don't have it all together.  The truth is, admitting weakness is the very doorway the Lord uses to lead the tired good girl to a place of rest." (p. 85, Grace for the Good Girl)

Somewhere along the way, we've learned how to play the game.  We share just enough to make people like us, but we intentionally leave out the real and the vulnerable.  Emily calls it "vulnerable with boundaries" (p. 86).  But really, what are we afraid of?  That our weakness will make us look bad?  That we won't be accepted?  That the hidden scars will be too much for them to handle?

As of late, I am finding freedom in the telling and sharing and opening.
I am being given precious moments of connection and depth with sweet sisters that I would have never shared my heart with, had I not surrendered relationships to my Father.
That rejection I feared?  It simply isn't there.  In fact, I've been more embraced and loved since I decided to tear off my mask and let my real face show.

Our Lord clearly speaks to our hearts, and His voice is oh-so-much louder than the adversary's, if we will only listen for it.  He desperately wants us to know that our weakness brings His strength.  When we come to the end of ourselves and give Him our fears, we will always find Him and the gifts He longs for us to receive.



Oh friend, this book is changing my soul.  If you haven't read it yet, you must!
Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman



8 comments:

Sarah Koci Scheilz said...

You are preaching to my heart here, friend. Thank you.

PS -- Grace for the Good Girl finally arrived! I'll begin reading it today. Can't wait to share it with you, friend.

Tanya Marlow @ Thorns and Gold said...

I really needed to read this today - thank you. Had a conversation yesterday where I was really vulnerable in front of friends - tears everywhere - and felt really weak because of it. Thanks for reminding me that weak is good...

(I came via Joy's - I posted right after you! Great to see your blog.)

Laura@ Pruning Princesses said...

Jesus turns so may things upside down...lose yourself, forgive over and over again, serve the least, do not store treasure here on earth. And I love the phrase, rejection. It simply isn't there. Don't you feel the strongest bonds to people who know your weaknesses and love you anyway? I might have to go get this book....perhaps the library has it. 

Nikki said...

Beautiful post as always!
You are making me not want to wait my turn at the library before I read this book! I'm #57....yikes.
How God is moving in your life? It blesses me so. Thank you, friend, for sharing you heart! I'd rather love you in your raw self than in the best version you can conjure up with your creative mind ;)
hugs to you!

tanya @ truthinweakness said...

the very passion God has woven into my being . . .

just the other day, i came across my christmas newsletter from '09. in it, i shared that the previous year the Lord began me on a journey of embracing the fact that i'm human -- weaknesses, vulnerabilities, & all. and that in that year ('09), He had called me to go a step further & actually offer my weaknesses to Him. what's so glorious is that the next yr (2010), i wasn't able to write a newsletter like usual -- b/c i was too weak {physically} . . . God gave me an opportunity to experience in. the. FLESH the powerful truth that He had lovingly revealed to my heart & mind.

katie, i am so very excited for you, b/c this journey only leads to Freedom!!  and there's nothing like the feeling of chains being loosened, & the sound of them crashing to the ground.

rejoicing with you, friend -- big time!!

Jamie H said...

I am glad I visited this post.  I find the courage to share my weakness and then it as if those around me are unable to accept the grotesque underneath.  And then I want to hide again or be "vulnerable with boundaries."  *sigh*  or  not vulnerable at all.  This happened to me recently.  I've thought a lot about it.  I can't help but think it is because there are those that don't want to take their own masks off and experience freedom.  I needed the reminder to have courage to unveil myself again.  Thank you.

tanya @ truthinweakness said...

hey there, jamie, i'm so sorry that others haven't handled the precious gift of your vulnerability with the care it deserves. your experience reminds me of something i wrote a while ago {mostly to MYSELF!!} in my personal call to authenticity -- that we're not defined by how others respond to us in life; our identity must be anchored in Christ alone or else this whole transparency thing becomes one big threat. (and i don't know about you all, but that is a daily/hourly work in progress for me!) and while i know you already know that truth & that it doesn't necessarily ease all the hurt of the blow, i wanted to share it nonetheless as a virtual hug for this painful part of your journey. you've all probably figured out by now that i want to be one of your biggest cheerleaders in this authenticity journey! and i certainly need you as mine, too!love & hugs, fellow sojourners!tanya

Jamie H said...

 Tanya, I am so glad we met in this strange internet world.  And thank you for lifting me up and encouraging me!  We serve a great big God and I'm so glad because His blessings are always good.  Thank you for the reminder that we are  not defined by how others respond.  Thank you for being that cheerleader - I will certainly be yours as well!  Jamie

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