Everything I'm not
Finding power in your weakness
Did you know English was my worst subject in school?
Did you know that in high school, my English teacher told me I was behind the curve because English wasn't my mother's predominant language?
Did you know that growing up, I was regularly told that I was undisciplined?
Did you know my professional degree is in finance (read: completely unrelated to Christian blogging)?
All these things could have snowballed into killing my future as a writer. But it gets better...
Did you know that when I started my blog, only a handful of people supported me? My one friend, Quinton Jones, was the person who urged me to start blogging...and A COUPLE YEARS after our convo, I finally got the courage to start my blog. Blogging wasn't even a thing when I started 5 years ago. At least not a legitimate step on a real career path. Yet, here I am, 6 months into blogging full time, and I have a sharp vision for my passion career as a professional writer.
Isn't it interesting that so many obstacles came together to tell me I didn't have what it takes to do the very thing God has called me to??
As I was laughing at this set of non-coincidences with my friend over the weekend, she gave me this keen reminder:
When I am weak, God is strong.
She went on to say that God will use our weakest areas to bring glory to Himself, because in our weakest areas it is highly apparent that it was Someone bigger than ourselves moving in our lives and changing us.
The verse she was summarizing is this:
But Christ Jesus said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness."
2 Corinthians 12:9
This biblical perspective is directly contradictory to the popular school of thought: Maximize your strengths, minimize your weaknesses. Which is why I bring this up. I want us to consciously decide to view weakness the way God does: as a testimony of God's power.
How about Moses? He declared the freedom of the Hebrews to their captor, Pharaoh. And as much as I want to scream "YESSS!" to that, I have to remember that he had a stammer, a speech impediment, that not only did NOT portray freedom, but made the Hebrews look weak. It wasn't the optimal presentation for telling mighty Pharoah to "Let my people go!"
And yet, we know that God used Moses -- just as He promised -- to bring freedom to an entire people group! It's noteworthy that for God's chosen people, He chose to use the guy with a speaking problem to speak up and lead His people out of slavery and into freedom.
How about Rahab? Scholars are still debating her official job title, but she was either a madame running a brothel or a prostitute. Yet God gave her the wisdom to see that the weaker Hebrews would overtake her native land, Jericho. She knew and believed that the Lord was with the Hebrews, regardless of the fact that this God was not her native god.
Yet God used Rahab to assist the Hebrews in overthrowing Jericho, and because of that her household was saved from the destruction. And right now, Rahab is in Heaven living in the very Presence of the Lord.
How about David? He was the runt of the litter, the smallest in his family. As a teen, nobody even gave him a second look. In his adult life, David was a man who "fell in love with" a married woman, had that woman's husband killed, and had many wives. It's safe to conclude that David regularly chose to obey his lust over obeying God.
But God chose David to bring down Goliath, to write the Psalms, and to be the only Bible character whom God Himself called "a man after my own heart".
I wish I could so easily and naturally transition into:
How about Priska? Adding myself to that list is neither easy not natural to me. I've been conditioned by the world to think:
I'm too far gone from God's grace
I've done too much stupid, selfish stuff
I wasn't born with the right pedigree
But Biblically-speaking, who was?? Oh yeah...the Pharisees. The Pharisees were the ones who never broke laws (at least didn't admit to it), and they were born into religious homes. And the Pharisees...do you know where they are right now? In hell. They were too perfect and too right and too religious to receive Jesus into their hearts. They couldn't recognize that it's not about us and our goodness. It is entirely about God and His goodness.
So let me get out of the world's mindset and the Pharisaical mindset and back into godly thinking with this verse:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,not a result of [my] works, so that no one may boast.
How about Priska, God?
Despite her upbringing, despite a broken family, despite a failed suicide attempt, despite being too broke to afford food, despite poor academic performance in English class, despite sleeping around, despite the habitual lying, despite the debt, despite flirting with alcoholism, despite bad decision after bad decision... despite everything that disqualifies me from the Lord's calling over my life...
Despite everything I'm not...
What it looks like to the outside world, which includes most anyone besides God, my husband and me, is that this is a pipe dream. I'm unfit and unprepared for this.
Yet in my weakness, HE IS STRONG!
"God is going to change the world through me" is something I believe in faith even though it seems crazy to believe! I know I am called into ministry, specifically teaching through writing books and speaking.
Right now, I know that God's future for me involves a speaking ministry, teaching His Word to declare that no pit is too deep to separate us from His Love, speaking to whores, thieves, the abused, prisoners, everyone that otherwise would not hear the voice of God... And yet, I have speaking issues. I want to be very honest with you reading this, because nobody likes those girls who are skinny and complain that they aren't skinny enough. You know what I mean? I mean the people who in false humility act like "Oh my gosh, I'm so shocked I won Miss Congeniality...again!" No, girlfriend, I am being so real with you that I am not a naturally gifted speaker.
I have a number of issues, but I'll just list a few.
I talk way too fast and way too deep way too quickly
I turn red when I talk too quickly (which is anytime I'm passionate about the subject)
I sound preachy way more than anyone I would want to listen to
And yet, through it all, God is not only changing me to become a good speaker, but He's doing it in my willingness to amplify His voice in my weaknesses.
As I talk via Insta stories and work through this Insta Live series I'm doing, I'm seeing God improve my speaking cadence.
(The thing that didn't improve my voice was waiting to have a better voice. Praying God would change me without faithfully risking falling on my face again and again.)
How about you?
What's the area in your life that you've written off as dead weight? What's the thing that you think is unrecoverable? When you think about the life God has called you to spiritually, physically, vocationally, etc... What's the weakness you think is going to tank God's plan?
In your weakness, He is strong.
I challenge you today to dig out that weakness from your heart and bring it to the Lord in prayer. Surrender your own abilities at the foot of the cross and ask the Lord to show His power through your weakness.
To complete the quoted verse from earlier:
But Christ Jesus 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12
I'm still working on that other weakness with my speaking issues, but I'd like to leave you with a little hope as well. In my last blog post, I shared with you that my superpower is loving hard and it's what makes me a great writer. Because I love hard, I have deep empathy and compassion. I cry when someone else cries and am so moved by other people's emotions. What I didn't share was all the times that people took advantage of that, manipulated me, controlled me, used my compassion for their selfish benefit. At the fate of the wrong hands, compassion was my weakness.
Over the years, I've surrendered that deep emotion to the Lord and asked that He protect it and use it for His glory. In surrender, I've discovered my passion: bringing godly perspective to women who don't relate to stodgy religion, who are passionately pursuing the Lord's will for their lives, who are breaking free of sin and shame and running unhindered with Jesus.
In my weakness, HE IS STRONG!
Leave a comment!
I would LOVE if you shared your weaknesses in the comments, whether you've come to a resolution with it or not. If it's something you're still working through (like me), it'll be our testament that we trust God is going to a great thing despite it! If it's something you've seen God work through...girl, SHARE YOUR STORY! You'll encourage all of us!