Strength that is rooted in faith in God is not a sign of weakness, and being strong doesn’t mean we don’t have feelings. The ability to keep pressing on in hard circumstances doesn’t mean we don’t grieve or process our emotions. Being strong is a reflection of what’s happening in our hearts and a sign of where we place our trust.
When my trust is in myself, my strength and abilities falter with the waves of emotions and opinions. I can’t sustain myself. I spent years putting on a mask of strength and toughness, but inside I was so unhealthy. I didn’t know how to embrace the broken and bruised places of my heart. I thought that if my cracks showed and the tears fell, I was no longer strong, but a crybaby and a tattletale.
I believed that if I let life roll off my shoulders, I was reflecting the love of my Savior. Because of Jesus, I had zero reasons to hurt or let it show. If it showed, that told everyone I didn’t really believe in what I preached. So, I became a woman with a smile on her face who let every hard thing pass over her without a blink. But, every event and word that hit me stung until it all piled up and broke me.
I spent years putting on a mask of strength and toughness, but inside I was so unhealthy. I didn’t know how to embrace the broken and bruised places of my heart.
Dear sister friend, every tear you keep locked up, every cause that breaks your heart, every word that stole part of your voice, every action that added another brick to your walls, every mask you wear to hide your feelings, every tender, beautiful part of you is a source of strength.
“He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” Isaiah 40:29
What the world calls out, laughs at, and wants us to feel insignificant about is part of what makes us strong. 1 Corinthians 1:27 says, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”
When our broken pieces collide with Jesus, strength blooms in us and radiates to the world around us. Our friends need our tender, hurt places. They need to see that we hurt and we cry, but we have a hope, too, that helps us keep getting back up in the face of the pain. We aren’t putting up fronts, but breaking down walls to welcome others into the beauty found in pain. The strength of Jesus welcomes us to weep as He builds us up.
Weakness is a strength, my friend.
What we want to hide and deny are the very things He is going to use to transform us and the world around us. It starts with one authentic conversation that carries over to the next. The days of the shallow mask are over. It’s time for us to embrace every part of us we have been hiding. God doesn’t see it as weakness; He sees every messy piece as a foundation for His strength to shine through us.
Our friends need our tender, hurt places. They need to see that we hurt and we cry, but we have a hope, too, that helps us keep getting back up in the face of the pain.
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“Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Let’s rise, dear sisters, in the grace and strength of Jesus Christ. We don’t have to keep parts of us hidden from our friends or families. We do not need to hide anymore. We can stand up in the face of our weaknesses because they do not get the final word. God’s loving strength will forever be the first and last thing that sustains us and enables us to live in freedom. Let your mask join my own—it’s time to shine with the brilliance that only Christ can give us.
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