It’s not every day you meet someone whose heart beats for the same joys and calling yours does. So I was pretty excited when I met today’s guest blogger as we both prepared to attend She Speaks a few weeks ago! Please welcome the spunky and delightful Dana Pittman as she shares her experience of strength in weakness.
I am a recovering crybaby.
Yes, I said it. I have my good days. I have my bad days. But at the sight of certain things my eyes will swell with tears, my nose will run, and get the tissue ready because I will have a full waterworks show for you.
This caused many problems as a child. I cried when my mother said “No.” I cried when I could not do the things I most wanted.
My mother would be furious. She tried to scare me straight to no avail. My grandfather would tell her, “She is tenderhearted.” He said, “Dana cares deeply and our people [Native Americans] called it being tenderhearted.”
I love my grandfather. He made something that plagues me to this day seem more acceptable, bearable. But my mother wasn’t buying it. Neither was I until I began to embrace what being tenderhearted meant to my walk with Christ.
This childhood “issue” became a struggle when I entered my teens and through adulthood. Who’d take a crybaby seriously? I wanted people to hear my words, not see my tears. As a result, I tried to change it. I strived to have thick skin. I made sure people knew… “I didn’t take no mess!”
But, how many of you know suppressing a problem is like trying to hold a beach ball under water? Eventually, it will rise to the top.
I fought this constantly until I was tough on the outside but hollow on the inside. I was, in fact, shielding my heart from everything and everyone. In my attempts to shield myself from potential hurt and disappointments I was also working against what God wanted for me and those around me.
You see, one of my greatest contributions is my passion for people. I love people. I hurt when you hurt. I cry when you cry. I’m elated when you experience joy and peace in your life.
Shielding myself all those years kept me from seeing my thorn, my weakness, as a gift. It is how I connect to people. It is how I know where God is leading me. It is how Christ’s power is made perfect in me.
And in God’s awesomeness He will take what caused you so much grief and pain and use it. Because your thorn is your testimony! God says:
My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness.
– 2 Corinthians 12:9 (AMP)
How do we begin to experience God’s power in our weakness?
- Identify the weakness. What weakness comes to mind? What struggles make you backtrack? What hardships and potentially circumstances do you need to allow God’s power to perfect in you?
- Trust God and His love for you. Trust God with your weakness(es). God loves you. He wants the very best for you. Even in your struggles He can use those very things to bring glory to His name. But you must believe He does not mean to harm you. And He will not leave you to handle it alone. He is right with you.
- Give it to Him. God cannot help us if we fail to give Him access. Give it all to Him. This is sometimes the tricky part. Giving it to God will bring freedom yet sometimes we want to help Him. Fight that urge. Go back to #2. Trust Him. Because trust is an all or nothing type of occurrence…either you do or you don’t. Give it to Him, He will not fail you.
Question: How would your life change if you let God handle everything, especially your weaknesses?
Dana Pittman is married with children, and resides in the Houston, TX area. She is a writer, speaker and Bible teacher slowly penning her next novel. You can read her blog and follow her on Twitter and Facebook. To learn more about her, visit DanaPittman.com.