Power Perfected in Weakness

I think it’s time I came to grips with my weaknesses.

His power is made perfect in weakness, you know.

Always, always I have acknowledged that I am imperfect, that I have so far to go, that I am no standard to strive for. And yet, in certain ways I have really feared my weaknesses, rather than boasting in them the way that Paul did (2 Corinthians 12). Something about being a Christian, a mother, a wife, a pastor’s wife…knowing that there are so many eyes on me, knowing that people look up to me and are influenced by the things I say and do…I have sometimes (often) felt that my weaknesses, if I were very open about them, would crush those following me. They depend on me to be strong, to be a leader, right?

But the truth is, I have very real struggles.

Very very real.

I can say with Paul that “a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’

Thankfulness is my heart’s response to God showing me my frailty. My dependence upon Him has been renewed. I may have grown up knowing the Lord, fearing Him and shunning evil, but I still need a Savior. Every day I need Him.

In 2 Corinthians 12, after Paul talks about this thorn in the flesh, he proceeds to say not that he will minimize it, or try to just deal, or move on in spite of it…he actually says he’ll boast in it: “I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

I am ready to humbly acknowledge my weaknesses. Not to run away, or try to protect others from reality, but to boast in it so that Christ’s power can rest upon me.

There is fear rising up though.

What if someone who has looked up to me is hurt to know that I struggle so deeply? 

But I am not their Savior, Christ is! He is big enough to keep them, I am not. He alone is our hope and salvation! If I take that place or take even a smidge of the glory that is due His name – God forgive me! All the glory is His. I am the same as every other redeemed sinner. I want to say “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ,” and I do strive to imitate Christ. And yet I am broken, and I am not Christ. If I or anyone else sets me up as such, disappointment is sure to set in.

So I want to be real with my weaknesses. Acknowledging to God that I need Him, which sets Him free to move powerfully in my life.

But this means blowing up the facade of a smile and “Hey! Yeah, we’re doing great!”

I fear giving myself or my family or pastor’s wives or seminarians or stay at home moms a bad name…I even start to fear giving God a bad name…and then I realize what a position I’ve given myself in my mind. My fears all center on myself being the one who holds all things together. But truly, “in him all things hold together.”

I don’t need to desperately hold myself or anything else together. Only God can do that. I don’t need to worry about my weaknesses or try to contain them. I need to boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me!

“When I am weak, then I am strong.”

Do I really believe that?

Surely I am more useful for the kingdom when I’ve got my junk together…Right?

NO.

So, here I am. I need to boast in my weaknesses.

I struggle with depression. I don’t understand it, I don’t like it. But I know God allows it in various times, in various ways, for His reasons. It’s humbling, and it’s really hard. When I feel this melancholy or discouragement or depression or whatever it is, it’s super hard to just get out of bed and do whatever I need to that day. Suddenly I can’t be self-sufficient even if I want to.

It’s a really fearful thing. It’s a serious weakness.

But I’m trusting that God will show His power through my weakness.

I’m ready to boast in it.

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9 thoughts on “Power Perfected in Weakness

  1. ((hugs)) Jordan you are so not alone, we all have weaknesses.. some of us have a LOT of weaknesses .. thorns in the flesh and what not!

    Between various health conditions, and depression, and my own sinful nature.. I totally can relate to your post. And I just wanted to send hugs, prayers, and offer a listening ear if you should want to talk to another christian sahm who’s struggled with similar stuff… feel free to message me!

    Praying for you..

    Your Sis In Christ,

    ~Rae Gaeddert~
    (We attended Berean Bible Church together long ago…)

    • Rae,
      Thanks for your comment and your openness. I am thankful to know of another SAHM to call upon if need be! I hope you and your family are well. My parents always loved loved loved the Gaeddert family. Miss all those old Berean families! 🙂

      ❤ Jordan

  2. Oh sweet girl…you are not alone! There are many in the Bible who also struggled with depression b/c God is always telling us to “be joyful always”, “why so downcast oh my soul?”, “fear not”, etc. He knows our weaknesses…for he created us and he has “allowed” those weakness’, I believe that we might seek Him and depend on Him more. I too have struggled with depression which manifests itself as anxiety. I have never been an “anxious” person…always cool and calm, yet when my hormones started spurting and purging about 8 years ago, I thought I was going to lose my mind! I cried all the time and KNEW I was dying of something. I trusted the Lord, yet my thoughts would ALWAYS, ALWAYS come back to self and worry. It ate me up. I begged the Lord to take it away, to walk me through it, to help me endure it, to cause me to grow closer to Him, to take it away, to give me wisdom, to heal me, all of it. I was afraid of medications. I felt like if I took something to help me, then I wasn’t trusting fully in Christ. I prayed so often asking God to give me wisdom and peace. There were times I even questioned my salvation! Then in the quietness of my soul He reminded me that my salvation didn’t hang on how I handled menopause. It didn’t hang on anything that I could do to keep it anymore than anything I did to obtain it. GOD, in his rich grace and mercy knew I needed a Savior! He is the one that opened my heart to believe in Jesus over 30 years ago and he saved ME! If he saved me…he would KEEP me! I was free! I was free to do anything but sin in order to get anxiety under control so I could function as a wife and mother again. After struggling for nearly 4 months, in the hospital a week for real “pain” and not finding anything wrong with me and not able to sleep, I began to embrace it. Anxiety helped me seek the Lord more deeply. I did take medication for a few months and it helped me get my feet back on the ground. Again, I felt like I failure b/c I thought I was not trusting Christ if I “used” anything else to stop crying. I felt ashamed. But God reminded me that all GOOD things come from him and I was free to take medication if it would help me and not cause me to depend on IT more than I did the Lord. My husband encouraged me to try it b/c he didn’t want me to suffer. I did only after I reminded him that I was doing it only b/c I was submitting to his leadership. All that said, I was on medication for about 4 months until my hormones caught up with myself and then I went off of them. I was fine. I wasn’t addicted to anything. I was thankful that it helped! I do believe there are many that take medications to cover their depression that is caused by sin but I know it can also be caused by hormone shifts. I have learned to be thankful for doctors and medications that can be used short term to help us in our struggles. God never left me. I believe he allowed it to humble me. I continue to be humbled. And I’m thankful. I’m not encouraging you to go on medications at all…just wanted to share with you that you are not alone. Pray continuously, seek the Lord’s wisdom and ask Nel’s what you should do. God gave you a husband to be your leader…and I believe he gives our husbands an extra measure of wisdom to lead us women. “Trust the Lord and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight.” I did and HE DID! Love you sweetie. And praying for you as you walk this road well traveled. His grace is sufficient! xxoo

  3. Thank you for sharing your story with me, Cheryl!! Wow, I am comforted to know that I am in such good company, though sorrowful for you that you had to endure such a trial — isn’t He good to use all these things together for His wonderful good purposes.

    Right now I’m doing okay…there have been a couple of times that we’ve thought about medication and I’ve had certain things checked out by the doctor. The door is open, but what I’ve experienced thus far seems to be on a level that needs dealing with in certain ways before trying a medication route. If God allows me to struggle more and more I may be calling you up for some medication advice! 🙂

    Love to you & your family. Praying for your man lately too ~

    Jordan

  4. Jordan, I decided to check out your blog and I’m glad I did. Thank you so much for your openness. I understand the description of “melancholy, discouragement, Depression or whatever it is” as I too have had those feelings … Very strong at times and certainly hard to deal with … Your friends post on menopause kind of helped me as to a degree it describes some of what I go through … I used to think it was ” a place, a conflict, a job, a stress” but I know it’s something more just magnified by these things. Praise God Jesus knows us through and through but it is hard to know what to do. I too have had medications suggested by my doctor and gynecologist but so far have resisted so Al has to deal with a weepy wife at times. Will pray for answers for you ( and me!)

    • Thanks for letting me know, Gillian! I will be praying for you. I know this has been a trying time in your life too…I am thankful that He never leaves us or forsakes us (regardless of how we feel!)..<3 Jordan

  5. I have been diagnosed with “situational depression” from time to time. Once in college, and once after I had Colin..from what I can remember. It comes and goes and depends more on my circumstances. In my case, because it is only situational, I have decided to go without medication, see a counselor when needed and to seek the Lord more so . I obviously have not arrived in the area of contentment as Paul talked about in Philipians 4! I know we have not officially met, but I love you dearly! I’m sorry that this is your struggle but I have confidence you will wrestle with this thorn in a way that only brings glory to Him! I’m glad you shared…that way when your face/name comes to mind I know how to better pray for you!

    • Thank you so much Laura! I am thankful for your friendship even though we’ve not met in person…:) Thanks also for sharing with me about your times of situational depression…that might be similar to what i’ve experienced (though i’m not really sure..i think i’m currently in ‘debrief’ mode and trying to figure it out a bit!). ❤
      jordan

  6. Pingback: thirteen on thursday | jordan cristine | a day in the life

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