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But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

|2 Cor 12:9|


 Soldiers, police officers don’t get medals of bravery for staying back and guarding themselves in situations that require action. No matter the number of precautions they take, they inevitably put themselves in situations that leave them exposed to danger themselves. 

And as I sat here thinking, I thought about how sometimes, in some areas of our lives, we think being brave is building up walls; it’s ensuring that we don’t get hurt; that we attack first, and remain always on defense. And we consider vulnerability to be a weakness that can get you killed, figuratively speaking. But you don’t build strength, you don’t become brave, you don’t build resilience by remaining cocooned in the protective shell that you build. 


Being vulnerable with someone feels like a weakness, often times. It’s as though you are giving someone permission to trample over you; it feels as though you’re consenting to being a fool. And who wants that?

I chose not to be vulnerable when it was required because I didn’t want to give up self-control. I didn’t want to give room for someone to feel superior, or powerful or like they had a foothold to take advantage of me. Because to allow that is unwise, and a recipe for trouble. At the time, I didn’t see, could not see, (and really, it often happens) that in allowing vulnerability, it was my key to add to my strength. It was an opportunity to cast off the weakness attempting to weigh me down. But in my myopia, I failed to see this. And what I perceived as strength, was weakness prevailing.


I’ve often told myself that I want to be strong, I want to be courageous. Women who exhibit these traits have my utmost admiration. I don’t know why, but throughout life whenever I’ve seen these traits in a person, my heart literally soars. I feel like it opens a gate to a world where you’re not held prisoner by anything or anyone, not even yourself. It appeals to my desire for liberty. To me, strength, courage, and liberty go hand in hand.


But strength isn’t seen in how well you protect yourself. Imagine a great castle, protected by massive walls, and a rider on a horse gallop away from the castle to the battle ground. To protect the castle, that rider goes into the battle to defend the castle by placing himself in a position where he could be killed. With all his weapons, his own strength, his shield and his various armour, he put himself in a position to be injured. And should he make it back, he’ll be lauded a hero. But he doesn’t just come back a hero. He comes back with knowledge. Knowledge about battle, about possible strategies, about whether his battle armour needs improvement…he comes back stronger than when he first launched out.

And I don’t think I’ve ever considered things like this. Indeed, rough seas make stronger sailors, tough times build greater people.* The challenges of life, even of the heart should not make you a hardened person, but a wiser one. 


And it made me consider everything about myself---everything that I wish for, that I wish to achieve; everything that I’ve put a brave face for, and what I’ve been striving to be brave in. 


And what I take from this is that we can’t keep running we are afraid of injury, of failing, of a preconceived imminent disaster. We can’t be afraid to begin again, or to try again.  

Consider the matter of the heart.  

I perceive we’re growing cold, and becoming obsessed with control. And it’s not even a self-control to the glory of God or to the liberty of ourselves. But it’s a cowardly sort that lacks wisdom and understanding. We’ve learned to build strong walls that hide feeble hearts. Our hearts are atrophying but we’re convinced our walls make us tough, impressive people.


It's amazing how even to say that your actions, or words were hurtful, feels too vulnerable. But we don’t see that it’s a least confrontational way to alert someone that they need to be careful and responsible with their actions. And often by their response or actions they reveal whether they’ll acknowledge it, whether they care enough to change, or they’re committed to remain behind the walls of their selfishness.


All this to say, as my Spirit grows stronger, I’m wading through the ego, the justifications, the excuses, the fear, and get to the root, the unpleasantness that I’m trying to protect myself from. I see where I’ve been less than heroic, and more than cowardly. But I feel reminded to not give up on myself. I am brave. I am strong. And I am able to overcome any situation.  But to be brave, strong, and an overcomer, I can’t recoil from weakness—real or perceived.  There’s a verse that says God’s power is made perfect in weakness.  It’s in that vulnerability that you rise in perfect strength, if only you cease despising and recoiling from it. 




*quote by Robin Sharma