Why We Need to Embrace Being Weak

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Be strong. Don’t cry. Shrug it off. Don’t let it bring you down. Push through. It’s not that bad. Have you thought this or heard these sayings before? In our American culture and society we are not to show weakness right? Weakness is a sign that we supposedly don’t have it all together and no one likes to be the person that doesn’t have it all together. We tend to think if and when we embrace our weaknesses we become too vulnerable and too sensitive. The reality for us is, when we embrace our weaknesses we actually have to begin to open up and share what’s going on in our lives to other people. This is too hard and too scary for people to do. So now what?

Throughout my life I have fought hard at times to not show when I am weak. In these moments of weakness, I didn’t want others to know how I felt on the inside. You know what we do: Someone asks, “how are you doing?” Our typical, robotic, systematic response, “I’m good.” Are you really good? You mean to tell me we never go through anything? Life never gets challenging? People never rub us the wrong way? Work doesn’t stress us out sometime? Hmm.. Maybe we need to start being more honest with ourselves.

The longer we pretend to be strong and not embrace our weakness we actually harden our heart. We begin to desensitize ourselves to our emotions. It becomes normal for us to not embrace our struggles. Instead, we continue to press through like nothing is ever wrong. For me, the pattern in my life has been, the longer I hold in my problems, my issues, my hurt, my pain and my burdens the bigger the inevitable explosion. Have you ever been around someone and seemingly out of no where they blow up or have a melt down? I’m talking about the people that you never see break down or cry. It throws you for a loop right? You’re sitting there thinking, “I thought this person had it all together.”

Here’s what I’m trying to say… Embrace weakness. Identify with the weaknesses in your life. Figure out what makes you weak. Know what the weaknesses are. Understand where they come from and why they are in your life. This is what I have learned about weakness:

The weakness in our life is not out to destroy us.

I believe the weaknesses that God allows in our lives are there to help us grow. Weaknesses can be turned into strengths. When we begin to become stronger in our weakness, we then can go and help the next person that is weak in the area we were once weak in. Amen somebody?

I no longer run from my weaknesses. Neither should you. Will we still struggle at times with embracing them? Sure, this will always be a battle. I realize we won’t always get it right in this area but at least we can admit they are there. Often times, admitting is the first step to overcoming a struggle, battle or problem. Let’s face it; we are not as strong as we pretend to be. In our weakness, God can do something with us. The greatest leaders that have walked the face of this earth displayed their weakness at some point in their life. Need proof? Read a few stories about the prophets and the leaders in the Bible. They are a lot like you and I, weak and in need of God’s strength.

 

Patterns

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I love when God gives me revelation and new insights to my life. The other day I was driving down the road and I began to think about patterns in my life, even certain patterns since child hood. The wheels began to turn (no pun intended) in my mind. What I am going to share with you are battles I have faced or face. I believe these battles with patterns may help some of you with certain patterns in your life. If we can recognize what patterns affect us negatively I believe we can bring great change to our lives!

Okay, here are some patterns I have observed in my life: 

Pattern of word without great follow through: Meaning, we give our word to something. We get excited and want to be apart something life changing and great but our follow up and follow through with our word/action is not our best effort. Can you relate?

Pattern of commitment for a short period of time: This kind of goes hand and hand with the first one but differs in a sense. With this pattern we are committed for a period of time and we slowly begin to either fade away or completely drop off.

*Short time commitments can be good but if others do not know upfront how long you plan on being committed, you will hurt others more than yourself. Not a good recipe for success and bridge building.*

Pattern of progress and then drop off: You’re working hard, you are progressing, you begin to see results and then you stop working as hard. This I see often when it comes to eating healthier and working out to get in better physical shape.

Pattern of achieving what you want and then complacency sets in: You worked hard to get what you want, to get to where you wanted to be, you achieved something and now that it is achieved you’re not motivated to keep on pushing.

I wanted to share these and be transparent with you because I know these patterns aren’t just present in my life but in the lives of others as well. In my line of work, in my friendships and relationships I have conversations and from my observation and conversations I realize with these patterns I am not the only one that struggles and battles with these in life.

What are we to do? How can we truly create change and mean it?

Here is where I am landing and have landed:

  • Create accountability with someone fighting the same battle.
  • Do one thing at a time.
  • Say no and don’t feel bad about it.
  • Pray really hard and often.
  • Find the root problem of the pattern.
  • Ask yourself, why is this pattern so significant and why is it there?
  • Seek wise counseling about the patterns in your life.
  • Hold yourself accountable.
  • Do not self condemn when you fall short or mess up.

The unique thing about patterns are, you can create new ones. Patterns aren’t set up for one specific design. They can be altered to create new ones. Whatever patterns you have identified in your life, it is time to make some adjustments. It’s time to make some shifts. It is time to be the designer. We have to grab a hold of our lives and there is no better time than right now. There is power in patterns. Let’s let the power of patterns in our life effect us in positive ways.

P.S. – I would love to hear from you. What are some patterns you’ve noticed in your life? What are you willing to share about this to help others?

#TGIF – Thank. God. I’m. Forgiven.

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Have you ever wronged a person, broke someone’s trust, ruined a friendship and desperately wanted them to forgive you? If you have, do you remember how guilty, shameful and disgusting you felt after the decision you made? In that moment, I am sure you questioned if the person would ever forgive you.

There have been times in my life when I have been on both sides of the fence. I have done wrong and I have been wronged. Either way, both sides are not fun at all. What is a person to do when they have broken the circle of trust and cannot get the other person to see they are truly sorry for what he/she did? Well, I’ll tell you one thing, there is no easy answer to this question.

I have been reminded on today, that there is a God who forgives all. (Thank God!) I am reminded of this for this simple reason, God’s forgiveness matters the most. When I wrong someone not only have I hurt the person but I have hurt God. I have sinned against Him. My first line of action should be turning to God to seek forgiveness from Him. I should be letting God know how dumb and unthoughtful it was to make the decision(s) that was made. After I seek forgiveness from God then I should seek the forgiveness of the person(s) I hurt.

“Forgiveness is something that is granted to us from a loving God. Forgiveness is in God’s nature.”

Each day I am amazed that God desires and chooses to forgive me of my sinful heart. He doesn’t have to forgive you and I. You may wondering, how do you know when God has forgiven you? From my experience and what I see in the Bible, it is when you turn to God sincerely, pouring your heart out to Him, confessing your wrong doings and turning from those decisions is when you know you can move forward. (Of course this may take time getting over and working through but at least you know forgiveness has been granted to you by God.)

Lastly, I will leave you with this: After you have done wrong or wronged someone, please pray for the other person. Yes, you feel bad but imagine how the other person feels. They are shattered and broken. They need God to heal their heart just as you do.

God can mend broken relationships. He can help both of you overcome and move forward. The relationship may not go back to the way it was but the important factor is, the people involved sought forgiveness from God and each other. Always remember, God can forgive and so can you. Don’t be selfish and prideful. Pour your heart out and allow yourself to move forward! #TGIF

P.S. This may not make sense to some but I believe it is the best way of going about seeking forgiveness. Of course if you know you are wrong and did wrong, apologize immediately. This blog is focusing on the big picture of forgiveness.

 

 

Don’t Wake The Demons

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I am reminded this morning of how tempting it is to want to go back to something; To go back to a place we have no business going back to. Here is what I mean… As we pursue change, as we pursue to overcome, let go and dump our baggage, there always seems to come times where temptation seem to hit us the hardest. You know, you’ve been working hard at not looking back, you’ve been working hard at not thinking about old habits, people you’ve let go and then all of a sudden you have a moment. A moment where you cannot stop looking back. A moment where the past looks better than your present. A moment where you are questioning whether or not you are making the right decisions. Journey with me if you will.

We all have demons we have stored away and never plan on inviting back into our lives. If the word demons seem to freak you out, let me put it this way: We all have baggage, problems, and old habits from our past. For some odd reason, there are things and maybe people in our life that remind us of the bad memories and moments from our past. I believe you and I can agree, life would be much easier if we never had to reface our past but this we know is not the reality you and I face. Here’s a thought about our past:

Our past remains eager at trying to find a place in our present so that it can try to place its stamp on our future.

I am reminded of a story. In Matthew 12:43-45, Jesus is talking about an evil spirit leaving a person. I want to point out verse 43: “When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. Then it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from. So when the evil spirit returned, he found the person’s house (spirit) empty. So the evil spirit returned with seven more evil spirits stronger than the first evil spirit the man had. The Bible says, “this person is worse than he was before the evil spirit left.” You may be thinking why did I bring this Scripture reference up? Here’s why: When we let go of something, when we fight to overcome, we have to replace our old with something new. We have to replace our bad with something good. We have to continue to fill our spirit up with the One Who delivered us from our demons.

This person in Matthew 12 began living as if he would never be tempted again. As if all of his problems were taking care of for the rest of his life. Listen! You and I will be tempted again and again and again with the same thing(s) we’ve battled for years to overcome. We have to be on guard and ready to recognize the demon(s) trying to creep into our life. Imagine if the man in Matthew 12 recognized the evil spirit, imagine if he continued to fill his spirit with strength, courage, grace and God. We don’t know how his life turned out but I can imagine with seven more evil spirits stronger than the first evil spirit, his life probably didn’t end too well.

My friend, may we not awaken the demons we’ve fought so hard to get rid of. And may we not be naive in our thinking that our demons will not try to return to the place it once lived.