How to Embrace Your Weakness
Poor guy is crying from a mixture of frustration, hormones, and irritation (with me).
He sobs in big, dramatic breaths, "This is your fault!".
"I would know how to spell if you were a real teacher. I bet kids that go to real school with trained teachers know how to spell the word decided."
Just before flinging himself on his bed, he scribbles the sentence: I have decided I hate spelling. (Y'all pray for me, mmkay?)
Spelling is not his best subject. And it is kinda my fault. I'm his teacher - and teaching is not my strength.
Just a few short months ago, this familiar scenario would have sent me into an emotional tailspin.
I would have called Hubby at work to confess that I am ruining the children. (He just looves it when I call him in the middle of a meeting to bawl like a blubbering baby.) I would have questioned whether homeschooling is truly right for us (for the millionth time). I would have gotten online to check tuition rates for the private school closest to us.
You know, the one with real teachers.
But this time was different. This particular struggle didn't make me all icky inside.
Why? What was different this time?
I am just as unqualified as I was last year. And the year before that. And the year before that.
But this year, I know what my weaknesses are. Better yet, I know how to handle them.
Here's what I do to take the sting out of feeling like a failure.
Tip #1 - Be honest with myself.
Accepting my weakness is the first step to conquering it. The longer I am in denial of my shortcomings, the uglier it gets. Believe me, I've tried. Now I just come clean with me, myself, and I. This is the essential first step out of self pity and misery.
See. As long as I am wallowing in self doubt and insecurity, I am not moving forward. I am not looking to God. I am concentrating on myself.
Satan loves this. He's off doing the happy dance as I wallow in frustration and uncertainty.
Tip #2 - Be honest with the Lord.
Seriously. Why do I even have to remind myself of this? As if He doesn't already know. But that's the point. He wants me to surrender my infirmities to Him so He can do HIS thang and intervene.
Tip #3 - Be honest with those I love the most.
More than anyone else on this planet, my first born son has revealed just how unqualified I truly am.
Being totally honest with our family members does several things.
1. The vulnerability we show creates a stronger bond.
2. The transparency we show creates trust.
3. The fact that we are accepting of ourselves when at our weakest shows them that we accept them as they are. And God accepts them as they are.
4. Sharing our struggles and failures gives us an opportunity to let them see God intervene.
Beware: Some family members may or may not use your weaknesses against you. See the story at the beginning of this post.
Tip #4 - Laugh about it.
I tend to get all serious and ponder my faults to the point of severity. Guess what that causes? Anxiety. Depression. Spiritual unsteadiness. I need to just put things in perspective and chill. Then laugh at myself.
"Okay, kids. It's time to start school. You know what that means. Mom's going to give you inaccurate information about history and science today. More than likely, we will all be even more confused than we were yesterday about the math lesson. And let's just go ahead and learn how to use spell-check on the computer instead of following through with grammar."
Making light of the situation takes the pressure off. This leaves room for the Holy Spirit to intervene.
Maybe you are experiencing some major inadequacies that are not laughable. I've been there too. May I remind you of what you already know?
- The Lord can pay your bills even though you have insufficient funds.
- The Lord can give your child the right doctor/treatment even though you know nothing about this new diagnosis.
- The Lord can provide a new friend that totally gets you.
- The Lord can lead you to the church that your family needs (and that needs your family).
- The Lord can give you a job even though it's looking pretty hopeless right now.
- The Lord can save your marriage when you're not even sure you want it to be saved.
Common sense tells us to hide weaknesses and elevate strengths.
But that's not what the bible says. And that kind of thinking doesn't help us spiritually.
Heck, it doesn't help us in anyway. Well, it may give us a few minutes of false confidence. But, that's usually short lived.
Embracing weakness is the best way to get outta the way so God can take over.
This takes courage. This takes focus. This takes patience. This takes being okay with imperfection.
It takes strength to be weak.
Will you let Him give you His strength?
2 Corinthians 12:9
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
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