It took a lot to get me here.
This morning my mind was focused on the physical intention of getting out of the house before doing or saying something I’d regret. But looking back at the last few hours that seemed to both stand still and rush by in a blur of screaming toddler noise and a newborn I’m pretty sure is developing a cold, I realize it was more than just physical action of moving forward and out the door of my house to get me to where I am right today. It was also spiritual action purposefully done over a much longer time.
Like you, I am obviously a broken human with a very sinful nature. However, I never fully considered the flaws and weaknesses restricting me from living my God-designed potential until about 11 years ago when the topic was brought up in my small group.
I remember the day like it was yesterday. Gathered at the home of one of my dearest friends, I felt exposed as I admitted, for the first time ever, my deepest struggles.
“I’ve battled selfishness, anger and impatience my entire life. Please pray for me as I seek God’s strength to overcome these weaknesses. I don’t want to live like this anymore,” I humbly disclosed to the women in my group.
A few months later I found out I was unexpectedly pregnant with my first child.
Becoming a mother three days before I turned 24-years-old wrecked me in the worst way possible. It was like slowly stripping away the ugliest layers of my flesh in order to uncover the true condition of my heart (which was probably very close to pitch black). Looking back at that time, I wasn’t spiritually mature or emotionally prepared to care for a human being other than myself. I laugh at it now because getting pregnant (two years earlier than I “planned”) was the start of God answering my desperate prayer to lighten the darkest colors of my heart. Really, it was the beginning of my sanctification even if I was hindering the process by refusing to progress on the exact things I asked God to cure me of.
It was not a pretty time in my life and I’m sure if I were to watch a reel of those early days, months and years trying to navigate young motherhood I would be utterly humiliated. My anger, selfishness, and impatience had gotten the best of me – I had said way too many things I now regret, I had prioritized my personal needs over anyone else’s, and was like an exploding rocket waiting to launch missile after missile of self and relational destruction.
I’ve mentioned this quite a bit in previous posts, but I still struggle with these weaknesses today. In fact, they usually flare up in certain seasons of childrearing and then I turn to God with a S.O.S. prayer and plea and snap! I become pregnant…again.
In January of 2020, I welcomed my fifth child 8 days after my first born turned 10-years-old. In the last decade I have made imperfect progress with my greatest flaws but I am far from being flawless. The process has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs as I’ve discovered I cannot conquer these weaknesses in my own strength but only through the Spirit’s strength within me. When I turn to Him, I experience His power overcoming my flaws and am able to “flaw” less.
Friend, whatever your weaknesses are, whatever it is that you struggle with, I pray you will trust that God can take your “bad” and turn it into good. In submitting to Him, His power will beat Satan’s attempts to tear you down and hinder you from becoming the person God created you to be. If you humbly depend on God, He is able to align your will to His. God has both a plan and a purpose for your weaknesses – your weaknesses allow His strength to shine and His glory to be revealed!
Remember, the Lord is our help and our strength (Psalm 46:1). He wants to carry our burdens (Matthew 11:28-30) and fill us with His grace, mercy and love. No one likes to admit their weaknesses, but God already knows them and wants the opportunity to transform them into strengths for our good and for His glory. Weakness is an opportunity for God to show off His capabilities because of our lack of abilities.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)
I took a lot to get me here, both physically and spiritually, but somehow I got out the door and was able to drink my coffee while it was still hot (#momwin!). Instead of losing my cool this morning I recognized the warmth of God’s touch transforming my heart and directing me back to Him. He reminded me of how far I’ve come, of the ups and downs, regrets and triumphs, and the process of imperfect progress because of His perfect and sustaining grace. He called me back to Him then led me, through His strength and not my own, to patiently, kindly and selflessly move forward.
I could have allowed my flaws to eat away more of my flesh this morning, but instead the Spirit took over and His powerful work made those flaws become much less. Friend, we may not be completely perfect or entirely flawless this side of eternity but with Him and through Him we can “flaw” much less.