You’re Stronger Than You Think

You’re Stronger Than You Think

May 20, 2014

“And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” 1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NIV)

The first day of class, the exercise leader replaced the lighter weights I’d chosen with heavier ones. I tried to hide my skepticism as he said, “You’re stronger than you think!”

I shook my head in disbelief as he moved on to assess the next participant. No, I thought. I’m weaker than you think!

It had been a few years since I’d been in an exercise class, and my confidence level was low. Never an athlete, I couldn’t even do one push-up. And my legs felt like rubber bands after the first set of “warm-ups.”

I’d signed up for the early morning class out of determination to do things differently. It wasn’t at all where I wanted to be at 5:30 a.m. two mornings a week, but earlier in the year, God challenged me to break out of my comfort zone.

As I struggled to lift the heavier weights, I decided to glance at the women next to me. Normally when exercising I keep my head down and just try to survive. But that day I looked closer at my classmates. Some were older and spoke of grandchildren. Some looked like they were struggling too. I overheard one say she’d had a knee replacement.

Hmmm … if they can do this, certainly I can, too. Maybe I could try another class or two before quitting.

The next class we all showed up, finding connection points over sore muscles. We laughed as we struggled to get off the mat. One said how hard it had been to walk up the stairs. I agreed.

Maybe I wasn’t the only one feeling weak. Somehow the idea encouraged me.

Each morning, the thought of those other ladies showing up and rubbing sleep from their eyes motivated me to lace on my tennis shoes and head to the gym. Little by little, I felt more comfortable admitting my weakness, even laughing about it.

In one particularly hard class, as I was the last one struggling to finish sit-ups, I heard a voice from my left, “You go, girl!” Something bold rose up in me at those words, and I thought, I can do this! Determination surged through me as I finished the last few sit-ups to the counts of my classmates.

My positive attitude surprised me. Where did that come from? Although I was getting stronger physically, that wasn’t the only area gaining strength. The encouragement from my classmates was making me stronger mentally, too.

The first class, I wanted to keep to myself and hide my pain. But as the weeks progressed, the more I shared my struggles, the more others could speak into them. Their words encouraged me. Their presence reassured me I wasn’t alone. Once again, God was teaching me how good it is to let others know I’m not perfect.

This has been a problem for me all my life. I’d much rather be the one obeying our key verse from 1 Thessalonians 5:14: “And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”

I like being the one who warns, encourages and helps. I’m not so good at being patient, but otherwise I’m pretty good at obeying this verse. But for God’s plan to be fully realized in the church at Thessalonica and in our lives today, at some point we need to be on the receiving end of this verse.

This is the beauty of the body of Christ. God designed a loving check-and-balance system to deepen our faith and relationships. But in order for it to work, we have to accept being warned, encouraged and helped — allowing others to see our frailties.

Unfortunately, there’s a fierce and faulty independent streak in my thinking that fights being on the receiving end of help. My default approach is to hide my weaknesses, fears and insecurities, which opens a crack for unhealthy pride to sneak in.

And yet what freedom there is in simply admitting: I can be a mess at times. When I acknowledge that, others can pray for me. They can encourage me. It’s a double blessing of God’s strength and that of others.

God needs me to learn this truth. Admitting I need help breaks down my pride. It humbles me, which softens God’s heart toward me. And it allows others to be obedient in caring for me.

So, am I stronger than I think I am? Apparently so. But the best way to discover my strength is to admit my weakness.

Heavenly Father, thank You for bringing friends into my life who help me grow stronger. Forgive me for the sinful pride that has kept others from getting too close. Help me to understand it doesn’t make me weaker to admit my weaknesses. In fact, it opens me to get stronger. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Acts 15:40-41, “… but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
In her book I Used to Be So Organized, Glynnis Whitwer shares about one of her other struggles: finding new ways to manage her time and home.

Visit Glynnis’ blog for more encouragement.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Is it hard for you to share your struggles with others? What holds you back from being more open?

Commit to telling one friend about a worry, fear or weak area of your life. Ask her to pray for you.

© 2014 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. Omg, you literally just describe the last five years of my life up to this point. I absolutely have the worst time accepting help, especially during times of difficulty, I think it’s really hard for people who grew up always being looked at as the ones who were supposed to be responsible and have it all together in the family. I think we just crack under the pressure and self-destruct trying to fix everything that goes wrong. It never occurred to me that when you don’t let others help, it hinders their ability to obey The Lord and actually do as He prompts them to. It actually pushes people that he sends to help away, and you only hope that they don’t go far when, after a while, pride seeps into your weak spots (ripped wide open by that independent spirit) and cause you to implode. Then it’s like: well, do I let people know that I’m drowning or do I let my pride drag me under? Thank you so much for posting this!! Now the trick is to actually do it, lol! Nothing like reaching the end of yourself and making a mess of everything to finally make you realize that God helps us through people, if we let him.

    • Sherri Paul says:

      Wow, Leah! I see my own self in your shoes! Same thing, refusing help although I help other all the time. Just never thought about it as you wrote about…..hindering others from doing the will of God by not accepting their help. The post was great but your response really opened my eyes! Thank you so much! You have helped me this day. Thank You!

      Sherri

      • Melanie says:

        NAILED IT! I once did a study on the Beatitudes in Matthew 5 that spoke about just this. Vs 3: “blessed are the poor in spirit.” The poor in spirit are those that realize they need help–theirs is the kingdom of heaven b/c they know their need for God and that He will fulfill it. This is linked to vs 7: “blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” This is easier said than done for “doers” but when we realize that we need help, not only are we blessed by other kingdom-workers but those folks are blessed because they are able to extend their mercy. Just like you said, we allow them to fulfill God’s role for them in our lives. A double blessing!!! Very good stuff!

    • Leah, I feel the same way. I was basically raised with the do it yourself attitude. My dad didn’t want my sister and I to “rely on a guy”, and to be self-sufficient. My husband on the other hand has always been taught that your family is there to fall back on. Now for me, I knew my grandparent’s were there to fall back on, but my parents have made it pretty clear not to ask them for help, that they’ll offer help if they feel they can or if they deem that they help we need isn’t due to something we’ve done wrong (like when my husband was let go from his job when our oldest was 5 months old, they bought groceries for us once and thankfully it was near thanksgiving/Christmas because my dads work had had a food drive and they donated some food to us, which was very humbling, being short on money because you miss spent your money wasn’t a good reason to need help). My husbands family though always there, didn’t matter why we were short on money that month, they were willing to help…I had a difficult time with that. I didn’t understand how my husband would learn to live on a budget, and to live within our means if they kept bailing us out. My mentality was that if we had spent our money correctly (paying bills, food, gas for the car/motorcycle so we could get to work or get the baby to the drs), and came up short on necessities than you ask for help, but if you decide to go out to eat or on a date and your bills and necessities weren’t taken care of than you deal with the consequences. I think the difference is that my in laws actually wanted to see my husband and I succeed as a couple and as parents, and if that meant making up the difference because we needed a night out, than they wanted to do that. My mother in law actually bought diapers (even the night time ones once he was day time potty trained) for my oldest up until my father in law passed away last year. (My father in law, was never above asking for help, and would give you the shirt off of his back if you needed it. He’s the reason why I at least have a tenuous relationship with my own parents.)

      That being said, I still struggle with letting my husbands family help me. Even 4 years into our marriage, I struggle with understanding why you would drop everything to help your extended family,your friends sure, but I guess my friends really are more like family to me. This devotion couldn’t have come at a better time. I just spent the last half an hr telling a co-worker how I feel suffocated, how I just want to be left alone, and how I don’t want help or I want help, I just don’t want my mother in laws help, I want my husbands help. I feel like he pawns me and the kids off on her, but in reality he understands this, he understands that he needs to let her help, no matter how much I push it away.

    • Leah – I love how you have put thoughts into words. You’ve really added to the conversation today with depth of insight and I thank you!

  2. I definitely needed this reminder. At a time when our little leopard gecko isn’t feeling well, my husband, Ron Smith and I are worried that he’s not going to be with us much lo…nger because he hasn’t eaten in nearly two weeks. We’re worried that there may be something seriously wrong with him; however, we are praying that God will pull him through whatever is actually going wrong.
    “And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” 1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NIV)
    Wow! What an incredibly powerful verse! In this particular verse, we are being told to be patient with others. We’re also told to to give a warning to those who aren’t moving towards God that not following Him will set up for trouble. We should help those who can’t help themselves, even be a source of encouragement to those who need it. I guess doing this will make all of us stronger. “Heavenly Father, thank You for bringing friends into my life who help me grow stronger. Forgive me for the sinful pride that has kept others from getting too close. Help me to understand it doesn’t make me weaker to admit my weaknesses. In fact, it opens me to get stronger. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”~Glynnis Whitwer
    What a very powerful prayer tonight! I’m so glad that I’ve got a loving husban, who cares so much about me. No matter what either of us may be going through, we’re always there to support one another in our various times of great need in our lives.
    Acts 15:40-41, “… but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.” (NIV)
    Wow! Strength isn’t something we can accomplish alone. With God’s help with whatever we may be going through, we’ll be strong enough to overcome whatever challenges we may be dealing with. I ♥ how God wants us to rely on Him to help us overcome any obstacles that are standing in the way of doing something great. See More

  3. Thank You!!

  4. Great post today! Loved your insights into the key verse. Thanks for your wisdom.

  5. A kindred spirit….it was like you were talking about me…exactly! Thank you so much!

  6. So hard to do…great reminder! Thank you!

  7. I’m reluctant to tell people I need help because of what I think they are thinking. I’m usually the one to encourage and strengthen people so if I need help then “everything I have been saying to them isn’t true”. I know this is my pride and I have to remember we can’t be strong all the time. I’m so glad God is so patient with us.
    Thank you for this gentle reminder to let others help me today. As for the other Leah that responded, It’s in the meaning of of our name to be so helpful. Lol

  8. Angela Marshall says:

    This was a very on time devotional for me. I am working on a project @ work & feel very over my head with it. I kept pushing it off because I was do overwhelmed & didn’t want too admit I was struggling to other directors, particularly my own who isn’t very helpful & doesn’t have a full knowledge of my dept. I actually decided to reach out to someone in another devision to ask for help ( my division directors colleague). It was nerve wracking to do so, bit she was very helpful & I realized them I did not need to struggle alone; this was devotional conformration.

    • Angela – oh how I can relate. I want to be so self-sufficient and I somehow connect people’s trust in me with my ability to do everything well and on my own. But the truth is, the strongest and best leaders need help to do the best work. I have to get past this faulty thinking! Thanks for leaving a comment today.

  9. Thank you for your help and support in the last few weeks I walked in this and I found by being able to speak about issues the prayers of others has allowed me to refocus on the throne and get myself back in line with GOD and how that focused on him he do the work need in and thought my life!

  10. Love this post. This is such a great reminder for us all. I too am in an early morning exercise class and find the atmosphere of all of us cheering each other on sets such a great tone for the day. And with recent events in my life this year, I have needed to accept help from others more than ever before. It has been a difficult lesson but I have learned that life is so much better when we share in our experiences. We were not meant to walk alone and can be of such a comfort to each other.

  11. Have a friend that is beautiful woman physically, but has shattered her life emotionally and physically. She admits her mistakes however continued to make things progressively worse. What scripture and life stories can assist her ?

    • Dee – thank you for being such a good friend. It’s hard to watch someone make wrong choices continually. I’m hoping someone with some experience will respond and share some insight, and Bible verses that have made a difference to them and their loved one.
      I’m praying for your friend today.

  12. This one is a great reminder! Because it specifies EVERYONE – not just the ones we choose or like – BUT EVERYONE! Great reminder! Thanks so much! MAY ALL BE TRULY BLESSED TODAY!

  13. Sometimes betrayal makes it so hard to open up to others, especially if one person keeps repeating it. The truth is people you thought meant you good can take your weakness and wield it over you. I believe we have adult bullies just as we have bullies at schools…people who wield a certain power over you because of the pain they know they can inflict and they can influence others around them to do the same to you, probably out of fear. People who will not let you forget that weak point in your journey, who will put a label on you. Sometimes no one is brave enough to confront them. It takes forgiveness to walk past it but sometimes you tend to shut everyone out, feeling its safer to just keep to yourself.
    Lord help us…

    • Mercy – I know more about this than you might think. I’ve been walking this path for years, although not the bully issue, but dealing with someone who is not honest (this is not my husband, just to be clear). This takes a different kind of love, which is tougher than I would have imagined. And you are right that not everyone understands. I’m praying God will give you the courage to do what He is calling you to do.

  14. janice baldwin says:

    thank you!!!

  15. Love it! I have many friends who are not Christian and have been praying for Christian girl-friends in my life. Ladies, please pray for me regarding this issue. Thank you so much. 🙂

    • Cindy, I pray for you in this regard. I pray that God will surrond you with other female
      Christian believers, those that would uplife you, challenge you to the next level, and important accept you sincerely for who you are. Amen!

  16. Thank you Glynnis for today’s devotion. May god bless you & everybody reading it.

  17. So funny reading this post right after trudging to the fitness center this morning for the first time in…forever. Having the grueling workout behind me, I do feel stronger and more alive. I didn’t workout with anyone else, but I am going to share about it on my blog this week. I know God will use this workout (and the many more to come) to teach me new things and allow me to share with and encourage others. Thanks, Glynnis.

  18. Thank you for being here. Iam 77 years old with copd, I need to exercise but always do things around the house I think to avoid it. I live with my daughter, I love my Lord Jesus who is strongly in my heart but lack doing for me. I think the light bulb has been lit, God Bless!

  19. Thank you so much, I really needed this

  20. What a great devotion, thanks Glynnis! As a pastor’s wife, I really struggle with this. Showing my weaknesses is very challenging for me. I am always the one with the positive attitude and smiling face, cheering everyone on. When I’m alone, I face the darkness and suffer in silence. It is very hard to reach out. It is very hard to find a trusted friend. My best friend is Jesus, He listens and guides me when I take the time to pay attention. I need to turn off my busy, worried mind, take a deep breath and focus on Him. Thank you again for this reminder!

    • Hi July – I’m praying God brings some kind, humble friends to walk the challenging journey you are on. Thank you for your quiet service to your church and the Kingdom of God.

  21. Tiffany says:

    Wow!! That’s me!! Thank you so much for writing and sharing. I love it when God gives me just what I need to hear, just when I need to hear it! Now to work on this pride issue…

  22. As so many of these do…I relate so well to this one. I do hide my weakness, fears and insecurities because when I have tried reaching out to others and sharing, I either get nothing in return or someone telling me all the answers…do this, do that, be done, move on. It’s not that simple. I end up feeling embarrassed, discouraged, hurt, and very alone. What am I supposed to do? The only one in my life I feel I can be totally open and honest with is God because he never turns his back on me or makes me feel worse about myself.

    • Hi Jane – I”m so sorry you’ve been hurt. I think it’s a constant challenge to trust again when we’ve been hurt. It does make you want to close your heart and retreat. (I know, I’ve been there). I pray God speaks tenderly to your heart, healing those wounded places and strengthening you to trust again.

  23. I got layed off last week because the company is closing that I work for. I weigh over 320lbs because I sat at my desk and ate when I was stress, mad , happy, or any reason. It was getting difficult for me to breathe, walk, and etc. I have a gym membership just going to waste. You have inspired me to go and just start. I may not feel like wonder women on the first day but I will work at it. I have the time while I’m job hunting. Everything happens for a reason and I know I would still bevat that desk eating a way if I wasn’t layed off.

    • Roslyn – First, I’m so sorry about your job. But I’m standing up and cheering for you – for your choice to see God’s hand in your layoff, and for your decision to go to the gym. Start slow and be consistent. It will take time but you will get stronger and healthier every day.

  24. This feels like it was directed to me personally Thank you for your insight and for the reflection for today.

  25. Thanks so much for writing this passage. It speaks so much to me and it is comforting to know I am not alone in my feelings. Also, I shall keep this quote from you to reflect upon, “But the best way to discover my strength is to admit my weakness.” This is such a powerful statement.

  26. Tiffany says:

    Wow…love this! Lately I’ve been in a state where I feel so weak like everything has been taken out of me and it’s just me. Nobody else will understand. This is do encouraging to keep pushing and depend on God even more to straighten me and to be my strength in those areas that I may feel weak.

  27. In the last few months I’ve felt as though God has been speaking very strongly to me, more so than I’ve ever felt, and I feel he’s been doing so through the book of proverbs. I’m trying harder to let him in and to actually here him and see his plan for me through his eyes and to be patient with it. By doing that I started following the P31 site and today I read my first devotion…and once again I feel even stronger that god is speaking to me through it…I don’t think he could have chosen a better first devotion for me. For I haven’t just been struggling with letting God in but also with letting others in…so today I will reflect and respond by opening up to a friend and telling them of this struggle and asking them to pray for me. Thank you Glynnis for such a good first devotion!

  28. Mary Beth says:

    I can so relate to this in my workout sessions! But really, I can relate it to a struggle I’m dealing with now – being on the weak side and trying to hide it. I’m recently married and my step-son, 20 year old high school drop out, just showed up on our doorstep several weeks ago. His foul language, lack of responsibility and lack of respect are killing me. I don’t even want to be in my own home anymore. I’m afraid. I’m afraid of what his presence is doing to our home, how he is influencing my 15 year old son. And I’m afraid he is going to try to stay. I’m trying to go on like nothing is wrong, but I’m falling apart inside. Not only am I not good at asking for help, but I don’t even know where I would go for help. I’m trying to teach him, to pray for him, to be a positive influence on him, but it is sucking the life out of me. I’m at my wits end. I know I am right where God wants me to be, but honestly I don’t want to be here!

    • I feel for you Mary Beth. Kindly where is your husband in all of this? Certainly he should first be the one to sort this all out. NO ONE should make you uncomfortable in your own home. Your step son is obviously off age, therefore if he cannot respect your home, he needs to find his. Your husband is responsible for you well being, and safety. He might wish to consider this. The 20 year old does not have a relationship with God, we must pray his deliverance, however sometime it is best doing this and stil showing love from a distance. You both must safe guard your home and protect your 15 year old.

  29. Colleen Pyles says:

    Oh my goodness, this hit home to me. I love to be the encourager, the one who prays for others, but it’s decidedly uncomfortable to be the one being prayed for. I feel my little issues are of no consequence and there are bigger problems out there that need prayer. That’s how we were raised, God helps those who help themselves. About exercise, I am exactly like you. I am overweight and NOT athletic. I have struggled sine Jr.high to exercise in front of others. Your story literally made me cringe. I am definitely going to pray about this.

  30. How encouraging! YES! I agree that we all need if only a friend in whom we can admit
    or fears, concerns, and hurts too. Everyone needs this relief outlet. I certainly do, Glynnis you’ve brought it all home in this devo. Thank you so very much, you see you actually was stronger than you thought, and so arew so many of us. Ladies, I too request your prayers, in that sometime I find and feel my self going through an emotional roller coaster. My heart sometimes feels broken more times that it feels mended. This is due to
    different issues and concerns. Relational, financial, and others. Thanking you all in advance for your prayers. God Bless!

  31. Jo Ellen says:

    My fear in admitting my weaknesses is the fear of being betrayed or judged.

  32. This is just God-sent! I am that friend that everyone comes to for advice…that ‘always put together’ friend. Being the eldest child and seemingly the most responsible person around, I have always found it a little difficult to allow my weaknesses show. Many times, I am burdened by life’s issues but this has made me realise that I don’t have to fight alone. Thank you for making me see that I can make use of the amazing friends I have been blessed with.

  33. glenda pfitzer says:

    this couldn’t have come at a better time…………..after learning that I may loose my house due to a financial difficulty, I needed this encouragement from a friend. that friend has always been there for me, today is no exception!

  34. Linda Mullin says:

    Beautiful and sharing and as i purchase many of the books i a lead to and share excerpts intertwine with my process may o have permission to do the same with your writing.

  35. nobody cares says:

    When you share, though, be prepared for people to not be able to handle it and to be left on your own to deal with your struggles. Some fates are worse than death.

  36. So amazing to read this. This is an area in which I really struggle with. I just recently broke up with my boyfriend over it. I hide my weaknesses in hopes that everyone will find me to be just normal. When he points out areas in which he wants to help me be aware of, so I can work on, I get defensive instead. Lord help me to listen with my heart and see when people want to encourage me to become a better person. Help me to be open towards growth, to recognize when those who love me are trying to help, and that I may receive it with an open mind & actions of appreciation.

  37. Kimberly says:

    The timing of this devotional was definitely Gods timing for me. My “weights” are a little different than the one at the gym though.
    See, I am in the deep throws if a depression right now. I’ve suffered from depression off and on for 20 years now. The last serious bout was close to 18 years ago. That horrible path is all to real yet again to me. It’s taken a lot for me to accept my weaknesses and seek help in the past and this time is no different.
    I’ve been thru a lot of changes over the past 4 years which started by being baptized shortly after ending a 22 year marriage. (Due to him having numerous affairs, and finally sleeping in separate bedrooms for the last 5 years of the marriage) I left, moving to another city and preparing a home for my two teenage children. At the end of that summer, my children decided to go back to their home with their father who was never a participating daddy. I was crushed. They wanted to return to their “home” that they knew with friends and school. They left and I was crushed, although I did not let them know. I had prayed long and hard for God to soften my children’s dad’s heart and have him become a hands on daddy. He did just that. He stepped up to the plate and as far as I can tell, he’s a great daddy now. Answer to a prayer.
    In the meantime, I reconnected with an awesome God fearing man and was married one year ago. I love him, he’s amazing, supportive, loving, best friend who is leads me well in our Christian walk together. But I’m struggling. I miss my children. I cannot get a comment my daughter made, many years ago, asking me to return home out if my head! I tried to explain to her I couldn’t, there was too much hurt and pain and I had to get out from the string hold that my ex had upon me. See, he made me feel worthless, that the affairs he had were my fault, he denied me love, hugs and affection too. Even towards the end, I was still seeking some type a affirmation from him and got nothing. Hence, the decision to divorce him.
    My “weight” that needs to be lighter is dealing with my past: my decision to divorce, leave, trying to adjust to not having my children 24/7, accepting and loving my new husband like he deserves abc finally, forgiving myself and remove the weight of guilt.
    My faith is strong, but I am weak. Satan has been attacking me!
    Thank you for giving me the strength to reach out to my husband and call a professional who can help me.

  38. I recently suffered my second miscarriage. I hadn’t really told anyone outside my family and a few close friends. The past few months have been brutal. I never allowed myself to heal from the first miscarriage and have found myself spiritually lost. Not angry at God in anyway just lost. A dear friend shared a post from this website “I’m Tired of Praying the Same Prayers” by Lynn Cowell. I had asked why for so long I was weary but was ashamed about how my being hung up on asking “why” had actually distanced myself from God. I am very active in my church and it’s hard to admit when you r struggling spiritually when people look to you for guidance versus the other way around. I am so grateful for my friend seeing my need and guiding me to this site and above all for praying for me. I absolutely love the humbling I have experienced through this post and am so ready to run back into the arms of my God.

  39. Stacey Finch says:

    Amen to that! awesome! 🙂

  40. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Your story found me right at the time that I needed it. The enemy tries to tell me that I can’t and I’m not enough and only the strong survive so just give up. But there’s that small voice in me that says you are stronger than you think because the holy spirit lives in you. Today I am walking with my head up knowing that I can and I will!

  41. Melissa M. says:

    You said, The first class, I wanted to keep to myself and hide my pain. But as the weeks progressed, the more I shared my struggles, the more others could speak into them. Their words encouraged me.”
    I have spent so much time in a corner trying to hide my weak areas, fearing what others would think of me, trying to appear strong and independent. The emotional fallout left me without wisdom or confidence, and I hurt the ones I love with judgements and criticism. It hasn’t been until I learned how and with whom to share those weak areas that I realized I was missing out on the real strength of another’s encouragement, experience and wisdom. I’m learning how to trust God and others without feeling so insecure. Instead, now I’m learning how to reach out appropriately and gain real strength. Hiding doesn’t make me stronger; my allowing others to speak love and peace into the broken places does. We need each other. Thank you for your encouraging words.

  42. Jo-Anne says:

    Often when you are the encourager others don’t offer to help when you need it. If you appear strong for others they don’t seem to ask if you are ok. Close friends urge you on but often you don’t want to burden them as they have enough issues of their – what do you do?

    • George T says:

      I am that person. I never wanted anyone to know me because of fear. No one ever asked me if I was okay because i was that “strong” person. What i realized is that I can’t do this alone. I’ve spent my life denying my true self. I am human and have made many mistakes. However, i’m learning that those mistakes DO NOT make me who I am! My thoughts are not me, my emotions are NOT me! I am a kind, loving human being who is lovable and truly flawed! It’s taken 43 years to reach this pivotal moment in my life. I will own it and move forward.

  43. I am afraid to let others see me as weak.Perhaps it is because I wasn’t too be they for anyone who needs my strength.Maybe it is because I am a first born child. I have a fear of valuing apart. It scares me.

  44. Kelly Smith says:

    Dang Glynnis, you’ve gotten a lot of response! I guess I’m just not that girl. Whenever I find myself worried or struggling in the situation I’m the first call out to my sisters, and the first call out to the Lord that I have fear or that I’m struggling, and I ask for prayer to have faith in God and to overcome it and to claim my victory over Satan and his lies! That is, if I can recognize it. I just believe in prayer so much, and if anyone’s struggling or fearful, tell me and I will pray with or for you, b/c Gods already healed us, and we just have to find the promise that fits and claim it. The faith the size of a mustard seed, almost nothing is all it takes to move a mountain!

    Blessings
    KellyS91709

    • George T says:

      Kelly,
      I am now realizing that Jesus has never forsaken me. I have realized that there is a power greater than me. I pray now and ask God to forgive me, truly forgive me and help me find inner peace. It’s been a tough journey. I humbly ask you to pray for me to find strength every day to move towards a better me. Thank you!

  45. A great friend sent this to me & it could not have hit home more. I just got married a little over a month ago & being the strong independent person I am it has been hard to admit that there really hasn’t been much “wedded bliss.” But my friend recognized my troubles and said she would pray for me. At times it’s even hard for me to admit to God that I need help. But through this I will work on opening up & letting go of the fear that people may think I don’t have it all together. Thank you so much for this. It has helped me in ways that I could’ve imagined. Also keep at it at the gym! I ran 2 miles today & NEVER would’ve thought I could. What is even more ironic is one of the trainers told me I was stronger that I thought I was. 🙂

  46. George T says:

    I would like to thank you for posting this amazing story. I, too have come to a crossroads in my life that has humbled me significantly. I, too was one of those people who could not admit faults, weaknesses or vulnerabilities. In fact, I’ve realized that I have spent my life denying my true self all because of fear- deep rooted fear that kept me from being my true self. I am learning now how to “crack my ego” and allow my true self to be exposed. It has been a painful experience, but one that is beginning to show me that I can love myself and allow others to love me unconditionally. I have made mistakes in my life and am now coming to terms with them. I have realized that these mistakes were the result of me living in fear–oppressive fear. It’s now time to break the chains that bind me and CHANGE my life. I am taking each day at a time and realizing that I have blessings beyond belief. AND no matter what happens I will be true to myself, to God, my family and my partner, whom I love very much. I truly believe that God sent him to me to help me understand unconditional love! Thank you Lord for your help and support and help me see things as they are and not what I want to believe that they are and ACCEPT them!

  47. Priscilla J. Beck says:

    I like the new changes you’ve made to the look and to the contributors of the daily devotions. Really. Only thing is, as my eyes age, the new font is harder to read 🙁 I can deal with it but I sure wouldn’t mind something bolder.

  48. Wow, you described me and I didn’t even realize it. I love to be the one who listens and encourages, but, of late, I don’t share my personal struggles. I have a new job at work and I am working with staff that is half my age. Let’s just say I’m older than their moms. For some reason I have allowed this to bother me for the first time in my life. I feel left out of their activities, but they are things I wouldn’t even do anyway. Satan is having a field day with me. It’s a work in progress trying to change my attitude. Thanks for your post, you opened my eyes.

    • RITA NELSON says:

      I lost my job a few years ago and I also was in a lead position and felt the same way you do. Although I had staff of many different ages I also felt left out. But I realized that I was left out because of the position I then held. Now that I am no longer working Satan is using my insecurity of being jobless to make me feel worthless. I really have to stay in God’s Word & pray to overcome my struggles. I will pray for you as you continue in your new position at work.

  49. Roslyn, God has give you an opportunity, go for it! Praying that you find encouragement at the gym, that someone there can provide you with their God-given gift of love, listening and support for you.

  50. Shemika says:

    Your words are encouraging and it makes me think about my life. I have always doubted my abilities. I am coming to realize that I’m stronger than I think.

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