Strength is Taking One More Step

Sometimes you may lose your way. And sometimes life may catch you by surprise. It’s all right to cry- but don’t give up. Take a deep breath, summon your courage and wriggle free! And if you need to hide away for a bit, then do. Hold tight, until you’re ready to face the world again. The Tale of You –Beatrix Potter

Strength is described in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as the capacity for exertion or endurance, the power to resist force and the power of resisting attack.  If you are anything like me, at times you have had to face situations that you just didn’t feel strong enough to handle.  My process goes somewhat like this:  I cry…A LOT.  How is this happening?  Why is this happening?  I can’t do this.  My mind races uncontrollably.  I don’t know what to do…What am I going to do?  Is there anything I can do?  There’s nothing I can do.  I can’t do this.  All the emotions pop up…frustration, confusion, feelings of being helpless and hopeless.

Recently, I discovered that strength is not what I thought it was.  I realized that contrary to the thoughts I have dealt with telling me I can’t do it, I can do it.  And that although I may not display super human abilities, although I may ugly cry and look embarrassing, although I may be tempted to give up at times, I display strength every time I simply choose to take one more step forward.  And so do you.

In the face of darkness and circumstances that defy your understanding, you display strength and courage as you continue to show up for life day after day.  You show strength when you  step forward into new and unfamiliar territory.  You show strength when you continue to crack open your Bible and hold conversations with God, whom you can’t see and don’t understand, especially now.  But you talk to Him anyways…that’s strength.  You show strength and courage when you continue to stand up, no matter how many times you get knocked down.  You show strength when you choose to believe God is good, even if life doesn’t feel good.  It takes strength to keep believing the best is yet to come and that if it’s not good yet, the story must not be over.  It takes strength to choose forgiveness for you and for others.

I’ve also come to realize what strength isn’t.  Strength doesn’t mean you always keep your cool.  It doesn’t mean your life is neat and tidy.  It doesn’t mean you pretend to have all the answers.  It doesn’t mean you never cry or never feel pain.  It means that in spite of all of those things you choose to keep going.

To bring this all together, again I want to reinforce that definition…the power to resist force and the power of resisting attack.  When you choose to do this, when you choose to actually keep going, when you choose to keep getting up, you are literally punching darkness in the face.  You are resisting the forces of the enemy that are trying to keep you pigeon holed in your past, in your mistakes and in your sorrow.  You are resisting the attack he has launched against you to keep you from stepping out in the amazing purposes God has for your life.  This is the kind of strength that God gives us.

My point?  Keep going.  You are stronger than you know.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9)

Theresa Flood