Updated: May 19, 2022
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That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10 NLT
Now, I know this scripture sounds crazy, saying we should be happy to suffer, but hear me out. We spend a lot of time trying to figure out life, wondering why we go through things, how to overcome, etc. Society has painted a picture of what success looks like, which is often unrealistic. Some religious doctrine is interpreted in a way that's unachievable. We even place standards on ourselves which may not be sustainable. All of this often leads to feelings of anxiety, insecurities, inadequacy and even self-doubt.
I've experienced this in many areas of my life. (I believe many of us have.) Whether it was obtaining my CPA license, where I didn't feel smart enough. Or as an athlete, when I didn't always win. As a Christian, or First Lady, where I never felt perfect or holy enough. Even certain jobs or positions where I may not have felt qualified. I sometimes have a high standard of perfection (and control) which could become crippling for myself and often times doesn't leave space for God. I had to ultimately understand that these thoughts and feelings were not healthy and not aligned with God's will or His love. These thoughts of inadequacies, if I allowed them to fester, would be extremely detrimental to my forward progress. I had to tell myself, You Got This! Because Gods got you! (I actually still give myself a lot of pep talks)
I learned to lean on God, hiding the scriptures in my heart, and trusting His process. Not leaning on my own understanding, or perspective, where things may appear bleak or where I struggled. But finding joy in all parts of my journey. Understanding that all things work together, whether they feel good or not. I found peace in knowing that God had my back and I gained confidence by trusting Him.
We can't continue to let our struggles, whether internal or external causes us to remain stagnant. Whether you are affected by mental illness, physical sickness, struggling to make ends meet, dealing with adversity in your family or on your job, (insert your hardship here), you can trust God with it!
I have learned to submit my will to God. This helps me manage stress and anxiety, ultimately resetting my personal expectations and relieving myself of any pressure. I am not perfect with this by any means, but I am more consciously aware that I need to rely on God and not myself.
My advice for you:
Find joy in the journey - There's something peaceful about understanding that while the road may not be easy, you can get through it by expecting obstacles and being prepared for adversities
Trust the process - Align your will with God's and believe that everything is a learning opportunity
Give yourself grace and peace - Let go of unrealistic standards and understand that you don't have to have all the answers right away. It's okay to make mistakes
Release feelings of guilt and shame - Allow space for God's grace and love to be showcased in your life
These aren't just my suggestions though.
There are a lot of scriptures in the Bible that describe relying on the strength of God, not our own merit. (Phil 3:14, Rom 12:2, Rom 8:28, Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 46:1, Psalm 29:11, Psalm 28:7-8 and more!) In our specific text here, I see a correlation between God's strength and His grace. Paul explains how he asked God to remove a thorn in his flesh, releasing any obstacles or torments, but God said no. That even while Paul (we) may be dealing with some personal afflictions, God said His grace is sufficient! With the grace of God, we can do what we are called to do, despite not being perfect. Watch this…when we go through trials, adversities, persecutions, etc., this is when God's strength shows best. When we are weak, this is when God's power can shine. We don’t have to be concerned about perfection because God doesn’t require that. We are on a journey of being perfected by God but won't reach full perfection until we get to heaven. In the meantime, He requires us to love, do justice, be humble and have faith, despite our troubles and weaknesses. If we were actually perfect and in full controls, it would lead to pride and boastfulness. Acknowledging our imperfections and our weaknesses allows God to get the fully glory.
Friends...please believe that God is with you!
You are not in this journey alone...God cares for you and has extended His grace to each of us.
This grace (i.e. unmerited favor) isn't something that we earn. God freely gives it to us because He loves us! (Remember that!)
Whatever it is you want to accomplish, whatever it is you are struggling with, whatever is it you need to overcome, no matter how big or small...
You Got This!
And even if you don't always feel like it, God's got it, therefore you can access it! Receive His grace and move forward in purpose!
Live outside the box. Live in purpose. Live on purpose.
Peace. Blessings. Love.