You don’t have to be the strong one! Will you take a moment and let those words penetrate your soul? Your tough exterior? Your feeling of overwhelm?
A reader contacted me recently to thank me for a post. As a writer, nothing delights my soul quite the way a comment does which reminds me how He will use our humble offerings of obedience to help others and bring Him glory. Her comment reminded me that even in my writing efforts, I don’t have to be the strong one “making things happen.” That’s up to Him. But I see time after time when He does.
That’s who I write to…my audience of One. First for my Savior, but also for that one reader who longs to know someone else understands, and needs a gentle nudge back to the loving arms of our Heavenly Father.
This reader said, “I have read so many times how God is there for me and is my strength, but they were just words. In this single post I’ve realized I DON’T HAVE TO BE THE STRONG ONE ANYMORE! God is the strength in me and His strength is sufficient.”
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness”
(2 Corinthians 12:9).
Where are you right now?
Are you trying to carry the load?
To be strong for others?
To not let others see your weakness?
During this period of my life, I was under a heavy weight: Juggling more in a day than I had time for in a week; burdened by the emotional needs of many close to me; seeing patients; rallying the troops at home for our new season of life together. Repeatedly I felt like I was falling short and the pain of my own heart continued to sting.
One particular evening when my heart literally hurt under the weight of it all, it felt like I had crossed over into the land of “I can’t do this anymore.”
Have you ever been there?
A friend texted a brief message that was not an uncommon exchange between us, just wondering how I was. My answer was a nondescript, “I’m ok.” Probably the lack of words was what tipped her off that there was really more beneath the surface, and she probed a little deeper.
When she asked, “How did I not know?” my response was to put up my protective shield. Not just to protect me, but to protect her.
She hadn’t known because I hadn’t told her of my pain. I was trying to be her supportive friend and not add to the weight of her own feelings of overwhelm. In my mind, my own needs could wait to be shared for a time that it wouldn’t add to her burden.
Yet in the meantime, my grief and sorrow at my current situation grew and I could no longer be a model of strength. The tears began to flow, as my pillow caught each one.
I quietly whispered, “Father, I can’t do this. It’s too heavy, and I’m too weak. I need you to be my strength.”
Please hear me: You don’t have to be the strong one.
That’s God’s job. What we have to do is trust Him, open our hands, and say “thank you, can I have some more?”
He promises to be our shelter, our strong tower, the cleft of the rock, and the wings under which we run. He says in so many different ways, He desires to be our strength.
This is where you can take your unfinished to do list and offer it up to Him.
This is where you can honestly reveal your feelings of inadequacy.
This is where you can safely whisper, I can’t do it.
Children will frequently attempt to be self-sufficient. I remember asking my toddler if I could help him with carrying a load that was too heavy and too awkward for him to tote, only to hear “I do it, myself!”
But when he fell down, or got hurt, the first thing he would do was run to me to pick him up and carry him to a place of safety, comfort, and healing. Oh how we could have saved many a scraped knee, scratched elbow, or bloodied lip if he had let me be the strong one for him when he insisted on carrying loads too big for him to handle alone.
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7).
When you’re feeling as if the weight of the world is resting on your shoulders, stand on these 3 scriptures:
- It’s OK if you’re weak; He wants to be your strength. “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”” 2 Corinthians 12:9
- God is your strength and your shield. “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trust in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.” Psalm 28:7
- He is your rock, your fortress and deliverer. “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2
You don’t have to be the strong one.
Will you, as one reader did, let these words penetrate your heart and be more than just words on a page? Will you lift your hands and give Him the load that you were never meant to carry alone, and let Him be the strong one? You don’t have to be the strong one.
This was a reminder I really needed today. I started chuckling to myself while I was reading it and thinking back 2 or 3 years ago when people kept telling me how strong I was and I told one of my close friends that the next time someone told me that, I was just going to melt down on them. 🙂
Well I chuckled at your chuckle…I’ve been there. Keeping it together in all the right places but breaking inside. What a relief to know I don’t HAVE to be the strong one! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Thank you so much for this. I needed this!!!
I’m so glad, Sue! I pray He brings it to your remembrance whenever you need it. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Thank you. I have just had a similar talk with my Dr, as I am a full time Carer for my disabled husband. I was brought up in an era when one never gave way, just got on with things, however hard, and I find it very difficult to admit that maybe I am not as strong as I think.
Barbara, I think many of us were brought up in homes where much was expected, and being less than perfect wasn’t acceptable. But the TRUTH is, God longs to be our source of strength. It’s ok to not be as strong as you think…His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Because of Him, #HopePrevails.
I’m definitely one of those people who think they can do it all–but Jesus keep gently leading me and revealing to me that I can’t. I don’t need to. I was never meant to. He suffered in all ways so that I don’t have to.
Anita, that’s a lesson He’s been teaching me as well. I used to think I could do it all. Used to try to do it all. Used to think I had to do it all. Now I realize I wasn’t ever meant to…Jesus paid the price, and He wants to be the strength in my weakness. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
I love that we are neighbors today… and I love the truth here that I don’t need to be the strong one! I am finding that It’s really when I am willing to be weak, that His strengths pours out… and His Joy rushes in… and it’s His Joy that is our (true) strength anyway!
Hi Karrilee!! I love seeing you here! You’re so right about our willingness to be weak being a gateway for His JOY which is our strength! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Thank you so much Michelle for linking up at #LifeGivingLinkup
Always a pleasure, Sue. Even more of a pleasure to see you in person. Good to see you at CWIMA! #HopePrevails!
I love your message “you don’t have to be the strong one” – a big amen! When I worked as an RN, I found myself tending towards a mentality of bearing the burdens of others, it was a huge load! And, it harmed my health. I am learning to let God be God, me just me, and it is a huge, sweet relief. Thanks for this message.
I think that’s pretty common for a lot of women Sandra, especially for nurses. I’m glad you’re allowing yourself to trust Him to handle others so you don’t pick up that burden. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
I used to be one of those strong ones. I could do it all. Now? I’m on the other side of the fence and I do.not.like.it! But whichever side of strength you’re standing on, God still IS your strength! I’m so grateful for that! Thanks for your story – it helps us remember we’re not alone!
God is our strength is key! But He’s such a gentleman than we must choose to let Him be the strong one. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
I am always the strong one. As the head of my family it’s my job but I have found over the past few years that it’s ok to let that guard down. Unfortunately I have learned through holding it all in but it’s easier now to let out the frustrations and sadness whatever the case may be. Thanks for sharing
I understand the stress and the weight on the head of the family. But I also know that He wants to be our strength. He says to cast our cares on Him…He wants to carry them for us. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
This is a wonderful post! I think everyone needs to take this more to heart especially myself. Thank you so much for sharing on That Friday Blog Hop. Have a great day 🙂
I’m thrilled to hear it encouraged you today. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Amen! These are words I need to hear often, I have always taken on the role of the strong one as a single mom and just because that is my nature. I am learning to be mover vulnerable and honest with others to help myself and others realize that I am not strong and I need them. Great words. Thank you for sharing this at Weekend Whispers.
I always love seeing your name and beautiful photo in my comments, Mary! Your comments encourage me to continue writing the things He puts on my heart. I pray you will remember this post when you’re tempted to pick up the weight of the world again. Instead, give it to Him. He longs to carry it for you. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Good morning, dear Dr. Michelle! I feel like I haven’t been by in ages….how have you been? I hope you are enjoying the autumn-like days.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful post with Roses of Inspiration. These are words that greatly encouraged my heart and were a gentle reminder that God is indeed my strength and He will carry me through all things. What a blessing and joy to have such a precious Heavenly Father!
Blessings to you, my friend! I hope you’re able to join us again this week at Roses of Inspiration. Hugs!
I’ve missed you Stephanie! Glad to see you stopping by. Thanks for the kind encouragement! Blessings!
This is such a lovely post. Thankyou for sharing it with us at #HomeMattersParty.
Thank you Sonja. I’m glad you stopped by.
Thanks for sharing with us at #JoyHopeLive!
Thank you for these gentle loving words. I needed this reminder because lately I have been trying to do everything on my own strength. I’ve been feeling worn out and drained to the point of not wanting to do anything. Now I’m behind on everything because I just couldn’t go.
Thank you for linking up on #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup. I hope you’ll join us at 8PM EST today.
Crystal, I’m glad these words ministered to you today. Isn’t God wonderful to provide us just the right word at the right time? He not only does that but He meets all our needs. May you experience His provision in greater measure. Because of Him, #HopePrevails.
Goodness, this really helps me. I have always felt like I had to be the strong one and if anything went wrong, it was my fault in some way because I messed up and wasn’t strong. I was that way as the oldest child with siblings 6 and 8 years younger. I had to help care for them. I was really protective too. Even as they grew and I grew, I still believed I had to be strong to hold everything together. I am so glad to hear I don’t have to. I knew Jesus as Savior back then but I didn’t know that He would be my strength, my protector, my deliverer, and my rock. I am so thankful I know it now for I sure do need His strength in these days. Thank you so much, Michelle!!
These are always encouraging words to hear: we don’t have to be the strong ones! I’m so grateful. I used to think I was the strong one, but eventually we all discover that we are NOT. And thank God we don’t have to be.