Accept Your Weakness

Imagine someone with a bad knee injury. They can barely drag their leg along behind them, and yet they refuse to use crutches or even wrap their knee. It's obvious to anyone and everyone watching that the injury is getting worse day by day, since it has no time to rest - ever - but the injured person refuses to give into using crutches. Maybe they believe it would make no difference, or maybe they are worried people would start to notice their injury. Anybody would think someone who did that was stupid... 

... except we do that all the time. 

As human beings, we all like to cover up our weak spots, or pretend they don't exist, or make excuses to let the weaknesses sound less serious so we can be "more normal." The catch is, THAT DOESN'T WORK. Everyone's got stuff they have to deal with. Everyone had a childhood. Everyone's got fears, everyone's got mental and physical health (and thus some degree of illness, even if it's temporary). The fact is, there is no adequate cover for a weakness if that cover is used as a cloak. 

When we accept our weaknesses, we can start to actually work through them. Realizing that I have to sleep a certain amount every night, even if there is somewhere I would rather be, is the first step to being fully present while I'm out and about. Realizing that you are afraid of close relationships because of bullying in junior high is the first step to really investing in a friendship (maybe for the first time). Using crutches is one of the first steps to your knee healing. 

This is the big secret: accepting a weakness is the first step to making it a functional strength. Let's go back to the sleep example. There will probably never come a time when I can stay up like the average twenty year old and not pay the price. However, I noticed in college that I am a lot less likely to be a zombie than my classmates, because for me, that weakness makes staying up a non-option. My restedness was a functional strength. I struggle with depression, but I can also spot it in others, and when I do, I can speak with conviction and compassion, and what I say ministers to me as well. It's a functional strength, even though I know it's a part of me I have doctor and monitor. 

Accept your weaknesses. There's nothing to hate about having a weak spot. You are a wonderful, fearfully made work of art, but you are also imperfect. Those imperfections are potential areas for the kind of growth that makes a real difference. What really counts in the end is how we deal with our weaknesses, how we allow God to fill the gaps, and how well we nurtured ourselves in those areas. That's what matters. And I want to live my life for what actually matters, even if that means I'll be using crutches for a while. Someday, I will stand strong.