On Being Strong

Sitting here in my airplane seat, 30,000 feet above the earth, I don’t know if it’s the actual closer proximity to God, or the thinning of oxygen in the air, but for the first time in a week, I am able to breathe. Able to think. Able to remove myself from the whirlpool of emotion and chaos at home and literally take a look from the outside in.

And for the first time all week, I have just been able to let the tears flow. Not caring about the onlookers, or the corner-of-their-eye-peekers. Now is the first time when I’ve been able to slouch my spine and not be strong.

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There’s a surge that comes over your body during times of distress. My mind is remembering the verse about the Holy Spirit interceding for us when we don’t know how to pray with wordless groans – and forgive me, I’m too exhausted to scour the online bibles to get the exact verse, but just trust me on this one.

Because not only do I know it’s in there…but I’ve lived it.

I’ve experienced it. First hand.

I think if we’re all being honest with ourselves…I mean, really, painfully honest…our faith life can ebb and flow. We can be really on fire, or sometimes just lukewarm. Maybe that makes me a bad Christian. But hey, coming from the young woman unabashedly crying right now in public (and in front of a cute guy, I might add)…I clearly have no shame right now. No dignity to lose.

All it takes is one life altering event, and there you are, face down in the dust, grasping for the coattails of Jesus’ robe.

Something happens. And I don’t know how to describe it, but over the past few difficult days here, I have never felt so close to God. Have I been scared? Yes…shitless. Have I been sad? Angry? Confused? Discouraged? Exhausted? Panicked? Shocked? Heart broken? Yes…all of the above.

But somehow, someway, I have gotten through it. I have been strong. I have done the next right thing, said what needs to be said, offered support and comfort and love. All while I’m falling apart on the inside.

But I’ve been upheld.

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And in fact, I’ve been drawn closer to the Father.

By none of my doing, I might add.

I think you all know by now the struggle I’ve battled with feeling worthy. After my anorexia, believing and claiming my self worth has been a constant battle. And sometimes, that even extends to my faith – I often don’t feel worthy to lift my face to Jesus and pray. I go to church, but I’ll feel as though I don’t deserve to even be in His presence. That I’m a phony. A hypocrite.

This week, though I still feel that in my mind, it’s like Jesus is working the master command and has done a manual override on those thoughts and feelings. He has just been carrying me through this time, without my asking, without my awareness. He’s getting me through, minute to minute.

For the first time in a long time, I felt that freedom of prayer from an unstained heart. I prayed, and I wasn’t being suppressed by the internal dialogue of conviction and unworthiness.

I was whispering directly into the ear of the Father.

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I don’t know, this post is now pretty….well, it’s out there. I blame Delta for slipping me a roofie in my club soda.

There are times in life when we are strong. And times in life when we need someone to be strong for us. And then, there are those rare occasions where being strong is the only option, regardless of how we may be. And it is in those rare moments that if we take a second to recognize, we realize that our strength is coming entirely from an outside entity. And maybe, if we concentrate hard enough, we’d realize that we’re actually not standing at all…but being held.

Everyone’s had that experience of caring for an intoxicated friend. You get them dressed for bed, help them brush their teeth/take off makeup/wash their face/get them a glass of water and a trash can by their nightstand…you literally do everything for them. And then leave. And they wake up in the morning, not knowing how they got all safe and sound in their bed, completely taken care of. Well, that’s what God’s done with me.

He doesn’t ask. He just does. Steps in.

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Going forward, things will be challenging. New. Uncharted territory. But I’m grateful to have wonderful friends like you along for every step of the way.

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BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

330 thoughts on “On Being Strong

  1. Hi, my friend. I just wanted you to know that you have been in my thoughts, in my heart, and in my prayers. You don’t have to always be strong, or always keep up a stalwart facade. It’s ok to let down the defenses and be vulnerable. I know that you do that through your blog, and I greatly admire you for that. But there is absolutely no shame in showing our cracks and imperfections to our family, friends, or even strangers. It doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human, and it makes you approachable! Because, we’ve ALL been there. A person who is judging you for not being “strong enough” or not being able to “hold it together” is a person who isn’t comfortable with his or her own limitations and vulnerabilities. There is no shame in what you describe! In fact, I think it is a phenomenal strength to know your weaknesses and to be able to give them over to Him. What a grace!

    The thing is, emotions and faith are NOT the same thing. When I find myself in really challenging situations the stretch me to my limit, I find myself anxious and doubting, wanting to know, control, and secure my future, and I start to question, “Where is my faith?!!! If only I had faith the size of a mustard seed, I wouldn’t feel this way!” Then, my priest explained to me that faith is KNOWING God is present, taking care of everything, working goodness for my ultimate salvation, and trusting in his mercy. “Feeling has nothing to do with it,” he said. I can’t tell you how liberating that was to hear! The emotions are normal and ok, and Jesus understands because he experienced them, too!

    When we get to heaven, I think we will be rendered speechless when we realize just how much our Lord did carry us. I am sure that he is carrying you now, as He has carried you in the past, and He will never let you go. Even if we forget Him and turn away, He will never forget us. This post of yours is a powerful one. I can’t imagine what you must be going through right now, but whatever it is, my heart is with you. Sending so much love! xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My dear friend, Lulu. 🙂 thank you so much for this beautiful note. I am just so grateful to have you in my life! You’re always there with a smile and a word of encouragement. And wow, what powerful words. This is such a great perspective. Because you’re absolutely right — He *does* carry us. All day, every day. Because he loves us so fiercely. And amen to that – emotion and feeling has nothing to do with faith — it doesn’t matter how we *feel* because God is good *no matter how we feel. * and that’s a beautiful thing. Thanks again for always being so wonderful. You are awesome! Massive hugs to you! ❤💜❤💜❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Massive hugs back to you. He is carrying us every day, guiding our feet least we stumble, making straight our paths (even when they feel tortuously crooked and rock strewn). At times like these, I imagine the entire communion of Saints and company of angels surrounding me, praying for me, and ushering me onward. It’s real. One of the local priests was giving a homily about Mary a few weeks ago and he said that when we pray to her, “She comes running, in her tennis shoes, with her veil flapping behind her.” xoxoxo

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  2. Lovely post. Footprints in the sand and Jesus carrying me when I was too weak to walk came to mind, and as we are being strong and feeling the great comfort that comes from God, isn’t it wonderful to know that in times of our weakness (and there are plenty of them for me) Jesus is there to carry us. May Jesus truly be with you always. Have a great 2017. Blessings and Happiness.

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  3. Wondreful to find that there is someone else like me, who has the same feelings of unworthiness and sometimes lacks self esteem, like me. Consider the words of the parable that Jesus spoke about the Publican and the Pharisee in Luke 18, especially verse 13: “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.”

    One thing in this year of 2017 I don’t want you to do: Don’t feel special like you’re the only one (lol). We’re all in the same boat and in that boat is the Savior. We’ll make it to shore. I look forward to your posts this year, God willing. You are truly a part of my prayers. Make me a part of yours, too.

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    1. Thank you so much for this thoughtful reflection. I’m glad it resonated with you. Oh wow what a powerful story. Haha it’s true. We’re all in this together 🙂 it’s. Ice to know we’re on the same team. Thanks for the prayers. Hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This post had been sitting in my inbox, yet every time I went in there to clean things up, I couldn’t delete it. I’ve read your blogs before, I relate to your story, your thoughts, and your life’s situations.

    I finally read it this morning. Your honesty is so refreshing. Your connection and awareness to your emotions is beautiful! Keep on keepin on.


    Nik

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  5. Even without knowing your “family emergency,” and without really knowing you apart from your beauty-filled words, I am praying for you. You have a good God. He will never let go. And He will set you on your feet in the new territory. His love never fails.

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    1. Hi Karen, oh gosh, thank you so much. your prayers truly mean the world right now. I will share more about my situation as soon as I get the green light, but for now, it’s not really my story to share. But i will as soon as i can 🙂 Thank you for the beuaitufl encouragement. Amen to that – His love NEVER ever ever fails. big hugs to you xox

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I was led to believe, or perhaps more accurately took it upon myself to believe, that our faith life is represented by a line moving to the right and ever upward as we grow in faith.

    What life experience and reality have taught me, and it is okay to admit, is that for most everyone I know who will be honest about it, our faith life looks much more like a roller coaster. Ups and downs, ebbs and flows, anger and joy, it’s all mixed up into it. Your description is spot on and I for one do not think it makes you or anyone else a bad Christian to experience this bit of truth. Thanks for your honesty.

    Sometimes it is hard to define prayer. I have a blogged sermon from earlier this year talking about prayer. You might find it interesting https://lancerferguson.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/prayer-you-keep-using-that-word/

    As always, thanks for the great writing and strong witness!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lance, thank you so much for this thoughtful response. That’s such a powerful visual…you’re right, our faith -and life for that matter – is never just a straight line. it’s a roller coaster for sure. I appreciate the encouragement. And I can’t wait to check out your sermon! Sounds like it’s pretty powerful! big hugs xox

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Frick Writes: A Mind Body Soul Journey and commented:
    Have you hit a moment in your life where your body and spirit feel so disconneded?! It’s ok! God will meet you there and guide you to wholeness!

    Once again I want to share this amazing bloggers words during my sabbatical!
    As usual remember to sit…pray…journal always!
    Blessings and hugs dear readers….family….friends….
    Kelly 🙂

    Like

  8. „I think you all know by now the struggle I’ve battled with feeling worthy. After my anorexia, believing and claiming my self worth has been a constant battle. And sometimes, that even extends to my faith – I often don’t feel worthy to lift my face to Jesus and pray. I go to church, but I’ll feel as though I don’t deserve to even be in His presence. That I’m a phony. A hypocrite.“

    Yes, it is called „the ego“. „Ego“ means: Edging God Out. 🙂 The ego often acts like a hypocrite. That’s OK. When you realize that the hypocrite is at the helm, you can remember your True Self, the beloved and holy child of God. Don’t repress or deny the inner fear, darkness, anger, grief, pain or feelings of guilt. Only when you are ready to look upon it all, you can release it. Isn’t this the true meaning of forgiveness? Releasing everything that is not love.

    Blessings to you,
    Mark

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  9. Thanks for sharing your story. The message in it really resonates with me. Family emergencies are always really hard. Sorry that you’re experiencing difficult times. Speaking from experience, hang in there! 🙂 Sending prayers and good thoughts!

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  10. My dear friend,

    It is always good to be honest to ourselves, to others and in front of God. If we feel us very close to God in certain moments, sometimes moments of weakness or humility, then it is a good way to see our ego becoming smaller and we feel helpless. However, there is only One, one Doer in the whole creation – it is the ocean of life, of consciousness beyond time and space rolling out its waves of deeds: a short time ago I wrote: The shadow thinks it is moving, but it is the light that moves the shadow… Each of us has a wonderful temple in us – the temple of God – if we pray from our heart, not like an automatic prayer, but with the tongue of our thoughts, with the sweetness of our heart – then you can be sure that this prayer is heard by our Father. Often it may happen that we make a show in front of ourselves then we are not honest to ourselves. but when we do as we are and even let our tears roll down our cheeks – no matter if we are alone in this moment or if there are some people around us – main thing is then: we are honest to ourselves – we don’t put a mask on, we don’t make a show.

    In this sense I want to encourage you – to be as you are like a natural person. And I like that you can be as you are as written in your words. Thanks, dear friend, for your sincerity and your open heart 🙂

    All what is good for your soul
    Didi(Artist)

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  11. Hits very close to home…i hope you find the strength… Very relatable and yes crying in public is sth people dont do out of choice…it happens…been there done that… 🙂
    ps I hope your mom is doing better now hun

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  12. This is so uplifting! And I feel so much better after reading this. You’re an inspiration to many out there going through heartache. Thank you for this ❤️️

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  13. Amazing. No matter how we would like to be in control, there are things deep down within our heart which may point to weakness but these weaknesses do bring us face down before Jesus. Thank God He’s never on the lookout for our shortcomings. Its awesome to not have full control over everything and to have weaknesses because it makes Jesus that much more relevant. Yay to God for that. 😄

    Like

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