Colorado saw a cold front last week for the first time this year. A really cold snap that nearly snapped me. Between ridiculously early kid wake-ups and mostly being confined indoors, it made for marathon-long days. The Shoebox felt even smaller than usual. The kids, even crazier than usual. Me, weaker than usual.
I’m usually not weak. I can keep up with the ruckus of needy days and can handle the workload of house chores and try to manage relationships on top of my daily duties. At least that’s what I tell myself. I don’t always juggle the hard little moments of life all that gracefully, me in my own ‘strength’.
In fact I am realizing how weak I truly am. I feel like I am headed into a season of weakness, of embracing emotional and physical weakness for a very specific purpose:
“…“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
It is backwards, like much of the kingdom Jesus introduced. The first, last (Mark 9:35). The greatest, the servant (Matthew 23:11). The weakest, strongest.
The Shoebox is like that; here in this smallest home we often feel like we live the largest. The most intentional. The most free. The most reaching out and looking outside our house to others’ needs. The most stretching for the most growing.
Growth doesn’t happen without a little pain though. Sometimes we feel out of our comfort zone here, even after over four years. Muscle strengthening doesn’t come without a period of weakness, when the fibers are fatigued and spent to their limit.
I know that feeling of being pulled and worked and stretched to the end of me. It feels weak.
So I enter a time of welcoming weakness. Of celebrating my limit so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Not for my glory, but so God’s awesomeness would truly be evident to all.
The truth is, friends, that big decisions make me weak. (You know, like choosing and buying a house.) Having three gorgeous, healthy children ages four and under makes me weak. Trying to keep a tiny home tidy and the constant carousal of the kitchen makes me weak.
But God takes my weakness and weaves it into His strength. People say “Oh you’re so brave” or “I don’t know how you do it” and the answer is God. His strength meets my weakness and overtakes it to spur growth and trust and beauty and might.
I am only weak, but it is here that His power is perfected. In His compassion Christ reaches to my weakness and is strength to me.
So I will claim weakness in all of this so that —I hope—the only thing left to see in Evelyn is the grace of a good God who cares enough to carry me through on His strength.