October 27, 2012

Soapbox Saturday - Real Strength

I've been thinking a lot about strength during the last year of my life.  I've come to some conclusions that I wanted to write down - if nothing else for my own benefit.  Sometimes when we think of strength, our mind goes here.


We think of armor.  We think of having no weakness.  We think of unyielding will.  We think of independence.  We think of being undefeated.

But, the older I get the more I realize that none of that is true strength in my opinion.  I believe that true strength doesn't mean having no weakness.  I think it means recognizing your weaknesses and being able to admit them.  It means putting them out there and then mustering the courage to overcome them.  I think strength isn't dressed in hard armor, but rather flexibility and love.  I think that at times when we try to protect ourselves from pain we actually blind ourselves, much like wearing the helmet above.

I think that true strength isn't independence, but rather having the guts to ask for help without fear of looking weak.  If we were meant to do it all on our own, perhaps God would have sent us each to our own separate earths.  He didn't.  He knew we would need one another.

And when I lay this all out....I realize that I'm not really as strong as I might have thought when I was younger.  I still have a long way to go, but I do see where I want to go.

The imagery of my new kind of strength is a bit different.  She wears no armor.  She has flaws, but she knows them and can even freely admit them to others - encouraging others along the way.  She has battled her own stubbornness and given her will to God.  She asks for help.  She loves easily and gives freely - with no worry of being taken advantage of.  She has been defeated many times, but she rises.  Some might see her as vulnerable, but she knows joy to the core.  She allows herself to feel deeply.  She is grateful.  She is strong.

That's the kind of strong I want to be.

Thanks for reading.

12 comments:

Saunders Family said...

You are amazing. So was this post.

Palak said...

This is a wonderful post!

Zoë said...

Hi! I cannot recommend "The Knight in the Rusty Armour" strongly enough! It's a beautiful tale of a knight who never takes his armour off as he thinks that will make him stronger, but over time his relationships suffer and he must go on a quest to find himself underneath the armour, and discover what true strength is. I don't think I made it sound very interesting with that description, sorry, but he reaches pretty much the same conclusions you did!
I'm not sure if the English version reads well, but in Spanish class it was one of our set texts and we all enjoyed it. I think it was originally written for children, although the message resonates so well with adults too, so maybe it could be bedtime reading for the family?
Thanks for a lovely post, have fun with your new strength!

Elaine said...

Oh Cheri--- all I can say is THANK YOU. For posting this TODAY- thank YOU.

Courtney @ Ordinary Happily Ever After said...

Thanks for this! I totally agree. You inspired me to write my own post on what strength really means. Specifically what it means to be a strong woman

http://ordinaryhappilyeverafter.com/blog/2012/10/strength/

Unknown said...

Beautiful Cheri!

Jodi said...

Inspiring and thoughtful. Thanks. I can almost hear the music that would go with those thoughts...

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

that's the kind I want to be too! Taping that last paragraph to my mirror!

Jenny said...

Amazing, amazing, amazing! You are so right on. Being strong doesn't mean nothing gets to us; it means that we continue on (no matter how slowly or painfully) when it does.

Unknown said...

Agreed! Beautifully worded, thanks for sharing.

Erika said...

Excellent. I was thinking about something similar recently. Yes, yes, yes.

Leigh Anne said...

Soooo very true! Love your thoughts on strength. That's the kind of woman I wanna be too!

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