May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.
I found myself thinking about asking to be made strong. As a young woman I did not realize the importance of strength. Instead I think my prayers were about being nice, kind, smart, loving and loved. I don't know that I was as aware as I am now of the need to be strong.
And that strength takes a lot of different forms.
- We need strength to hang in there during the tragedies of life
- we need strength to combat the various addictions and temptations that lure us throughout our lives
- we need strength to do the things that need to be done every day
- we need strength to speak our truth even when it is uncomfortable
I do find that often people mistake stoicism for strength. After a death I have heard both men and women talk about the need to be "strong" which they often translate to not expressing their raw emotions. I don't think that is strength. In fact, in this culture we live in we at times have to be strong enough to honor our emotions and not ignore them for the sake of others.
This morning I watched a news story about the statue of the fearless girl that is supposedly staring down Wall Street's statue of the bull. The strength we have is not without fear - it is despite fear. You certainly can make a case for the fact that we had less fear as children and more possible fears now as we have experienced illness, failures and accidents.
What I know for sure is that there is a strength that comes - not from my will power - but that I think can only come from God. I have experienced it often in times of trauma and when I felt like I just could not do whatever was ahead of me. Not to be simplistic - life IS hard - but God has given me words, energy and power when I felt most weak. That is my testimony today. :)
So my mantra: May I be made strong with the strength that comes from God
Here is a poem by Stephanie Kaza called "Letting Go"
Let go of the place that holds,
let go of the place that flinches,
let go of the place that controls,
Let go of the place that fears.
Just let the ground support me.
Listen, the wind is breathing in the trees.
Sensing the edge of soft and hard.
I follow the unseen path
Walking in the dark night.
I practice faith,
Building confidence in the unknown.
Walking in the dark night,
I practice courage,
accepting the vastness
of what I cannot see.