Have you ever felt sadness that seemed overwhelming? It takes your breathe away to the point you don’t know if you can breathe the next breath. As a kid growing up I knew this sadness. When I was on the farm I’d run up the hill and off to the fields there so no one would hear me sob and scream not knowing what to do with all it meant. As I was in my teen years I learned to replace this sadness/helplessness with a strong determination that wouldn’t let the behaviors of my dad or brother penetrate it. I was stronger than their behaviors were.

As God has been working to let me know how to allow Him to be my strength rather than my own determination, I’ve had to recognize just how weak I am in my humanness. Yesterday I had a moment of this. My Oklahoma kids are not going to be able to come for Christmas. Also yesterday I was informed that I can no longer go to my schools until their counties are not in the red. These two messages hit at the heart of me–family and students/education. This morning as I was journaling to Jesus I couldn’t help but recall the feelings of my childhood being the only other time I’ve felt this level of sadness hitting me. The sadness seems to be wrapped into a helplessness which I can do nothing about.

As I asked Jesus what He wanted me to know for today, He prodded me to look at Him rather than at me. II Corinthians 12:10 says, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” When the sadness of yesterday hit me I wanted to immediately put up the shield I knew from childhood, but I found I couldn’t and shouldn’t. The news I’d received wasn’t abuse, it was a sad reality of today. It was then I could give it to Jesus asking Him to help me surrender me so I could be strong in His Love and Grace during this time.

Growing in Christ is not always an easy thing. In fact, it is quite difficult at times. Yet, the outcome of the commitment results in another lesson learned: When I am weak, then I can be strong.

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