I had a tough September. I was feeling more Crohn’s symptoms than I had in a while.
On Labor Day I was invited to a party, but was fatigued and in terrible pain. Since I didn’t want to miss my friends I drove 25 minutes north of the city, sat on the floor and caught up with a few people, skipped the hors d’oeuvres, and got back in the car after about a half an hour. I was glad I’d done it, but I was ready to go home.
I spent the rest of the day on the couch.
The pain and exhaustion were never going to kill me. Can I say instead they made me stronger? I’m not sure. They made me rest.
There are convoluted ways to turn that into the definition of strength. For someone like me, whose drive to accomplishment often crosses the line into compulsion, perhaps the challenge of resting is in fact strength. Perhaps.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? I don’t know if that’s true. What I do know is that I do not need it to be true. We are called to more than strength.
There are times when strength is called for, and I am proud to say that I am strong at those moments. But when my weakness is revealed it does not diminish my personhood.
I am loved, and it is that love which defines my existence. My strength does not earn the caring gaze of God, and my weakness will not shame me into hiding from that gaze.
What is your take on these unavoidable moments of weakness?