I sat tonight and read through letter after letter, all recommendations written by my staff. A tribute they'd worked so diligently to compile as I prepare to wrap up my tenure as Career Center Director and transition to a new phase of my life and career. Accolades of my leadership, compliments of my encouragement, testimonies of inspiration. In their effort to share how I had impacted their lives over the last 4.5 years, I was overwhelmed by the impact they've all had on me and the realization that followed.
By this stage in my life I know a lot about who I am. No, I don't have it all figured out. I just mean I can look at you and tell you what I'm good at and what my limitations are. I can easily identify my strengths and weaknesses in relation to a situation (and not just the canned interview answer). I have a lot of vision and creativity but I'm keenly aware that the best ideas are worth nothing if there is no action plan.
As I read through their words of encouragement, I realized that where I thrive is helping people realize their potential and through doses of reality, criticism and encouragement, seeing them reach it.
But if I'm being honest (you know me...) then I must admit my failures and flaws. No, this is not me seeking an empty compliment or needing affirmation about an area of insecurity. This is me digging down deep and realizing even at my strongest and best I am nothing more than inadequate.
It's humbling, really, and I don't mean that in the sense that I need to acknowledge my lowly state. But when you're suddenly faced with the reality of someone or a circumstance pointing out your ugly flaw, you get hurt. Typically, defenses go up with impenetrable walls meant to shield from the darting arrows of truth that might seek to destroy the cover. Feeling the need to retaliate, the attack ensues.
You're insecure. Dart!
You're nothing. Dart!
You're incapable. Dart!
You're ___________ (Fill in the blank). Dart!
It's bloody. The wounds are deep, even deeper are the emotional scars that have been ripped open. You feel worthless and thoughts turn toward how you surely deserved the attack you have endured.
A weakness is the state of being weak, not strong, or lacking. But there's more to the definition. Just like a choc-o-holic says chocolate is her weakness, the weakness becomes the object of her desire.
This can be used for good...or for bad. If the object of your desire is something you shouldn't be seeking, then you must run. I don't mean just stay away. I mean take off clear in the other direction and get as far away as you can. Your weakness - "the sin" that so easily entangles - must become a matter of continual prayer and accountability to give it over to God.
But in acknowledging your point of failure, admitting your flaws, and seeking the Lord's power to perfect your weakness, the object of your desire becomes Him.
Is it easy? No. It's a daily - sometimes hourly or by-the-minute struggle. But through Him you too can be an overcomer and conqueror. Even in your weakness. You're going to fail. You're going to stumble. You're going to hurt. You're going to feel and be weak. You are. And now that you've admitted it, be ready to do something about it! Just remember, you're not alone. We're doing this together.