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The Many Faces of Strength

11:05 AM

“Strength has many faces,” I told my son last night. I’m mindful of how I speak to him about being strong, I’m careful to explain to him the varied ways strength can look and the many opportunities that present themselves for strength to be exercised.

Sometimes being strong requires us to soften our grip.

It takes strength to practice humility. The road to humblenesscan be rough.

It takes strength to serve and require or ask for nothing inreturn.

There is strength in being gentle.

 

It takes strength to love when everything in us is screaming notto love but to put up a wall of defense that keeps the challengesthat will bring us to deeper love, out.

It takes strength to love, even when loving requires us to walkaway.

Compassion and forgiveness can take a lot of strength, too. It’s easier, though, when no judgment surrounds who deserves it and who doesn’t; we all deserve it.

It takes strength to admit when we are wrong yet stand inside of a mistake or bad decision with our heads high.

It takes strength to want to look at our wounds … and heal them.

It takes strength to love when everything in us is urging us to turn our backs.

It takes strength to let go and be in God’s flow.

It takes strength to trust and live life by the ways of the Spirit and not the world.

It takes strength to stand up and fight the invisible war constantly raging, which tries to rob us of peace and happiness — our rightful position in God’s light.

 

It takes strength to allow others, those whom we trust and are walking in God’s truth, to sharpen us. Sharpening can come in the form of hard, real conversations, ones that challenge our perspectives or provide us with loving,

gentle correction. Conversations that provide the friction necessary to smooth out the rough places in our hearts and minds.

 

It takes strength to say “no” when our automatic is “yes, no problem.”

It requires strength to walk away from pleasing people and exchange it for dealing with others in a balanced way, through deep honesty, which lends itself to the good of all involved. This way won’t always be easy, but it’s the way that will yield what’s in the highest good for everyone.

It takes strength to fall completely apart, to admit we are tired and scared, afraid and empty.

It takes strength to wait, to surrender, to release our grasp on things that are temporary, and to cling to something certain: God.

 

Having patience oftentimes takes more strength than rushing into a battle.

It takes strength and courage to not respond, to remember who we are when we feel like our character has been assaulted, or when we have been triggered, realizing in that moment of offense that we are being tested by the dark, invisible force attempting to gain ground on the light inside us.

It takes strength to pause, to breathe, to leave the routines of everyday life, and to relax in the power of Spirit.

 

It takes strength to choose a path that may be different than what everyone else is traveling.

It takes strength to know when to move forward.

It takes strength to know when to lay down the defense and take up our offense.

It takes strength to allow ourselves to be transformed. It takes strength to make changes.

It takes strength to walk in authenticity — to be real, to be true to ourselves, always.

It takes strength to be patient, to wait for the kinks to be worked out as we are being trained in love and growing into a deeper awareness of who we are.

 

It takes strength to stay in a posture of trust when it seems everyone else’s dreams are coming to pass. And even when we see some of our ideas happening right before our eyes, it takes strength to wait for our appointed time.

 

It takes strength to be kind and gentle in the face of hatred and anger.

To live humbly in that knowing takes strength.

James Baldwin said it takes strength to remember, it takes another kind of strength to forget, and it takes a hero to do both. Do both.

 

It takes strength to tell our resentment — the years of pain and need for retaliation — that it has no place in our heart. It takes strength to let go of grudges and grievances. Again, it takes strength to love anyway.

It takes strength not to condemn others, to place judgment aside, and to see the things that others do as their own path, their own steps to move them to greater and deeper love.

It takes strength to learn the lessons with our heads held high and in gratefulness.

 

It takes strength to acknowledge and live according to the truth that the Author of Love created us, and as His image and in His power we give His love to others.

It takes strength to know that no matter how flawed we might be, we are still love at our core.

It takes strength to realize when we are being resistant, and to let the resistance go.

It takes strength to fall or stumble into the strategies and antics of darkness and then get back up again, grateful for the gift of the fall that revealed what is still there that can easily sway us away from the light.

 

It takes strength to allow our human vessel to be cleansed of all things that prohibit us from feeling God’s love inhabit every space inside of us.

It takes strength to realize it’s time to change and then do it.

It takes strength to have those inner conversations with ourselves that hold no punches.

It takes strength to stay true to who you are, always.

 

It takes strength to stand in our humanness, admit our weaknesses, and let God’s perfect strength make us strong.

Words by Marquita Moore

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