One of the things that Phyllis has to do in order to go on the Mission Trip to Columbia is to rank herself in the following characteristics. I started to think about how I would rank myself.
Here they are:
And then I started thinking about a conversation I had with a friend of mine yesterday. He said that one of my worst qualities (because I'm a woman) is that I am strong. Also, I have a strong personality. Funny, I never really think of myself as strong. I often think of myself as weak. I just sometimes put on the front of being strong. Sure, I deal with a lot of stuff. That's because I have to. I'm not strong, I perservere.
Perservere: : to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement
Middle English, from Anglo-French parseverer, from Latin perseverare, from per- through + severus severe
To go through something severe. Sometimes the story of my life. Many times the story of my life. Sometimes I just think it's stupidity. Just keep on trudging through. I don't always see that as a strength, I think it's sometimes a weakness. I've changed my way of thinking lately. I don't do it all on my own anymore. I think about things a lot more now and how they should be dealt with before I trudge through. I seek wisdom.
The Alive Band has a song they wrote.
I can't live by my own strength anymore.
I won't be the same
You've drawn me near
You know my name.
I won't be the same
You've washed my heart
You took the blame.
To be crushed and wounded
Hung on a tree
You gave Your Son
He suffered, died, so that I could be free
You are the source
Of hope and peace and salvation
You are my source
And into Your arms I will run
Saved my life
My Soul Sings Hallelujuh
This song has been radiating in my heart. Into Your arms I will run.
I keep on going, I perservere. I go through something severe. Sometimes it's not really severe. Sometimes I make it severe. That's not strength, that's weakness.
Sometimes I put up walls so that no one can get in. That's that strong personality. Make people think you're strong so that they won't see that you're weak. The weak don't survive. That's not strength, that's weakness.
You know when I'm strong? When I let God use me. When I take the gifts that's He's given me, and I use them. I'm strong when I'm in Him. I'm strongest when I'm weak. I'm strong when I'm in constant surrender. When I say... "it's not about me". When I'm encouraging and loving. When I'm obedient. When I'm weak. I've heard it said "don't mistake my kindness for weakness". Kindness might be mistaken for a weak quality. Kindness by definition is "a kind deed". That's not weakness. God called us to love our neighbors as ourselves. That's not weakness. When someone needs a ride because their kids are sick, and you're obedient, that's not weakness, that's strength, because it's using a gift that God has given us. When you see someone hurting, a beautiful girl, who just needs to be held and loved, and you do, and you pray, and you cry with her. Crying, that's not weakness, that's strength. Crying out to be rescued, by only Him that can rescue. That's not weakness, that's strength.
I wonder, of those personality characteristics, which one do I think ranks up on my list of what I am: Perserverence. Thinking about it this way, would I say it's a strength or a weakness? I'm not really sure. I guess it depends on what I am perserving through, or rather, maybe it's who I am persevering to.
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a]have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we[c] also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.