This I Believe

Kimberly - Lynchburg, Virginia
Entered on December 10, 2006

This I Believe: There is Strength in Weakness

I believe that you will only begin to find yourself when you have no idea where to begin. Most people say that strength is good and weakness is bad. The truth is that crying is as much a part of living as hurting is a part of healing. But where do you draw the line between grief and utter despair? The suffocating feeling of hurt touches every part of your being. Some people feel as if their entire lives will be comprised of nothing but pain and heartache. Instead of stepping back from the despondency of life, too many of us search for answers in all the wrong places. Pride can be a bitter pill to swallow but it was over Thanksgiving break this year that I learned to be thankful for what I was about to lose.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving my friend told me he was done waiting on life, intoxicated with emptiness and sorrow. He was calling to say good-bye so that he could swallow pain killers until he could no longer feel anything. The question of what you would say to a friend if you knew it would be your last night together seized my thoughts that night. The act of suicide was no longer a distant and rare occurrence. However, it is amazing how fast the mind begins to conjure up typical self-righteous responses. Some might wonder why humility had been an issue that night but I began to feel the shame and guilt associated with admitting that you do not have it all together. All he kept repeating was, “Why me? What is left to live for? Give me just one thing to live for, and I won’t do it.”

For once, I could not wrap my answers in a neat little box. I also knew with a certainty that if I could not find some way to keep him talking, I would indefinitely lose my friend. I became painfully aware that I was not an experienced pastor, wise professor or an accomplished psychologist by any means. Even so, I felt a tangible presence that night as if Someone were guiding me. I experienced what it meant to be held.

My words alone had no power in and of themselves but there is no doubt in my mind that God blessed my broken road despite my lack of degrees, confidence, and experience. I knew that nothing short of the grace and mercy of God pulled me through just as I am equally convinced that only reading His Word aloud had the power to keep my best friend from killing himself. I believe that the cry of our hearts is not for people to apologize for our agony but that they will embrace that we are weak and accept us in our brokenness nonetheless. Dios nostros refugium de u tor. God is our refuge and strength. Because I had no idea where to begin, I was blessed and ultimately, liberated, in my own weakness.