His Power in my Weakness

December 13, 2015

"You are so strong."
"Your strength amazes me."
"I don't know how you have the strength...."

I've heard these comments a lot in the past 5 months.  I know that people mean well when they say it.  I just often don't know how to respond.  Most of the time I say an awkward semblance of a thank you, and then change the subject.

I don't feel strong.  I feel broken.  Incomplete.  Shattered.  Most of the time I think that if they had seen me earlier that morning, or just a moment ago when I was alone in my car...they probably wouldn't say those words to me.

In the past, I might have smiled at comments like this.  I might have felt proud of myself, or victorious in some way.  But there is something about having your entire life shatter around you....there is something about hitting complete & utter rock bottom that shreds every single possible thread of ego you might have once had.  Now I just realize how completely & utterly untrue those words are.

I am not strong.  I am weak.  If all of this had been left to me...I would have curled up into a ball the night that Ellie died and never unwound myself.  If it had been left up to me, I would have ceased to live the moment that her heart stopped beating.  I say that because alone, this is too much for me.   

There is a quote that says we are never given more than we can handle.  That, my friends, is total & utter crap.  I'm learning that God did not create us to handle this life on our own.  God created us to be in commune with Him.  To cast our cares and our burdens upon Him.  To rip open the death grip we have on our hurt & fear & anger and leave it at the foot of the cross, where we can look upon it and see redemption in it.

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10,
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I'm not where Paul was when he wrote that.  I do not delight in this.  I wish with every fiber of my being that my story was different.  That my baby girl was healthy & sleeping in my arms right now.  I can't listen to or sing the hymn "It is Well with My Soul", because well....it's just not.

I am not strong.  I am a woman that you see with tears rolling down her cheeks for no apparent reason.  It might be at church.  Or in a store.  Driving my car.  Pretty much anywhere can trigger that deep hurt & yearning I feel for my sweet Ellie.  But through those tears, I ask God to help me take just one step further.  And then another.  And another.  To help me get through the next second.. minute.... hour... day... whatever I need at that moment.

I am not strong.  But when I give Him my weakness, He gives me His power.


  1. Hello Lea, I don't know if you received my last email. This is my Son's email address, as it helps me feel close to him. My precious Son was 14 and died from a stroke on September 2, 2015. The worst horrific nightmare of our lives. Every word has touched my heart so very deeply, because we have felt the same way, every second of every day. I just want to thank you for sharing your precious Ellie with us. Love, Maria

  2. I wish I could be with you and lend my shoulder. I know about loss.

  3. I can't begin to feel the depth of your pain even though it leaps out from your words. Thinking of you. xxx


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