Monday, February 27, 2017

The Freedom Of "I Can't"

Sometimes, it's an extremely freeing thing to be able to say "I can't." Society doesn't like it, though (maybe you don't either). Society wants us to practice positive thinking, to try harder, to always believe we're capable of doing anything we set our minds to. Society wants us to believe that we are being negative if we ever admit weaknesses.

People tell us that we should ask for help and not be ashamed of asking for help. But when we do ask for help, we're given motivational speeches that are meant to empower us. "Just think more positively! Try harder! Believe in yourself! Try harder! Don't be negative! Try harder! Try harder! Try harder!"

So we try harder. We tell ourselves that we have to do these things that we know we can't do, and we try harder and try harder and try harder. We don't ask for help again, because even though it's acceptable, it's not actually acceptable. When we inevitably fall apart, everyone acts so surprised.

There's nothing wrong with knowing your weaknesses.
There's nothing wrong with knowing your limitations.

There's nothing wrong with COMMUNICATING those weaknesses and limitations.

There's really not.

It's just that we live in a society where weaknesses and limitations are not supposed to exist, and we're all supposed to be capable of doing everything. So when we say "I can't," it's not validated. It's negated, and those who meant to help empower us actually help to enslave us.

So we get caught in the try harder trap. And, sorry not sorry, but sometimes no amount of trying is going to make things possible. Sometimes all it's going to do is frustrate and exhaust us and lead to our eventual breakdown.

Sometimes, freedom comes in admitting that we CAN'T. Sometimes, freedom comes in saying, "I don't believe in myself, because I know I just can't do this." Sometimes freedom comes in that surrender.

No more trying.

I don't believe in myself, and I know I make people mad when I say that. I don't care, because it's true, and I won't apologize for being real with people.

But I do believe in God, and when I stop trying so ridiculously hard to do everything in my own non-existent strength, that gives Him more room to work in the midst of my weaknesses. Sometimes it takes a breakdown to get me that point, and that's okay. It might be more than okay.

Sometimes I'm at the point where my prayers are so weak because I'm so weak, and all I can do is pray one sentence, "God, I need You to cover me."

And He does.

Because like Adam and Eve in the Garden, I can't...I just CAN'T cover myself. I can try, but all my efforts will fail. I need Him to cover me. I need Him to cover me with grace and power that is made perfect in my weakness. We have always needed Him to cover us--always.

He knows our weaknesses better than we know them ourselves. He knows we need Him to cover us every moment. And I think it's a mercy when He allows us the moments of breakdown, when we are forced to slow down and realize how much we need Him, too.

I'm so thankful that there's mercy in the struggle.