• Dana L. Butler

For the Days Your Weakness Crops Up. [again.] {the one thing that will bring lasting healing and gro

I sit down to write on Thursday evening. My children are sleeping and my husband’s at a prayer meeting, and for an hour or more, I flit back and forth between chatting with sweet friends on Facebook and reading the hearts of bloggers I know and love.

It’s reading I’ve intended to catch up on, but honestly, I think I’m avoiding this screen.

This blank page where the cursor blinks at me unstopping, beckoning and challenging me to wrap words around my heart.

I haven’t written much lately other than in my journal. It’s permission I’ve given myself — to let the Whispers marinate inside me, allow them to mark my own soul more deeply before trying to birth them in written form.

Lately, I’ve spent pre-dawn mornings sitting in silence before the Lord with Bible and journal and favorite pen, and lemme tell ya — the grace to be up while it’s still dark is very new for this mama whose kids still may or may not sleep through any given night. So gratitude for my early morning quiet moments goes to a sweetly helpful husband and a God whose wooing of my heart won’t let up.

I can’t help but respond — the more I know Him, the more I hunger. My heart is awakened; my longing for Him is deepened.

There’s this peace and settledness in Him, and these glowing hot embers of divine affection, and it all feels weighty in my heart — heavy in the holiest of ways. And I’m intrigued by the way I can feel so filled by Him and yet so very weak, all at the same time.

I find I’m every bit as much in touch with my own frailty as I am with His burning Presence within.

I keep finding myself in my Bible’s concordance, repeatedly looking up the word weakness. Marveling at how very, very weak this mama can be — how my children can spread my patience thinner than too little butter over too much bread. How I can spend portions of my days feeling like a rubber band stretched too tight, ready to snap.

Or how I can be rooted and secure in the Lord one moment, and the next, be shockingly susceptible to borderline terror over what I perceive someone might think about me.

Yet my searches for weakness in scripture yield results that only make me fall more in love with Him.

Results like If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness, and My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness; and Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me; and I delight in weaknesses… for when I am weak, then I am strong. {Check out 2 Corinthians chapters 11 & 12 for context.}

The Lord is pulling back veils in my heart, veils that’ve hidden pockets of perfectionism I’ve thought I was free from — but — no. It’s still there, like onion layers, and the Lord is continually pulling and peeling them back.

I’m seeing these days how often I still want to appear strong and together, to put up a front to hide my brokenness — to hide it even from myself.

But my need to appear or feel strong and invulnerable keeps Him from being able to express the fullness of His strength in my weak places.

So as terrifying as it sometimes is to allow the Lord to expose my raw brokenness, I’m learning to deeply value those places in my heart. Learning at new levels that these cracks in my having it all together — they present opportunities to live vulnerable, aware of my need for Him. And that, if surrendered to Him, my weaknesses can be the vessels He’ll use to birth strength and beauty, to glorify Himself through me.

So instead of my usual M.O. of “shoving” my vulnerable emotions at first sight — my fear of people’s opinions, the pain of not feeling seen, my impatience with my children, my feelings of inadequacy — instead of slapping a quick “not godly” or “doesn’t line up with scripture” label on my weakness and trying to hurry up and squash it {perhaps because feeling it makes me feel like even more of a failure?}, I’m learning to handle my heart more gently — to bring my weakness into the presence of the One who knit me together and intimately knows my heart’s needs.

To receive His truth as He whispers it tenderly, straight into my raw places. To open myself to His comfort in place of my former attempts at quick fixes in my own strength.

To allow His all-seeing tenderness to wash over my heart right there, in that place where my heart feels naked, where my vulnerability is utterly exposed.

When I feel frail, instead of being ashamed, I’m learning to embrace my weakness as a precious opportunity for intimacy with Him.

And the intimacy with Christ that comes when I receive His compassion and gentleness in moments when I normally would be hard on myself? I’m learning it’s the only thing that will bring substantive, lasting healing and growth to all these places in my soul that are still in process.

This is the goodness of the gospel. There is grace for the process, and we’re invited to know Him in the process. That intimacy, that journeying toward wholeness and holiness, hand-in-hand and heart-pressed-to-heart with our Lord — it’s what Jesus died for.


Hi.  My name is Dana. I am weak. I need Him desperately.

I’m learning to be okay with it.

And one of these days, you might even catch me boasting in my weakness, instead of trying to cover it up.


He’s that good.

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