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You Have to be Strong.



You have to be strong.


Stop telling people that.


Stop encouraging someone to stuff their real emotions for the benefit of someone else when what we would all benefit from is people’s reality - their vulnerability, their ability to include you in whatever they are experiencing so that we can all learn empathy. Not sympathy.

I have heard this numerous times. That I need to be strong as a leader, not for myself but for the members, my staff, our supporters etc.

I heard this spoken to the older sibling in regards to “being strong” for her baby sister.

I always hear this when there is a tragedy.


Stop.


Reality is I’m not strong. And I’m not going to pretend like I am. It doesn’t disqualify me from being present, caring for others and beginning the process of caring for myself.

Think about it, do you really want your loved ones to put on a face for you? Do you want to guess how they are doing or be completely unaware because they are projecting a different reality?


Weakness invites His strength. I’m over “appearing to be the strong one” I want to be the obedient one who enters in and weeps with the mourning, sings with the glad and is willingly present through all life throws our way in an unashamedly authentic way.

If I’m strong there’s no room for His strength and my strength has run out. The scale was tipped 6 months ago as the sudden news of Amanda passing left behind two beautiful little 8 & 4 year old girls. This news seems surreal - I met Sabrina over 6 years ago; we have been through A LOT. She has become my sister; blood couldn’t make us closer. Her girls, woven into the fabric of my being, I have watched them grow. There were so many plans, now all disrupted.


As Hannah (banana) and I jokingly say, “you are not unique, but you are special” we are not unique in our pain, trials or experiences. While they may look different and we experience them differently, we have all been there on one level or another....we are special in that our status as beloved doesn’t waiver. It’s a solid foundation that we can stand on and hold closely as life throws curves balls for us to dodge unless we’re ready to swing.

I’m not sure if there is something I’m supposed to learn in this season. I want to hurry and figure it out, if so. Regardless, what you will get from me - is the truest parts of me. My current reality is sad, anger is still brewing right below that - as someone who is usually highly capable; I’m unable to plan much beyond the minutes ahead of me. Not what I would consider strong, but more so reliant - hopefully on the right One.


As I left the hospital the song “Why God” came on:


Why God

Do people have to die?

A daughter or a son

Sudden and so young

Long before their time?


Yup, why God? I’ll wait.


Amen, Ashley. 

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