Strengths

There are times when I laugh so hard, I snort. I try to hold it in, because it certainly isn’t ladylike, but I just can’t help it.

Yesterday was one of those days.

We had some plumbing issues. To fix it we needed to cut open our bedroom’s closet wall to gain access to the pipes in our shower, which meant that we had to clear out everything on my side of the closet. This exposed a weakness of mine, I keep anything and everything that our kids did or made. If a project at school or at church had my child’s handprints on it, I saved it.

David nicely, sweetly, gently encouraged me to purge some things from my four drawer cart that I keep all the kids keepsakes; one drawer for each kid. But, as I went through the drawers it brought back a flood of memories.

One of the keepsakes I found was from Kendall sharing her strengths when she was in elementary school. It listed out 28 things she thought she was good at. It started out fine: “I’m good at baking, school, making people laugh…” But, then she said things that really did make me laugh: “I’m good at watching TV, thinking, eating food.”

Then I read the next one on the list and the snort laugh came out…

“I’m good at breathing.”

She sure is! She doesn’t even have to think about it! (Though, ‘thinking’ is a strength of hers!) She is that good at it!!

At my work we have been going through our strengths to see how God made us and how we can be more effective as a team. I have found this fascinating as I see how God has made me. While I have done personality tests before, this test, I feel, was spot on about how I am wired. It was a confirmation to me about my college degree, why I like to work with certain personalities and why I love and feel called to work at a church.

Yet, on this Autism journey, I feel like in my humanness I am weak. People have said to me, “God gave you Sarah because He knows you can handle a special needs child; I know I couldn’t.”

While I know that is compliment, I don’t feel like I am strong. There are days that I feel like in my own power, I am very, very weak.

It reminds me of a very low point on this journey. I had had it. The weariness and weight of life, the constant screaming of Sarah, her poop smearing on walls, the financial burden of the cost of her care all became too much. I was walking into the living room and heard a crash in the kitchen. I knew Sarah had gotten into something. (It turned out she swiped plastic cups and plates off the counter unto the floor.)

“Really?” My heart sank, tears welled up in my eyes as I sighed and started to drag myself into the kitchen to see what she had done.

Just then my knee buckled from my weariness and I thought I was going to fall. I felt someone behind me, catching me, picking me up from under my arms and putting me back on my feet. I quickly turned around to see who was behind me, but I was by myself. I will never forget that moment. It truly was,

fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10

That day will ever be on my heart as a reminder that Christ is my best strength over anything I face! I don’t need a personality test to know that. He continues to infuse me with His strength and remind me He is always there!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” Philippians 4:13

12 thoughts on “Strengths

  1. Jane Terkoski

    Jill, I love your testimony about God picking you up so you won’t fall. Some may think, “really?”, but I completely get it. God once pressed His hand into my side, hard, letting me know that i was on the right track, not to worry, keep going. I, also, will never forget that moment.
    Thank you for sharing and being such a blessing to me and to countless others.
    You are a woman to be admired.
    love and hugs, Jane

    1. I love you so much Jane! Thank you for being a faithful friend who walks beside me on this journey. I love how God showed you He was with you. I look forward to seeing you in 6 weeks! Can’t wait to give you a big hug! ❤

  2. Pat Vess

    Another moment when I give thanks for your words that do far more than encourage–they keep us pressing forward in order to win that glorious prize promised to those who won’t give up. You are so loved and appreciated–more than could know!!

    1. Thank you for your beautiful words! You are so gifted and your kind words are so uplifting and encouraging! Thank you for praying for our girl! We feel them!! ❤

  3. Jill, you are such a precious person and a constant reminder to me and others of God’s goodness. I am always encouraged by your faithfulness in this journey and encouraged and challenged in my own life. Thank you for pointing us to the Lord through struggles. Love you!!

  4. Michelle Lawson

    I can only imagine your weariness at times. You live this everyday. As we (Brad & I) deal with Alzheimer’s and aging parents, we also get weary at times. But not on a daily basis yet. However, we know that God will be there to guide us along that path, and give us the strength we need when we’ll think we won’t have any more. I hope they’ll see our love more than our weariness.

    You shine your love on Sarah (and Jim, Kendall & Jack) just as God intends. Love you!!

  5. Jen

    I needed this today my friend!! Your posts always make me laugh and cry all in the same minute… and I might have even snorted a bit myself while reading 😂
    God continues to use you in wonderful ways!
    I love you and praise God for our friendship 💕

  6. Carol Butler

    Jill, I totally understand the weight on your shoulders with Sarah, and yet the Lord has been with you through the thick and thin! We all tend to carry more on our shoulders and forget that God wants us to give them to Him! Praying each day you feel God’s guidance. Love, Aunt Carol
    Sorry I am late with this note.

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