My weakness is also my strength, and that is how much I care about others. I have a past that consisted of years of what you might call “people-pleasing”. I often would change who I was in order to be more appealing, I would comprise my standards in order to gain attention. Truthfully, I would do absolutely anything to make someone happy. I had hopes that making others happy would in turn do the same for me, but really, it just created a vicious cycle where I eventually lost control of who I was because I had given everything to others who didn’t care about me at all.
However, it was in this movement that I began a new cycle, one that led me to the path that brought me to Jesus. I began a prayer journal where I wrote a letter to God every day. Most of these entries were complaints: I wanted to know why God would let me be so incredibly miserable. After I finished writing, I would dust off my Jesus Calling book my mom gave me that I never cared to open before and read an entry every day. I didn’t realize it at the time, but those journal entries were slowly allowing me to let go of my life, the one that I had let everyone else control, and give it to the One who created it.
Looking back, I can see how much glory the Lord brought to my life during that time, from friendships that I made to answered prayers, every aspect of my life was better. My people-pleasing has left me with some shameful moments, but my heart for people is something that God is using in His purpose that He has for me, I just had to let Him show me the greatness of it.
What if I told you that your weakness is something that God is going to use to do great things?
A pastor at my church once used the metaphor of Nazareth, which if you read the story of Jesus, you’ll find out that Nazareth is where Mary and Joseph lived. This is also the place where an angel came and told Mary that she would become pregnant with the Messiah. If you read about the town of Nazareth, you’ll find out that it was far from perfect. It was a dirty, poverty-stricken town with people who were filled with sin, but it is where Jesus grew up and started his ministry.
Now, we all have our Nazareth. It’s the part we don’t want people to know about – our struggles, or weakness, the dirty parts that we would rather forget. However, my pastor said that if you look up the Greek translation of the word Nazareth, you’ll see that it means “sprout”. God can use our Nazareths as places of growth and new beginnings.
I am a firm believer that our darkest moments make for our greatest testimonies. My Nazareth is compiled of times and things that I should probably be ashamed of, but these actually are the places where I have seen God show up the most, and where He has grown me so significantly. So, ladies, as you read this right now, I want you to think of what you would consider your Nazareth, and then I want to encourage you to give it to God, let Him reign over it and every other part of your life, and let Him show you the amazing things that He has in store for you.
All my love,
PC: Kandis Marino Photography