We are all born with inherent gifts (strengths) that are given to us by God. Part of growing up is learning what those strengths are so we can use them to fulfill our destiny and calling. Now here is the problem. We all know that we are shaped by our childhood—including areas where we are wounded by others. And do you know what we discovered? Some weaknesses are actually God-given strengths that are covered over by pain, fear, and walls. We can also develop ungodly ways to protect ourselves that can be misconstrued as strength of character. How very convenient of the enemy to confuse our identity to try to thwart our destiny!
My Weakness Became My Strength
For the first 35 years of my life, I (Jerry) hated dealing with conflict. Because I grew up with a lot of anger in my home, I learned to avoid conflict at all cost. My motto was “Let’s just all get along.” In other words, I became a peacekeeper. Through an extensive healing process, I dealt with this wounded part of my heart. I was no longer afraid of conflict. In fact, it became important to me to “engage” in rather than “avoid” situations where conflict was likely—especially when there was a possibility of reconciliation and resolution. Initially, dealing with conflict would have been identified as one of my “weaknesses,” but later it became one of my God-given “strengths.”
My Strength Was Hidden by Shame
I (Denise) remember a time when I was about five-years-old. My two little cousins were visiting and I had a great idea to swing on the metal clothesline. As you can imagine, the line broke and my father came out. I thought he would yell at me, but he just gave me a “shame-on-you” look and said disgustingly, “Where do you come up with these ideas?” That was it. No spanking or time in the corner.
Now, fast-forward fifty years and let me tell you what God showed me. My creativity had been hidden by this wound of shame. I learned when I was five, that new ideas were risky. So to avoid the possibility that my ideas were wrong or worse yet, stupid, I learned to conform (people-please) and put away my creativity and even my opinions. Fifty years later, I found out I have a gift of creativity—a strength—that was lying dormant in the wound of shame.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that we need to ask God to show us our strengths and calling. We must be willing to bring our hearts to God and allow Him to reveal and heal places that have shaped our past, so then they will no longer shape our future! We can become who we uniquely are according to the original blueprints.
Until next week . . .
NOTE: If you or someone you know is in need of finding a safe place for emotional and/or spiritual healing and restoration, please contact us at The Father’s Heart Intensive Christian Counseling Ministry through our web site at www.fathersheart.com or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
We are located in the North Georgia Mountains in a retreat-oriented environment and have established opportunities for ministry to individuals or couples for time periods as little as a few hours to as long as five days.