I have always considered myself to be a pretty strong and independent person.
I love challenges. I was that girl in middle school who thrived on push-up contests with the boys. Ya.
Sometimes loving a challenge is a good thing, other times it can make you absolutely nuts.
Over the last few weeks, I have found myself in the middle of a variety of circumstances.
Some involving my health, some involving people.
In all of the situations going on, I have been completely helpless.
My back was so bad a couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t even walk. Helplessness.
I got so sick last weekend, I could physically not stop throwing up. Helplessness.
I have had situations with people that have involved me, my family members and my friends that have caused hurt. Helplessness.
I have had so many different situations going on with The Porch and my business that have left me feeling completely out of control of the situation. Helplessness.
I realized one day, as I was talking to my sister, that I had used the word frustrated about 20 times.
I was frustrated with my health. I was frustrated with people. I was frustrated with life.
Everything in my life was still moving along, because life doesn’t stop for anyone.
But I knew that I was totally missing something.
Frustrated and helpless…not exactly how I thought I should be feeling.
Or is that exactly how God needed me to be feeling to prove a point?
Why do I think I need to be so strong?
It’s not about me. You’d think I’d get that by now.
God reminded me of a passage that I am very familiar with.
Here’s the analogy.
I am a branch.
Jesus is the vine that the branch is attached to.
Here’s how the story goes:
This is Jesus talking.
Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches.
Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit.
For apart from me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!
I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love…I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! Love each other in the same way I have loved you.
Here’s pretty much what He said to me.
Rachelle. Dude. (sometimes He calls me dude, I swear) You gotta stop running away from the vine, bro!
What do you think is gonna happen?
Do you think you are going to be able to do all these things you’re planing when you aren’t attached to your source of life?
You are out of your mind!
I am the one sustaining you.
I am the one holding you up.
I am the one you need, girl. I’m the one you need.
You’re wondering why you are so tired? You’re wondering why you are so frustrated, so helpless, so hurt?
You done run away from the vine!
Don’t be doing that.
Get where you need to be. With me. Where I can love you, support you, do the hard part.
You just need to realize your weakness, and then I can be my strongest.
You just need to realize your weakness, and then I can show you my strength.
And He was all: Now get yoself back to the vine where you belong, girl! (Hey, I don’t have any proof He doesn’t get all gangsta on me, so I’m gonna go with it.)
And then I was all. Duuuuh.
Why did I not see what was so obviously in front of me?!
It’s about my source of energy.
It’s about me being weak enough to see Him become strong enough.
It’s hard for me to think that that’s ok, because I’m the girl that doesn’t quit.
I’m the girl that has no patience for the people who walk when they run because they have a cramp.
I’m the girl that has no patience for the people who need someone else to carry the heavy stuff.
I’m the girl that has no patience for people who use godly wordage while they hurt people.
I pride myself on being strong.
On working hard.
On never quitting.
And it’s like God just said to me.
Just stop it.
It’s not about you. It’s about me.
Remain. in. me.
And here’s what I can be.
A beautiful, vibrant, flourishing, fruitful branch.
Happily, content to just sit there and do nothing while the vine gives me all my life.
Realizing that it’s not about me.
Realizing that I need to work on focusing less on the people who aren’t doing right.
Less on the people who let me down and hurt me.
Less on the health problems that I have no control over.
Less of me, more of Him.
So, Where are you at?
Are you running away from the vine?
Dude, I’m not playing. You need that vine! Don’t think for one second that you don’t.
Ya, I’m sure you can last for a little while once you’re broken off.
But it’s not gonna be long before you are dry, fruitless and dead.
Stay in the vine. Remain close to Jesus. Let Him do the work while you just get to sit there and look pretty. Sounds like a perfect plan to me!
And here I’ll be…right there with you.
Doing my best to be strong enough?
Doing my best to be weak enough.
Because surrendering and becoming weak is when He is the strongest.
Being weak enough to be strong.
That’s where it’s at.