Somehow, I received the reputation for being a strong woman.
Now, I’m not saying that appearing strong is a bad thing. But I don’t know where this assumption comes from.
I used to think it was a complement. A testament to my ability to press on through difficult seasons.
But now, I kind of think it’s an excuse for some folks to dismiss any expressions of weakness or vulnerability I may truly have and need help with.
“You’re a strong woman, you can handle it”.
“You’ll be fine”.
“I wish I was as strong as you”.
“I couldn’t deal with what you do”.
“I need your help because I’m not as strong as you are”.
“I helped her out because I knew you’d be ok and could handle things on your own”.
There is a conflict in my mind because even though I appreciate the fortitude to handle seasons of difficulty, I sometimes need to feel worthy of being taken care of. I want to be the damsel in distress that gets saved by the good knight.
I have never been the damsel. Circumstances in my life prevented me from being that girl.
But there’s another side to this.
I knew I would have to be strong. Life would never (and isn’t supposed to) be fair.
However, I was a timid and shy child, a bookworm. I was teased and bullied because I was just, well, awkward. I wanted to be the little princess. But I had to help my mother. Get a job as soon as I could work. Pay bills before I was out of Junior High. So, I was never allowed to be a little girl. If it had to be done, I did it. I was old before my age, and the kids that didn’t have adult responsibilities couldn’t relate to me.
Some of you ladies out there can relate. Can I get a witness?
Here’s the thing y’all.
My strength is an illusion. It’s an illusion because that strength is not my own. It is God given because only He knew what I would have to bear, and only He could give me the strength to do it. It is meant to be a witness to His power and not mine. What people think they see in me is simply a reflection of what God can do in those of us who must toil in this world just a little bit harder and a little bit longer than others.
So, if you have someone in your life that seems like “the strong one” and the one everyone goes to for help, check on them. Allow the Lord to be their Knight in Shining Armor through you.
Even warrior princesses need a break.