...but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong. - 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
We run into this a lot in our daily life. No matter what the struggle, the current journey, or the path that we currently find ourselves on, there is always hardship. There is suffering, failure, and uncertainty.
Lately I've found that I'm in a better place than a few years ago, a year ago, and even a few months ago. I started to understand myself a lot more fully, and I could see the ways in which God was working in my life, especially in the trials that I had faced in the past few years.
The other day, I spent some much needed time in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Despite this new found positivity, I still felt anxious. Actually, I was more than anxious, I was bored and extremely terrified. I hated the idea of hitting a plateau and not having anywhere to go. My past had shown me that if I stuck around in a place long enough, sooner or later something would go wrong. So in order to get ahead of things going wrong, I had to keep moving.
What if I fail? What if I will never be good enough? Where am I going? What's next?—These were the questions constantly repeating in my mind. I couldn't be still and let my mind rest—and my mind was racing while I tried to pray.
In His mercy, He prompted me to open my bible, and it brought me to the verse that I shared above from St. Paul's second letter to the Corinthians.
What if I fail? What if I will never be good enough? The neverending wound of inadequacy was ripped open once again. But God wasn't threatening — He was compassionate and so gentle. "My grace is sufficient in you, for power is made perfect in weakness."
Despite every mistake I make and every wrong turn I take, His grace continues to shower over me. It is the power that I need to continue through the days, months, and years. He doen't condemn me for my mistakes, but He becomes stronger when I trust in Him. I can't do anything on my own, and when I rely on Him and His power, God becomes even more glorified.
When I think about the ways in which God could have restored our relationship to Him, there could have been a million and one ways that would have been so much easier that didn't rely on flawed, sinful human beings. But He chose me to make His name known. He chose me to build up His kingdom on Earth. And despite the sins I've committed in the past, He continues to ask me to co-labour with Him.
Which leads me to the other two questions—where am I going? and what's next?. God had a response for that too, right in the verse. When I take the time to listen to His voice and acknowledge the bumpy road ahead, I know that for the sake of Christ, I will prevail. He has my best interests in mind, and He knows what's right for me.
As someone who has always been a planner and forward-thinking person, I'm constantly asking these questions. I need to know where I'm going so that I can plan for the destination. But coming to terms with my weaknesses and fears and making conscious efforts to lean on Him in my weakness has been really eye-opening and fulfilling. Of course, it's also a little scary: what does it really mean to "boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses?"
It's trusting in the process. It's turning to God (and others around me) for help. It's trying my best and admitting that I can't do it all. It's giving myself a break. It's allowing God to make up for everything I lack—because I know I lack so, so much.
True joy comes when we open ourselves up and allow Him to empower us: for when we are weak, He is strong.
God doesn't need us, but He chooses us. So in your fear of the future and fear of failure, rest in Him and let His power prevail within you.