As those of you who follow my blog have come to understand, I am in a crisis. My son has recently experienced his first psychosis with schizophrenia and has now been incarcerated because of it. Behind this seemingly insurmountable “issue”, there are other issues I am dealing with on the daily. I am trying to finish up a Bachelor’s Degree by May, those always present ever pressing financial burdens we all have, and raising two teenage boys with little support. I am also feeling an extreme emptiness over my daughter moving out on her own last Summer. It seems as if “stress” isn’t a big enough word to describe the amount of pressure I find myself dealing with every day.
But I’m a strong woman…right?
I surround myself with women who are “like” me. Most of my female friends are what the world calls “strong women”. I for one, hate that word used as an adjective, because I know how misleading and damaging it is to the one labeled with it. Many mornings I don’t want to get out of bed, too exhausted from wrestling with my thoughts and burdens all night long. Some days on the way to feed the horses I will break down in uncontrollable tears until my body literally shakes. But because I am known as a “strong woman” I don’t find too many people who are there for me in my deepest times of need because they all assume I have it covered just fine.
That is the curse of the strong woman.
I recieved a message on Facebook today that contained a Meme in it that read “a strong woman may have tears in her eyes but she still has the strength to say “I’m OK” – and it really got under my skin. Because I KNOW the truth about me, I am not a strong person, I am a person who has learned to lean on the Lord. He has been the only person who has ever loved me and stuck by my side when the river of life got deep. I’m a cowgirl, there is a saying amongst people like me used when you are seeking a partner in life, you say you want someone to “ride the river with you.” That phrase means you are seeking someone who you can trust with your life.
The truth is I am weak, and he is strong.
People will fail you, and they tend to do so, right at the very moment you need them most. I’ve learned to not depend on people, as have most of the so-called “strong” women I know. Now this isn’t from a bitter heart that I write, but more from a lifetime of observation and experience. I hold no grudges, people were never built to be the one that saves you, that was not in their specs for assembly. Only God has that power & that strength to be your Savior. So now when I hear that, I cringe, honestly I don’t like the label at all. To me it feels like a life sentence of solitary suffering. An excuse for others to not check on you or call. An alibi of sorts, by which they can with a clear conscience, slip off into the la-la land of indifference towards you.
In a nutshell I hate being called a “strong woman.”
In a day and age where women fight for the right to be hard, I want to be soft. I want to admit life hurts, that I do cry, and sometimes I fall apart. I want to tell someone “No! I’m not OK!” and it be as admirable as saying “I’m OK” even when it is only a lie. I learned early on to just lean into the Lord. So many nights I have prayed for comfort in his arms. Every tear I have ever cried he has witnessed. Every situation I found myself in where I was overwhelmed or confused, it has never been by my own strength or resolve that I has carried me through, only by the grace of God and His strength have I survived. I liken myself to a piss ant taking down an elephant at times and only by a miraculous infusion of a power outside of myself would I ever have made it this far.
I think its time to stop pretending. To embrace the weaknesses we have and say, hey its OK not to be OK. I’m checking out of that new female standard that says somehow we need to look like a supermodel, have the mind of a neurosurgeon, keep house like Better Homes & Gardens feature spread, cook like a French Chef, raise kids like we have a double major in child psychology and pediatric medicine, PLUS be the ultimate sports mom, fund raising, facebooking, scrapbook making, got the whole world under control, look at my pearly white smile – fraud.
My life is not in order, my house is often a mess, my kids do sports but I don’t make every game or practice, I try to look presentable but it doesn’t always work. Sometimes I am socially awkward, I don’t have it all figured out, and honestly I don’t even want to. My bills are sometimes late, I am a Christian but I still worry at times, feel less than forgiven, and struggle with trusting God all the time. I often repent for that, and have to learn tat things I have given to God should not be re-picked up by myself – repeatedly. I am a human being, a mess of a human being at times, depending on the circumstances of the day, which we are also told is a no-no as a woman of faith. Can I just be a real woman of faith? The one that needs Gods grace in copious amounts on the daily? Is that OK or am I also supposed to “fake it till I make it” with God too? I have a good deal of peace as well, my life is not all bad all of the time, I feel blessed often. But I’m not a “strong woman” and the older I get the less I seem to covet that title. I can openly admit that.
I want to be a “strong in the Lord” woman.
18 thoughts on “The Curse Of The Strong Woman”
Just think, without your current affairs, you could not /nor would not write a post such as this.
And no cute words of advice from me, In it all, all is well somehow someway. But good brutal openness.
I do agree, someway and somehow he ALWAYS makes it OK in the end…but in the meantime I don’t always arrive there as gracefully as I would like.
Amen! Well said. The curse of the strong women, indeed. I am so sorry for your struggles, but how encouraging your words are, how familiar, and how good it is to know I am not alone!
His power is perfected in our weakness, not our strength. Then we proceed to tell women “you are strong, you can handle this!” Or my pet peeve, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” The thing is, our greatest strength really comes through when we surrender, let go, and let the Lord lead us.
I sometimes call it, collapsing in hysterics at the foot of a King. Often it’s the best thing we can do. Someone smart once said, “we’re designed to break.” I really like that saying because I too can be very strong and forget to let go and let God take the reins. The weight of the world is not on my shoulders, it’s actually on His.
The Lord once showed me people are like those glow sticks we give our kids that the make bracelets and necklaces out of that you get when you go to nighttime festivities like fireworks or the county fair. Glow sticks have to be broken to shine. We are like that too.
Stress and struggle ARE in fact a part of life, I just hate the way society expects women to fake this super human strength, it’s a standard no one can maintain. I’m like you, I can fall at the Lord’s feet and just fall apart like a little girl. And I LOVE THAT ABOUT HIM. That meme just rubbed me wrong, it’s not fair to expect so much…I know women that think weakness is repulsive in a woman…and I disagree. I see us like fine china, elegant and delicate, there’s a beauty to that. I guess writing always has been my coping mechanism. Like the valve on top of the pressure cooker that blasts out excessive pressure, my writings do the same. I’m not strong…and I am OK with that. I’m not perfect and I’m ok with that too. My God is strong and perfect and I’m soooooo OK with that…my human condition doesn’t matter any more ❤️🙏🏻
This is the kind of authenticity God Loves and people respect. It is in my weakness that I am made strong.
Like those garbage bag commercials when I was growing up that said “wimpy wimpy wimpy” that’s totally me some days 👍
The curse of the strong women.
I like your conclusion to be strong in the Lord. You can’t go wrong with that. Just think of all the struggles you have been through in the past. Has He ever let you down? Nor will He ever.
No. He never has, which only solidifies the evidence, that is he not i that has carried me through. There seems to be a new need in women to feel powerful, mighty, capable to do it all on their own, even if it’s painful we are being conditioned to just grit our teeth and bear it, but never let the world see us sweat or cry. I call bologna on all of that. We are the weaker vessel…and that is ok. His strength is made perfect in our weakness…to God Be the glory for all things.
I think you are very strong in Jesus. Maybe not the way the world defines strength but isn’t one act of simple kindness stronger than mighty military moves?
If the Lord is for us…who can be against us?
Very well said, Tamara! The tallest people in the world are down on their knees before the Holy of Holies! Peace to your heart!
His shoulders are big so mine don’t have to be ❤️
One thing that occurred to me a few months ago when everything started happening. You questioned the purpose of blogging. You felt like you needed to do more. I completely agree and believe blogging is a calling for some, but not all. Some people need to be more hands-on, etc. But when these things started to happen, I had this feeling, maybe this is what you were waiting for. Not the stress. Not the difficulties. Simply God indeed had something planned for you that you couldn’t see but you were aware of, and He will use you mightily.
Not one of us is strong ❤ we are weak and broken…and these very things make us warriors of Christ because when we are weak He is strong ❤ ❤
I'm working on trusting God with this same truth. God be with you!!!! ❤ continued prayers.
I’m learning to relax. Learning to listen more and react less. I do believe God has a calling on my life and I’m getting close to giving birth to it because I am definitely in some labor pains…
I know one thing for sure…God uses ALL things for the good of those who believe 🙏🏻❤️
Absolutely, amen!!! ❤
Amen-Amein Sister in Christ Jesus-Yeshua!! God Bless you Sister in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and Your Family members and Friends!!
May our ONE TRUE GOD THE FATHER who art in Heaven Above Bless all my Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and my Messianic Jewish Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and Your Families and Friends!!
I Love you all Everyone through Jesus-Yeshua Christ, because HE LOVED 💜💕 EVERYONE FIRST!!
Love 💕 Always and Shalom ( Peace ), YSIC \o/
Amen! Thank you for the blessing Sister! May you receive all that heaven has to offer poured out on earth. Love, peace and safety 🙏🏻 Amen