Sometimes you have to be strong when you don’t feel strong.
If you’re going through something right now, know that it is because
the opposition knows your potential. Do you?
Hey there again Legacy Lovers,
Hope you had an awesome week. I admit it’s been a bit trying for me… but more on that in a second.
Last week, I expounded on the idea of #thelove2lead – having enough self-love to love those around you and benefit the world in which we all live. I used the example of Moses, a biblical prophet and his work with water. I noted that though Moses is indeed a great biblical figure, there were some things about his legacy that often go overlooked.
True, he was so favored that God spoke to him face-to-face, something he’d never done with any other prophet before nor has He done since. And yet, Moses – for all his favor – was not permitted to enter the promised land, the land of milk and honey. For all his favor, Moses didn’t get it exactly right – but you know who did? Joshua.
When Moses was old and graying, he appointed Joshua to succeed him as leader of the Isrealites. It was Joshua who would take them through the Jordan (on dry ground) into Canaan. It was Joshua who would have the Isrealites march around the city of Jericho seven times until the walls fell down. It was Joshua who would lead them in battle to annihilate the Amalekites to near extinction. And it was Joshua who would lay the foundation for many years of peace in this new land.
For all Moses’ favor, it wasn’t Moses… it was his protege.
Like Moses, Joshua would part waters – but the people would camp in houses they didn’t build and eat from vineyards they didn’t plant… unlike their parents and grandparents who would wander in the desert after crossing the Red Sea. Like Moses, Joshua would wage war – but he would lead the men into battle, fighting valiantly alongside them as their general. And like Moses, Joshua would doubt himself and his ability.
Though it is primarily implied in scriptures, we can presume that Joshua doubted himself because of how often God has to tell him “Don’t worry. Be strong. Be of good courage. Fear nothing.” I mean, come on, it’s likely Moses didn’t infuse the kid with confidence considering he was often lacking it himself.
And yet, even afraid and likely concerned, Joshua still managed to do incredible, improbable, implausible things. Somehow, despite the fact that he needed the reminder that he was capable and qualified he still managed to make it. Quite likely, given God’s consistent pep talks, Joshua didn’t feel strong. But he was strong!
Sometimes we have to be strong even when we don’t feel it.
Remember earlier when I said I had a trying week? I’d been displaced from my home with son just before his scheduled operation. I’d been passed over for a contract – income I needed given our newly emergent emergencies. Being me, I started hustling immediately and managed to find myself some housing and some quick income. However, when my sitter told me that her kids were drastically contagious, there not only went my childcare but my most recent money-making opportunity. To top it off, my tornado weather swooped in on the day of his procedure so my out-of-town support never made it due to grounded flights.
The stress of it all began to wear on my health. For a minute, I wondered if I was bouting fatigue or depression. It wasn’t just that I couldn’t get out of the bed, at times I genuinely didn’t want to. I was worried, weak and worn. Why was all this happening? It seemed like every time I got one thing under control something else would crop up.
I felt done.
But you know what? I had to be strong.
I had to get up out the bed because someone was depending on me. It took me longer than usual, but after I’d done it a few times it became easier. I would get up before him instead of being shaken (or incessantly poked) awake. I got on the phone and the computer, I made phone calls, marketed workshops and organized future opportunities for collaboration and contracting. Though we weren’t in our own space, I made it as much like home as I could with what I could salvage, and gave my son extra “mommy time” after waking and before bed.
I didn’t feel well, but nonetheless I had to be strong. And I was.
I meant I had to pull deep. Like I told you last week in The Love to Lead, you have to focus on something beyond yourself and draw from something greater than yourself. The result?
When I tell you that my son thought these were amazing adventures, smiled and sang his way into surgery and made friends at the local medical facility that housed us until he was cleared from recovery!!!
I don’t share all this to brag but rather to make my point. Sometimes you have to be strong when you don’t feel strong. Since my son was old enough to understand fear we’ve been discussing the importance of being “brave, bold and strong.” What I look like telling him to do something I’m not willing to? And yes, that point was so good it warranted bad English. I’ve said before, and will say again, a good example is better than the best advice.
So be brave, be bold, be strong. Know that if you are going through something right now it is because the opposition is well aware of your potential. The question is, are you? Do you know that this is temporary? Do you know that where you are is not a reflection of who you are, or even how you are right now? Do you know that there is an X-factor in your life that undermines your every effort be better, have more and do good? Do you know that the only way to defeat it is to arm yourself? It’s time you learned this because it’s not just for you; heck, it’s not even about you.
But here’s the best part, when you TRY, when you keep going. When you are strong even when you don’t feel like it, when you move boldly knowing that there is also a Supreme God that has your back and is fighting alongside you (and even fighting/winning battles before they can make their way to you), you start to see the outcomes of your efforts. What’s happening around you begins to align with what’s going on inside you. What you do (and even what you don’t do) generate success!
Now, this is not me saying, “Oh, I’ve heard about this and how it work. My cousin’s sister’s boyfriend’s groddaughter’s hairdresser’s niece did it. If she can, you can too.” This is me telling you I know because I have walked in these shoes and – even rundown, run over and leaning – they’re still functioning just fine.
In other words: I’ve been here. I am still here. Right now! With a recovering little guy an all, and we’re still making it. So I urge you, if this is where you are:
Be brave. Be bold. Be strong.
The Family Factor
Looking beyond yourself, drawing upon something bigger than you, doing what’s necessary despite your feelings about it – that’s maturity. We need mature leaders in the family not only to show others how it’s done, but to lay the groundwork. Joshua laid the groundwork for the Isrealites in the Promise Land. Your children, siblings, mentees…parents, the people in your life need to see how you handle adversity; they need to see how you weather the storm. Building an empire is no easy task. People need to know that. When you’re done, they’ll want your glory… so make sure they know your story. They’ll want to share your testimony… so show them how you aced the test. Share your experiences. Don’t shelter people from your process. This crucial component is practically non-existent in families today. People are buckling, so families are crumbling. If you want to leave a legacy you have to be different. Be the builder and the bridge. Lift as you climb. You can tweet that!
Live, Laugh, Love & Legacy,
Akima Aiken Brown