The Secret to Being Strong

Have you ever wondered how some people do it?


I remember sitting in a Women of Faith Conference in 1993 a year after losing Adrienne and listening to Barbara Johnson speak.

She was vibrant.





I fell in love with her that day partly because of her funny stories,

but mostly because I read her bio and in it I learned that she had lost two sons.


As I sat there, broken and grieving, I remember vividly saying to myself,

"If Barbara Johnson can be so strong after losing two sons, surely I will survive the loss of my daughter."


The summer after Nick passed away, I was at a very low place in my grief.

I felt defeated, confused, angry, and overwhelmed with sadness.


And I remembered Barbara Johnson.


I decided to find her online, because I needed to talk to someone who not only understood my pain but also had survived something similar.


I Googled her name and these words popped up on my screen,

Barbara Johnson Foundation.


As I clicked on the button to go to the link,

I felt a sickness inside of me as the word "foundation" carried with it the possibility I feared.


When I reached the site, I discovered with great sadness that Barbara had passed away.

My shock intensified when I realized that she had died of a brain tumor, the very thing that had taken Nick's life.

Just as quickly as I felt sadness, I felt a sort-of happiness for Barbara because I knew she was now with her two sons.

Almost as quickly I smiled at the thought of Barbara meeting Nick and Adrienne.


And a peace came over me that I had not felt in a long time.


God was still using Barbara to comfort my pain.


God was using someone who not only had lived a painful, broken life but also had passed away.


In that moment, here is what I learned.


It wasn't Barbara who had strengthened me in 1993.

It wasn't Barbara who was strengthening me on this day.


In 1993, I had mistakenly thought,

"This lady is so strong.  I want to be like her."


Now I knew the truth.


Barbara was weak.

God was strong.


Even death couldn't stop God from using Barbara.

As a matter of fact, if you are struggling in your grief, click HERE, and God will use Barbara again to strengthen you.


Do you want to be strong?


Here's the secret:

Stop trying.

Embrace your weaknesses and hardships.

And trust God for the strength you need today.


He's got this.


That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses,

in insults, in hardships, in persecutions,

in difficulties.

For when I am weak, then I am strong.

II Cor. 12:10



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nicely said, once again. Don't forget to follow that dream. Keep writing to gather your book. Sandy B

Blogger Marla said...

Wow, Tammy! Hugs!

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