When You Can No Longer Be Strong

When you can no longer be strong, let yourself fall into the arms of Jesus. He’s been waiting for you to reach this breaking point all along.


I always thought I had to be strong.

Perhaps it was the beating my brother took when he was 10 and I was 7 and we were newly-arrived Americans in a foreign-to-us land. Or maybe it was the karate classes that followed. It might have been the fact that I was the only girl in a world of boys. Or it may have been my dad’s insistance that no one should mess with a Oana kid.

Whatever the reason, I grew up with an innate need to show myself tough, capable, and utterly independent.

And for the longest time, I actually believed the charade myself. I thought I was enough and, oddly enough, I thought God was impressed that He didn’t have to trouble Himself with me all that much. He was free to care for the more needy in the world.

But piece by piece, God removed the pillars I stood on until, my sophomore year of college, I fell face down before Him, utterly broken and humble. My family was falling apart. I was questioning my life-long calling to be a missionary. My boyfriend and I had broken up. I wept for days (literally sobbed into my pillow for hours and hours), ate very little, and lost 20 pounds in two long months. Like David, I could say, “My tears have been my food day and night” (Psalm 42:3).

I had nothing left but Jesus. And He was enough.

Though that season of my life was hard, it brought me into a deeper intimacy with Jesus that I wouldn’t trade for all the comforts of my pre-sophomore-year life.

And it was in those days that I first learned the paradoxes of the Kingdom of God:

  • those who recognize their weakness receive His strength.
  • those who admit their brokeness are made whole.
  • those who experience God will experience an even stronger hunger for Him.
  • those who humble themselves will be lifted up.

God didn’t need my strength: He was looking for my brokeness so that He could be my strength. 

And though I learned that lesson long ago, it’s one that I need to re-learn time and time again. I need to be broken of my pride and self-reliance. Because until I believe I need Him, I won’t hunger and thirst for Him. And until I hunger for Him, I can’t experience intimacy with Him. And until I experience deep intimacy with Him, all of my existence is simply living on the surface, tossed to and fro by the wind, trying to hold myself together when He calls me to dwell deeply in His presence. The Lord is near to the

Are you broken-hearted tonight, dear friend? Don’t resist the brokeness. Lean into God. He is near you, waiting for you to reach out to Him so that He can make you whole. Call on Him and He will answer you. Draw near to Him, and He will draw near to You. He will never turn away a sincere and broken sinner.


This post is part of the series Pursuing Real Intimacy with God. To find all the posts in this series, click here.

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