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Apparently, God knows I need to work on giving myself some grace. These last five weeks God has provided me with opportunities for a bit of practice. I am, after all, a recovering perfectionist and “control freak” – some days more than others. I frequently find that I need a nudge telling me I can’t do it all.
We have had five long weeks of sickness in our house. Yes, you read that right. Five weeks! From ear infections and the croup to sinus infections, stomach flu, and Influenza B. At least one member of my family has had a fever every week for five weeks. I have been down with the miserable flu bug these last two weeks. Unfortunately, even though “the Momma” is sick, the world continues to spin. My crew still needs to eat, do homework, etc. etc.
I am blessed to have a supportive husband with friends and family members to help, but it is still a big challenge. Leaving projects undone, canceling plans, losing energy, feeling crummy, ordering pizza yet AGAIN, leaves me feeling weak. Very weak.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like feeling weak. I don’t like feeling dependant on other people. I much prefer giving instead of receiving, and I love juggling everything on my plate. For some reason, all of this helps me feel like I am doing a decent job as both a wife and a mother. Can you relate to the doing that defines your being? I slip into this with people and, sadly, sometimes with God as well.
I feel thankful I am not alone in this process. Like it or not, there is the feeling of accomplishment that comes with juggling balls in the air. Seasons like this are when all the balls come crashing down to the ground. I then realize just how much I cling to the illusion of being in control. Ouch.  
This morning I drove the boys to school. When I returned home, I sat down for some quiet time. Instead of interacting with Jesus, I fell asleep for over an hour sitting in my chair. I woke up feeling frustrated that I had “wasted” my morning. Afterall, I was eager to start my day and get productive!
I decided to take a few minutes to interact with Jesus before tackling that stack of two weeks of work that has accumulated on my desk. I told God how frustrated I felt that, after two weeks of feeling crummy, I still don’t have energy. While sharing this with Immanuel, I noticed a verse come to mind, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” I remembered this was 2 Corinthians 12:9. This thought stopped me in my tracks as a wave of peace flooded my body and my mind.
You see, I have leaned into this verse during other seasons of my life, where I felt weak and weary. In these times God sustained me and carried me through the “deserts” that otherwise would have been too much for me. These problematic seasons were times I felt God’s presence and provision. I felt God’s presence was near in some profound ways. He was teaching me to accept my weakness and to rest in His perfect plan. In my self-sufficiency, I often need reminders that the best way is to know when to stop and leave the heavy-lifting to God.

I imagine you have some areas in your life where you push yourself to live up to your expectations – and the expectations of other people. I encourage you to interact with Immanuel and ask Him what He wants you to know about receiving His power and strength in the midst of your weakness. May you find the peace that exceeds your understanding.

Posted in Parenting

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  1. Amelia Boggs

    Oh Jen. You. Are. Not. Alone! Thank you for your transparency. It brings on a sense of “we’re in this together!”
    I’m praying for you and your sweet family!
    Amelia Boggs

  2. Amy Brown

    Interesting, isn’t it, Jen, that we give ourselves grace to be weak at the beginning of our Christian walk or before we learn the great truths of relational skills and so forth, but we expect ourselves to get to a certain point of strength where we don’t welcome or even accept that weakness any longer? It seems like we would welcome the opportunity for His strength to be made perfect in our weakness, but somehow we welcome our own strength more than His.

    Thanks for this post, and for helping me remember to WELCOME that weakness that highlights His strength!

    Many blessings on you and yours! Amy

    • Jen Coursey

      Thank you Amy. Yes, it is fascinating (in an uncomfortable sort of a way) that we welcome our own strength and fight the weakness that requires God’s strength. I am thankful God continues to give me opportunities to lean on His strength, even though those moments don’t usually feel “fun”.

  3. Charles

    Thank you Jen. This is such a vulnerable and helpful story. I’m so sorry you’ve been going through so much family sickness. I have encountered Jesus so many times in the midst of what felt like impossibly long periods of illness.

    “A wave of peace flooded my body and mind”

    I know that feeling so well.

    This is such a needed experience for me as I walk-in healing and hope. It’s so easy, even when I’m sick, to refuse to give myself the chance to rest. Thanks to you and Chris, I now know more than ever how important it is to my well being and my family that I know to quiet myself and rest. It’s good for the immune system too!

    Now, when I get sick, I often hear Jesus say something like, “your body is telling you it needs to recover. Don’t fight it. Don’t plow ahead. Be willing to be weak for a time so that I can be your strength.”

    It does feel so good to recover fully though. I pray for your continued healing and restoration.

  4. Brandt

    I’ve been living in that state of “feeling crummy” for five years now with a multitude of rare diseases and physical malformations, and I know how hard it is to give God control of that, and to trust that things will get done in His time and in His way. Control only ever gets us further from the truth, but we fight for it until we’re sick and tired and our illusion of control is shattered. If Paul, a hero of the faith needed to be reminded of God’s power and control in his life of serving the Lord, perhaps we can take it as a comfort when God goes to such lengths to remind us of our dependence and to prioritize Him over our agenda. I’m glad you could figure this out, keep placing your needs before God each morning, and pray that I can do the same!

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