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Today’s Truth

But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

Friend to Friend

I was raised to be an independent and self-sufficient woman. At an early age, I learned that if I wanted something done right, I needed to do it myself. Consequently, when the hard times come, my first response is often to assure God and everyone else that I am fully capable of handling whatever life throws at me. Like the stubborn toddler, I insist that I can “do it myself!” I have trained my heart and mind to believe the lie that I am in control of my fate, fully able to run my own life, and prepared to call my own shots. In other words, I am playing God.

Several years ago, I underwent what I thought was going to be a simple medical procedure, but when I woke up in recovery, I knew I was in trouble. According to the doctor, the surgery went great, but she had not expected to find so much scar tissue and repair work to do, and I certainly had not expected to experience the level of pain, soreness, and inability to function that overwhelmed me.

I was basically helpless.

I had given myself a whole ten days to recuperate, but it was brutally obvious that recuperation was going to be a long time coming. In fact, those ten days I had so generously carved out of my schedule turned into months of painful and slow recovery. I could feel myself sliding into that familiar pit of darkness.

I have a problem with pride. It has always been extremely hard for me to accept help. Remember … I was raised to be strong and independent. When anyone asked what they could do to help out during my recovery, I automatically responded with, “I am fine. I will let you know if I need anything.” Fortunately, my family and friends knew me well and ignored that absurd assertion as they stepped right over my pride. They brought meals, cleaned my house, did our laundry, assumed my teaching and speaking responsibilities, and kept our infant grandson while our daughter attended school three days a week. I could not even get out of bed or go downstairs without help – and I did not like it one bit! In fact, I was furious! Why?

I hate being helpless.

The world says that when we are helpless … we are weak. In God’s economy, the opposite is true. Our helplessness is an invitation for God to show up and show off in our life through the weaknesses we desperately try to hide or disguise.

God calls it pride.

Pride is the gangrene of the soul and the worship of “me.” Pride opposes the reality that we are mortal and refuses to admit that there are limits to self-help. Humility celebrates our desperate need of God and each other.

Lay down whatever circumstance you are wrestling with today. Invite Jesus to take up residence in that circumstance and do what you cannot do. Rest in His strength and power instead of trying to do it yourself.

Let’s Pray

Father, I am tired of trying to do life on my own. I really can’t do it myself. Today, I lay down my pride and ego and choose to rest in Your strength instead of my own. Thank You for working through the broken places of my life. I love You, Lord.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Pour out your heart to your God, asking Him to uncover the dark and broken places in your life. As He does, record them in your journal. Admit your helplessness and celebrate His sufficiency. Be honest with yourself and with God. Read Psalm 40:1-3 each day and claim it as God’s promise to you.

More from the Girlfriends

My book, Hope in the Midst of Depression, is my story of desperation, brokenness and restoration. It is also the story of God’s power to help you overcome depression in your own life and offers practical ways you can help someone you love deal with depression. Check it out.

And be sure to connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.

9 Responses to “I Do it Myself!”

  1. Jean says:

    I would be remiss in not again acknowledging the power of my GiG. HE always gives me just the message just when I need it most, and this echoes of the connections and complications that are all about me … from my daily devotion time, which has been very consistent for years; to the Praise & Worship, Sunday School lesson, 2x Bible Study, WMU, had shared messaging with my Sisters in Christ. There are no coincidences, but sometimes I must retreat from the noise the world is making to simply HEAR what He is trying to tell me, to Let Go and Let God, whatever that may entail. He controls all … of only I will let Him. Mary, this was just the message at just the right time, because it was His Message … and I claim it!

  2. Jean says:

    He’s telling me now that it’s time to get a full keyboard … apologies that I’m old school and never had to hunt and peck with one or two fingers.

  3. Beth says:

    Oh! Wow! Thanks for this. I teach school and this time of year I am overwhelmed. I have always felt the need to do it all. I am a fixer. I am claiming Psalms 40:1-3. I don’t want to be a Martha I want to be Mary.

  4. Sonda says:

    Reading this put a finger on what has been holding me back, me. I can’t think of a single thing that is harder for me than admitting that I am incapable. Only now do I see that it is pride. I cannot bear the thought of asking for help, but it will be my main goal until I can do it without hesitation.

  5. Trish says:

    I use ‘Let go and let God “ all the time. Praise the Lord for being so patient with me. I am trying. I know I fail so often in so many areas, but when I realize what I am doing, I stop and Go With God for a little Walk and Talk. He is my power and strength. I love Him so and I know He Loves Me.

  6. Carolyn says:

    I just told a group of women that “my story” is one of being independent and how I always thought I had things under control, and how it carried through in so many aspects of my life. Then my husband received a cancer diagnosis, and went to heaven 13 months later. It is in my brokenness that I learned I’m more at peace now that I’ve embraced my weakness and relied on my heavenly father for strength instead of my own.

  7. Carmen says:

    Thank you for todays devotional. God is always on the spot! I needed this so badly, but did not realize it until I read it. On May 7th I had my 7th surgery on my right leg. This has been the longest recovery time – it will take up to 6 months of laying in bed and not being able to bed my knee! Though my sister is here and helps me, there are many times my pride is in the way of asking for more help. After all she does work part time as a care giver for someone else and I do not want to bother her with my requests when she gets home. So I sit here very frustrated!

    Praise and glory is God’s. I have had no pain just inconvenience. But how many times was Jesus inconvenienced when he wanted to pray or to eat. Someone was always asking him for healing. He never complained and I should not either. Thank you Jesus for loving me and showing me the right way to do things.

  8. Rebecca Jones says:

    Gangrene of the soul, not a pretty picture, is it?

  9. Sarah says:

    Thank you!

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8