Thursday, May 26, 2011

Stronger or Half Dead

We all know the phrase "That which doesn't kill you only makes you stronger". I think that it should be "That which doesn't kill you only makes you stronger...or leaves you half dead". These are my kids. When you are in labor you think it will kill you. Then you realize you are able to handle it and you have another kid.

It is great when things work like that. You are faced with a painful and seemingly impossible circumstance. You go through something that takes all but the last drops of your strength and life from you. Once you get to the other side the life grows back stronger, deeper, and full of confidence. The old analogy of the broken bone that actually is stronger after it mends itself from a break.

Great story. But sometimes it doesn't work like that. Sometimes situations and trials leave us laying on our backs staring blankly into the sky. There is no way we could ever survive that again. It hurt too much. Part of my heart died. Hope left and numbness set it. You survive but only to limp along half dead.

You risk everything only to loose it all. You thought you had your eating disorder under control and then all the old thoughts started to come back. You felt so betrayed and then your marriage fell apart. Your children walk through tragedy while you watch. You work two jobs to get food into your families mouths...just to go hungry again next month. You get the courage to open up and it is met with ridicule and judgment. A lonely life eager for a partner...just to be passed over again. Sometimes you survive but barely. Sure God is good and all that, but you aren't going to go through that again. You can't handle it.

So, instead of getting stronger, you live half dead. You smile on cue and say the right things about how God is good. We have all done this from time to time. Some people feel it so bad they do wish the situation had killed them.

There have been situations in my life where Jady and I have literally laid on the floor and cried to God because it felt so impossible. The need was too great and my strength was too small.

So, what makes the difference between getting stronger or walking half-dead? When you cling to the truth that the cross is enough, you get stronger. What Jesus did on the cross is enough to meet you in your place of need. Your personal mistake, the pain caused by another, wandering hopelessly waiting for more pain to hit...Jesus breaks in there. He died to bring breakthrough. Not just eternal life. But life abundantly. In that place that seems like a time-bomb inside waiting to go off. He comes and brings life to half dead places.

Sometimes its things that happened years ago, we just shut off and figured the pain of feeling nothing is better than the pain of feeling another blow. When you find yourself walking around anxiously trying to avoid anything that could crack the your fragile heart, risk on the cross again. Risk on Jesus. Grieve disappointment with Him. He can handle it. His strength is made perfect in our weakness, remember? You weren't made to walk around half dead. So dream again. Get stronger. Risk on God. It is always worth it.


  1. Hey, I just wanted to say thank you. This post was timely & spoke so deeply to me. I have been slipping in and out of depression, stopped trusting people, built a wall around & sometimes shutting off complelety from the world. I can't say this stronghold has been broken, but at least in this darkness, even if it's flickering and far away, the flame that was smoldered is back again.

  2. How in the world do you manage to crawl into people's minds and hearts and perfectly say what we cannot convey with our own words?? Thank you Liz, for "getting it"- for getting people who have suffered emotional trauma. You are simply amazing.

  3. To Anonymous #1 - I'm glad that this was helpful in some way. I just want to say to you that it matters. You matter. It matters that you get the breakthrough & that your 'flicker' gets bold and strong again. Let me know if there is any specific way I can pray for you.

    To Anonymous #2 - Thank you so much for that encouragement. it means more than you know. Blessings.

  4. Elizabeth Griffin my love! This is awesome and more than a blessing.

    Love Jess