According to the Miriam-Webster dictionary, power is defined as “the ability or right to control people or things; political control of a country or area; or a person or organization that has a lot of control and influence over other people or organizations.” For the most part, we see power as a negative characteristic.
Earlier this week I was at a gathering of dear diaconal brothers and sisters where we participated in community organizing activities. Our facilitators taught us that power is also “the ability to act.” That definition was confirmed in the Miriam-Webster dictionary when I read this “power is the ability to act or produce an effect.” I have come to really appreciate this meaning of the word power. Power truly is about the ability to act.
However it is hard for us to see ourselves as powerful. We see ourselves as weak not powerful.I am reminded of a quote by Margaret Thatcher. “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, then you aren’t.” (I hope this quote doesn’t offend anyone but it made me chuckle when I read it.)
Yet the truth is, my dear readers and friends, each and every one of us is POWERFUL…because we have acted. No matter what your topic has been this month, you took the initiative and acted. You may not have made it the whole 31 days but you still acted. You may have gotten sidetracked by life…but that’s ok too…you still acted. You still made a choice to continue on and act. And I hope you realize that by acting, you are indeed powerful. In fact, in my mind, you are all super-heroes!
Though I have never seen myself as a powerful woman…and I am sure many of us still don’t see ourselves as powerful woman, yet the truth is that God has made us into powerful woman by calling and claiming us each as God’s children. I have learned that is ok to be vulnerable and share my story; our story of mental illness. In fact, it is so much a part of who I am as a child of God. It took me a really long time; 18 years to be exact, to be open about our journey of mental illness. Yet for some reason, that hot June day in August at SuperAwesomeBibleCamp, my mouth opened up and the words flowed from them. As I, for the first time, openly shared about our journey with mental illness. It changed me and freed me to truly be who God created me to be. What an unbelievable amazing POWERFUL gift! Yet I still don’t always see myself as a powerful woman!
However I think my dad has seen my sister and I in ways that my father in heaven does too. Dad sees my sister and I as strong and powerful. He is a huge wrestling fan and wished he had boys to teach wrestling too. Yet some of my favorite memories of growing up are of my dad, sister and I wrestling on our living room floor until Mom had to yell at us because “someone is going to get hurt.” I think Dad knew he could wrestle with us because we could handle it; because we were stronger than we ever gave ourselves credit for. But Dad saw that beauty; that power, that grace in his girls…and still does!
Power is not about who is the strongest, wisest, or most in control! Power is not about being the best in the class. Power is the ability to act when you know you need to. Without the power I possess, I wouldn’t have ever shared our story of mental illness. Without my power, I wouldn’t have taken this #write31 day challenges. I wouldn’t have met you through your own blogs and commenting. So I want to say to each and every one of you, thank you; thank you for helping me realize my own power. And may you all find your own power as well.
BECAUSE YOU ARE POWERFUL!!
“For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.”–2 Timothy 1:7 (NRSV)
I didn't look at myself as being powerful in writing for this 31 day challenge. Reading this post I am understanding power in a different way. Power = ability to act. We are more powerful than me know. Thank you for sharing and for being powerful.
This was so encouraging to me today. Thank you. That is one of my favourite verses too. I speak it over my daughter often.
Thank you for your post and sharing your power with us. You have empowered us, and now we can empower others. The circle keeps growing!
I loved this! I never thought of power in that way and it really speaks to some feelings I've been having lately.
This is so beautiful. Thanks for your encouragement to me and all the other 31 dayers. I love the definition of powerful that you give here.
Oh my friend, this speaks to me so much. I have always struggled with feeling too weak to continue on with the fight against depression. It is so hard to see myself as powerful, but I must admit, there is something powerful in writing my own story of mental illness. Gray and Pendragon have both observed how this #write31days has affected me in positive ways. It is harder for me to see, but I do see some of it. I don't know that I'm confident enough to say that I'm powerful, but I did act when the Holy Spirit nudged me to tell my story and here I am, with you as my new friend. Love you, friend 🙂 Thank you for all your words of love and encouragement, for your efforts to empower me throughout this past month. I am grateful to God for you!