Steffany Gretzinger, a Bethel Music artist, is releasing a new album at the end of the month. I have loved Steffany’s music since I first discovered her several years ago, so much so, that my husband and I used her song, “No Fear in Love” during our first dance at our wedding, and another one of her songs during the ceremony. Her songs have helped me work through a lot of pain, heartache, and questioning. Needless to say, I am pretty excited for her new album to come out.
Last weekend for my birthday, I attended a worship concert where Steffany premiered two songs off her album. One song, called Save Me, had an exceptional impact on me. (I encourage you to check out the song when you have a free moment). I left the concert that night wondering why Steffany and I weren’t already best friends, because she obviously knew so much about my life and felt comfortable sharing it with the world.
During the drive home, the lyrics to her song ran through my mind:
[I tried to be the hero for a day
But all my superpowers failed to save]
Two years ago I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). ADD can be a confusing, frustrating and inconsistent neurological condition to live with each day. I always sensed that I had it, but never knew how greatly it impacted my life. Growing up, I tried very hard to compensate and even cover up my shortcomings. I struggled with a lot of the common symptoms: racing thoughts, disorganization, difficulty focusing, impulsivity, mood swings, you name it. Majority of the time I felt I was inadequate. I tried to live up to a standard I saw everyone else reaching…seemingly with much less effort than it took me, which became a constant source of my shame. My self- worth was wrapped up in how well I could or could not accomplish something. I wore the brief moments of self-sufficiency like a badge of honor. “See, look at me! I do have worth. I’m not just a failure.”
[So I turned in my ego and my cape
I was made to fly but not this way]
Throughout my life, I tried to so hard to measure up, to be the hero in my story. But more times than not, my attempt at superpowers failed miserably, only exasperating my lack of self-worth.
My ego would not allow me to turn in my cape. It was my symbol of protection from all the lies that told me I was anything but strong and capable. Thankfully, my relationship with God has always brought me back to the truth that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. So, I really was made to fly, but not this way.
Now, I do not believe there is anything wrong with wanting to be a strong, capable woman. We all possess those desires and abilities. But even Wonder Woman had help every now and then! We were created for so much more than being our own hero. We were created for relationship.
[My weakness is my honor not my shame]
Because I yearned to prove my worth, needing help from anyone, even God, was a constant reminder that I was not “good enough.” In my mind, the need for relational support equated to shameful weakness. But as Steffany so eloquently put it, weakness is my honor, not my shame. My capability (or lack thereof) does not equate my worth.
Pondering her lyrics, I realize there is a quiet strength that lives in weakness. In the humble ability to honor others with our vulnerability. As if to say, “I honor you because I value your presence in my life enough to be real with you. That I am struggling. That I don’t have it all together. That I wear a mask of competency on a daily basis. So come on in. Because I can’t do this alone.”
This is definitely easier said than done. I can testify. As I continue to heal from the shame and lies I have carried, I begin to see the beauty and purpose in vulnerability. I encourage you to be the hero in your own life when you can, for it is always so empowering to stand strong in who you are! But when the time comes that you need an outside your comfort zone type help (and you will), ask for it. Be brave enough to know your worth amidst your weakness.
There is an African Proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” My prayer is to go as far as I am supposed to in this life. And I pray the same for you.