The Strength Inside of Me

Power in my weakness

We walked through the hospital doors with our 5-week-old son. It was a day we knew would come. We had awaited it with a mixture of relief and fear. Our little guy needed to begin the healing process so that he could live a healthy life, but the surgery was complex and the thought of all that he would go through made my heart ache.

The weeks since his birth had been a whirlwind of emotion. What I had anticipated to be a normal delivery and healthy baby was not our reality. He was born with a genetic condition that caused a significant portion of his intestines to be unable to function. It is known as Hirschsprung’s Disease.

I was told to give him his last bottle hours before our arrival. As we walked through those doors, he was already hungry…wanting another bottle.

I could give him water for now. It would help for a minute, but then the cries would start again.

The nurses were rushing back and forth. Not very warm and fuzzy for this first time mama and her sick baby. Strip him down. Weigh him on the cold metal scale. The cries were even louder now.  At five weeks old life was about eating, sleeping, pottying, warmth, dryness, love, and cuddles. At least I could still give him the love and cuddles.

In preparation for the early morning surgery, the IV needed to be inserted into his itty bitty little veins. I’d watched them do it a number of times during his first week in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) and had actually been trusted to hold him gently, but firmly, while they did so. I wasn’t an overly dramatic mama that couldn’t handle it.  I’d spent the last five weeks performing three times daily enemas so that my little guy’s body could be emptied of waste. I prepped, performed, and cleaned every aspect of that necessity.  I’d held and rocked and bounced and rubbed a hurting little tummy as he cried from his digestive system’s inability to process his food. I wasn’t easily shaken.

But the nurses were not going to let me be there or hold him this time.

They insisted on taking him to a room behind secure doors to insert the IV. But, I knew he needed his mama to hold him or my hungry, cold, scared baby would never stop screaming. This was wrong and I wanted to scream as they whisked him away from me. Now none of his needs were being met. Not even the love and cuddles.

We waited in that small makeshift room with only a curtain for a wall. I could hear him crying. Five minutes. Ten minutes. Twenty. I still heard crying.

They wouldn’t listen to me. They were not successfully placing the IV. But they wouldn’t bring him out or let me back to him.  Thirty minutes. Forty.

I thought a part of my soul was dying right then and there.

In the course of my personal life, I had weathered countless battles and on many levels had grasped that I was simply not in control of all that happens in this life. However, a battle on behalf of your child is an entirely different matter. By God’s design, as parents, we are wired to love to indescribable depths. We are wired to protect. It is an immediate placement of fierce down-to-your-toes and through-your-soul kind of love. One that says I will give my life to protect yours. But, at only five weeks old, I had already found that I could not protect him.

And that fact jolted my soul. In that moment, every last ounce of power I once felt belonged to me was stripped away.

That awful night is a somewhat distant memory now. But it marked the beginning of a significant change in me.

Little did I know that it would mark the beginning of my ability to surrender the fact that I could never be perfect.

Not the perfect daughter.

Not the perfect friend.

Not the perfect wife.

And, most difficult of all, not the perfect mama.

No matter how hard I tried.

It was a defining moment. The moment I began to be strong.

Because when I finally began to lay down my fear of weakness, I was free to pick up His strength.

I think we are taught by the world to feel strong when we can manage, organize, and control our lives and those in it. We get stuck in in a rut that says the more organized my world, the stronger the person I am. We take pride in how quickly we can respond with exactly the right remarks to put someone in their place. We judge others by how we feel they should be conducting the events of their lives. We judge them according to some preconceived standard of perfection. It becomes a vicious cycle that we trap ourselves in, never realizing how it damages our own lives…our own souls. All of it in the name of “strength”.

But I believe that it is in the moments when our power is stripped away that God’s strength rises. It is when, in the deepest place of humbleness and acknowledgment that I have no power, that Jesus says “Yes you do. It is Me in you.” Somehow He takes those moments of desperation and uses them to pull us closer to Him. He draws us into His strength and then allows us to emerge with the gift of His power fully embodied within us. The strength comes in acknowledging our weakness all the while being filled with a new power that comes from Him alone.

His strength is not going to be an overly dramatic, ranting and raving kind of protest. It is not going to be a whining, pouting until-I-get-my-way kind of tactic. His strength is not going to be a give-up-and-cry-my-eyes-out kind of response.

When I read my Bible, I observe a Jesus who speaks confidently and firmly, but all the while with words of compassion and grace. He is not snarky. He is not lead by His anger, frustration, or emotion.

Strength is often found in the quiet. In the peace. In the ability to set aside differences and love in spite of them. It’s found in grace and forgiveness. It is found in truth. It is found in the acceptance that there are a million and one things over which I have absolutely no control. And loving myself and others in spite of it.

Since that day several years ago, I have inevitably walked head-on into more powerless moments in the face of parenting my children – More than I ever dreamed. Each time, God has used the circumstances to reach the next layer of my depths of understanding.

I wish I could say He was done teaching me those lessons, but something tells me this is a lifelong course of

walking humbly, laying down my fears, and picking up His strength 

 I know this post has gotten waaaaaaay tooooooooo long, but I cannot leave you without sharing God’s Word.  2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us what God says about accepting our weaknesses. Here are three different translations. I loved all three and just couldn’t bear to pick just one to share with you!

(VOICE) and finally He said to me, “My grace is enough to cover and sustain you. My power is made perfect in weakness.” So ask me about my thorn, inquire about my weaknesses, and I will gladly go on and on—I would rather stake my claim in these and have the power of the Anointed One at home within me.

(MSG) Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.

My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

(NIV) 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.  


Blessings and smiles,


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Beautifully written Lori. Perfectly described, experiencing that same powerless feeling while listening behind a door, powerless to help your crying child, aching to hold them. Sorry any mom or child has to feel so powerless. But you found your strength.

    1. Thanks so much for the love and support, Arlene! I know your mama heart is great big and has gone through many experiences on the other side of that door wanting to fix all the hurts. Love you lots!

  2. Your story touched me deeply. It was like you were describing what I went through with my son 18 years ago when he got meningitis at 7 days old. He died and they worked on him for 3 hours to bring him back and then it was an hour by hour fight for 21 days. Through it all we kept believing and claiming God’s promises even when the doctor’s said there was no hope.
    The break through for me came on the second day while my baby boy was in ICU connected to machines and many wires fighting for life and my husband and I were in a crowded waiting room full of desperate parents like us. My husband, who was a new believer told me.. who grew up in church, to get on my knees and thank God for giving me my hearts desire of having a son even if it was only for one week, to ask for forgiveness for feeling hopeless, and to give up my son to Him for he was His. The people around us were shocked to hear him but I knew in my heart he was right. With tears of repentance I got on my knees to prayed and with all the love and sadness I had I told God to take him if it was his will and I thanked Him for I now knew what it was to be a mom to a son. At tgat moment that Peace that surpasses all peace came upon me. It was a peace that said it may not be Ok tomorrow but I will get you through this for I am in control and I have heard your prayer. So began a more intimate walk with God.
    For 21 days my son was touch and go. Even when they said there was no brain activity, after 3 blood transfusions, massive doses of medicines and numerous spinal tabs, we kept the faith, bathed him in prayer and spoke God’s promises over him. Then on the 22nd day the Doctors said it was impossible when my baby boy started breathing on his own got off life support. The next day he was in a private room off all medicines and normal. On the 24th day We walked out of the hospital with a healthy baby boy in our arms. The doctor who was not a believer said I’m happy it all worked out for you. We smiled back and told him this is what the mighty God we serve can do for nothing is impossible for Him.
    Today my beautiful baby boy is a handsome intelligent young man who is a senior in high school this fall. We use his testimony to encourage others who say there is no hope. As for me I too continue to grow in my walk with God. As my pastor once said God hasn’t poked a fork in you and said “well done”. 🙂

    God bless you and continue to use you and your ministry. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Mari – Thank you so very much for sharing your beautiful story! I am going to hold on to that story and keep it in my heart! We are still waiting for that miracle in our daughter…but I am believing the day will come! I also love that fork phrase…God says He still has work to do in us all!!!
      Thanks again and God bless,

  3. Irene Turner says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. My mother described the same feelings and events when I was diagnosed with HD in 1958. Together, we got through it and remained close in life. Living with the disease has its moments. Your child will thrive and become his own person. Despite the physical and internal challenges he faces in the future you will be his best cheerleader and confident. Please do not punish him for ‘accidents’. Somethings we can not control. Please let him know you are ok with the way he was designed. God does not make mistakes. My mom used discretion when I ran into ‘potty’ problems. She alerted my elementary and middle school nurses/ health tech. people. They always had an extra pair of undergarments waiting for me if needed. Mom also made it understood that she would pick me up from school if I needed more than just a change of clothes. Please share with him how special he is. Only God knew that this tiny infant would surpass expectations as he grows to be a man with character, compassion and integrity.

    Thank you,
    Irene Turner

    1. Irene, Thank you for your heartfelt words! It is great to hear you are doing well with the disease. Our little guy is growing into a healthy and strong young man, confident in who he is in Christ! I will be sure to remind him daily 🙂
      Blessings and smiles,