Why do people, specifically women, think they have to keep it together all the time? Why are we afraid to display our weaknesses or publicly admit our struggles?
In a recent conversation with a friend, she told me about another friend who had just given birth to a little girl. On Facebook, the woman’s transition to being a mom looked spectacular. She had that postpartum ‘glow’ about her and the baby was always snuggled and content in pictures – life couldn’t get any better. But then my friend asked, via private message, how she was really doing. Turns out, the new mom was living in hell. She hadn’t showered in days, her breast milk had not yet come in, the baby had trouble nursing, no one was sleeping well, and the baby cried continuously.
I think women with children can relate to this new mom … I certainly can. I remember one particular morning, Kamden was less than two weeks old, I had a complete melt-down from physical and mental exhaustion, frustration, worry, and stress. I can laugh about the situation now but at the time, I thought the world was closing in on me. I tried incredibly hard to keep my emotions in check but I was a mess. I reached my limit and finally acknowledged that “keeping it all together” was impossible and I needed help.
Thinking back to the morning I broke down and the new mom’s story, I remember my struggles with weight, relationship with food, and strengthening my faith. One thing that all of these situations have in common is pride. For far too long, I’ve been too embarrassed to admit my physical weaknesses. I have been too ashamed to admit my spiritual life was lacking.
Humility is a rare virtue. We learn to publicize our strengths and talents while keeping our struggles and weaknesses private. However, Peter, one of Jesus’ apostles, teaches that we should be humble in every way and in every relationship.
And all of you serve each other with humble spirits, for God gives special blessings to those who are humble, but sets himself against those who are proud. If you will humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, in his good time he will lift you up. Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you. ~ 1 Peter 5:5-7 (The Living Bible)
Humility actually gives us great strength. Satan loves pride and he thrives when we struggle, but if we are humble, Satan cannot tempt us.
Be careful—watch out for attacks from Satan, your great enemy. He prowls around like a hungry, roaring lion, looking for some victim to tear apart. Stand firm when he attacks. Trust the Lord; and remember that other Christians all around the world are going through these sufferings too. ~ 1 Peter 5:8-9 (TLB)
Remember Daniel in the lions’ den? The same God who shut the mouths of hungry lions and protected Daniel will protect you too.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Satan is an evil, deceptive bastard. His schemes and tactics come in many shapes and forms, sometimes people. Our enemies prey on us and deliberately attack when we are most doubtful, stressed, overwhelmed, discouraged, and weak. But if we find strength and depend on God, if we humble ourselves to be great in God’s power instead of our own, we will conquer Satan and his allies.