OH Brooke.. you are always keeping me thinking!!
after reading her post last Thursday about singing I really got to racking my brain about which one of my weaknesses He uses me through. At first, I couldn't come up w/one, not weakness, believe me that list was an easy one ;), no the useful weakness list, that was tough.
I am going to go w/my infertility. It has been the toughest hurdle for me to clear & on occassion, I still feel it flare up. Thankfully, He sent guidance to me through a few friends & a book just when I needed them most. Both pointed out to me how thankful, honest & patient I should be for & with what I had already. Pointing out that I was already blessed w/a good life, family & husband, but mostly my career choice. Being in the childcare field while trying to conceive was painful at first. Every child made me wonder if my child would act like, look like, talk like that. After reading the book, I became very comfortable in knowing that what will be, will be & that we truely aren't in charge of what happens & when, in our lives.
Not having my own children, I feel I am better able to care for others as I have more energy, time, patience & true love to share. I have had other providers point out to me that if I had my own kids, I'd be tired from the infant overnight stage or from the activities of the older stages, I'd be frustrated w/the childcare children breaking my kids' toys, parents as well as children, not respecting our privacy, home or lifestyle. At first, I took offense to those statements but the longer I am in the field, I can really see the validity to their points, all spoken from experience that I didn't consider at the time. Without my own children to care for during work hours, I don't feel guilty for hugging another child, nor is there a child of my own to feel threatened or jealous.
I have talked about how my neices & nephews have taught me how to love like I didn't think I was able. This is what I meant by that. I thought I'd never know true child-'parent' love & vise versa but they've shown me how easy & awesome that feeling is whether they are part of my body or not. I couldn't love those 5(almost 6) children any more had they been mine from birth. I get to be the 'fun' aunt with boundaries & send them home before they get grumpy from being worn completely out. HAHA ;)
I have also used my infertility experience to point out the blessings that are children to a parent that's having a rough moment, day, week or time. Many times, I gently remind them when they are complaining about no 'me time', how hard it is to clean around them or how they watch nothing that isn't child appropriate on tv, just how willingly I'd give up all of those things I currently have to be in their shoes. I am also respectful enough to acknowledge that they'd probably give up a lot to be in my shoes even if just for a few minutes or days.
Coming to terms with my infertility was probably the most freeing part of my life so far. I am very blessed to have been able to apply many of those lessons to other parts of my life. I've since been able to roll with the punches of other challenges of 'every day' life much easier than I would have without the lessons of patience, acceptance, & knowing when to give it all over to Him. Rarely do I stress anything for very long these days. Everything happens for a reason, even tho it might be a bit of time before that reason shows itself, I am very aware of 'letting things go as they will' these days. Oh how much less of a bratty teen would I have been had I known this back then ;) I try very hard to be an example of how to let Him handle things to those around me.
To say I am thankful for the infertility is by far a stretch but I am definately thankful for the lessons I have learned from it. THIS is how I think He works through my weakness. What is your weakness you are thankful for?