(Photo by Selma Komisky)
Weakness Transforms into Strength
By Susan Park
When I was a young girl, my grandmother told my parents in Korean, “Susan’s heart is weak.” My grandmother meant that I was a sensitive person. Throughout my life, people echoed what my grandmother said. I’ve heard others share with me I was “too sensitive” or that I “should get a thicker skin.” All these comments led me to believe that being sensitive was a weakness. I was ashamed that I felt more deeply than others. However, my perspective slowly changed as I saw my sensitivity emerge like a caterpillar transforming into a beautiful butterfly. I started to see my sensitivity as a strength and how God created me to be unique in my sensitivity.
As a sensitive person, I can cry at the drop of a hat when I watch a Hallmark commercial or when my feelings are hurt. I’ve cried with friends when they were hurting. I’ve listened with my heart when they shared. Friends confided with me that I was a good listener and felt encouraged after they shared with me.
Over the years, I’ve grown to embrace my sensitivity as a strength. I realized that God created me to be sensitive so that I can encourage others by showing empathy and compassion. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT).
One of my youth group teachers told a story about how a boy chose a puppy because of a unique quality that they shared:
A young boy was choosing a puppy from a litter to take home with him. The boy chose the weakest puppy because it only had three legs. When the owner of the puppies asked the boy why he chose the weakest puppy, the boy replied it was because he can relate to the puppy. The boy was handicapped. He can use only one of his legs. He felt that he can understand and emphasize the most with the puppy with three legs.
Their shared unique quality may have been seen as a weakness to others. However, the boy chose the puppy because of his three legs. God chose us in our unique weakness so that He may work through us. “Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NLT).
As the caterpillar goes on the journey to becoming a butterfly, we also go on a similar journey. Our unique weakness transforms into a strength in our lives that ministers to those around us. God works in our weakness so that His strength can be revealed in us. God chose us so that ultimately His glory will be shown in how He uniquely created us.