Tentatively Strong

  Tentatively strong; mustering up strength not because we want it, but because we need it.
I've always been acknowledged as a singularly strong woman among my friends.  It's because they see confidence behind my quick-witted sneer.  I can think on my feet, make my presence known and throw a zinger back at someone before they can feel superior over their insult.  Bam!!  Who doesn't want to do that, right?   But that's not really strength.  It's a superficial defense.  Wit and sarcasm are the trip wires and net traps placed along the forest floor to keep anyone from reaching the castle gate.  What they're really witnessing is a slight -of- hand trick that distracts their eye from my weakness.  And really, how well do our friends even know us at all?  Most of them only get carefully proctored, by ourselves of course, social network glimpses of how are days are progressing.  They know  that I found a great pair of cross-trainers on a charity site.  They know I recently got divorced and since we both address the change in a friendly manner,  all must be well!   They can tell I'm having a down day when I end a sentence wth a sideways frowny face :(   These little glimpses don't reveal much, but enough to keep questions at bay and friends from worrying.  In the cyber- social setting, my strength holds securely.
I'm known for something else though besides my strength (which we've already addressed as not being much more than a false barricade.)  I'm known for my rash decision making.  And I smile as I write this because a select few friends will have specific events in mind when they read it!   In both of these characteristics, strength and well...let's call the other one decisiveness,  the word 'tentative' doesn't really fit. 'Tentative' implies caution and uncertainty, so when I put it alongside 'strength' I'm addressing not just might, but courage as well.  It doesn't take courage to be rash.  It doesn't take much more than nerve and that is not the same as courage!  So courage doesn't really apply to me, and strength doesn't apply either.   At least, they don't apply when I act on my own.  They don't apply when I insist on standing up for myself to defend my ego or when I leap without looking for no better reason than having become bored with a routine.  These characteristics can only be found in me after I've taken the time to seek direction.  I'm only strong and courageous after I've prayed.
And the tentative strength needs courage behind it because it's what we face when we've chosen to be strong and we're frightened.  We're about to do something that we know has to be done, but it's going to hurt.   There will be ramifications we can't predict and consequences that may hurt us further but somewhere down the road things might be better than they are now, if we survive.   I'm not sure this strength is humanly possible.   I don't know if we can find the will, drive, or power necessary to push ahead and face this danger on our own.  I can't.  But I've found this power when I've prayed.   And the prayer doesn't alleviate the suffering or hold back the adversity and hardships that action often invites.    Once again, this is not your regular strength we're talking about.  The prayer gives me something I don't already have.  In prayer, a basic humble cry for help from a human to a greater source of power, anyone can find the strength they need.
I strive to write my posts in an open-ended enough way so they remain translatable to a myriad of situations.  So I'm speaking to you all who are in need of strength, for whatever reason.   No one has to agree with you; when you know you need strength God will have your back.   You don't need anyone else to be on your side; God will give you strength to stand up and walk forward.  You don't need a more important reason than to want to be better, or safer or hopeful.  You don't need more than to know.  I know,  and have been given the strength.
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