Perfect in Weakness

August 23, 2022 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Family Focus

By Carol McClain –

We thought my mother never took a whole piece of chicken because she preferred the bones. After we ate, we’d pass the remains of our meal for her to enjoy. Years later, she revealed that while she loved to gnaw on bones, what her family didn’t eat was actually her meal.

As a child born during the Great Depression, my mother’s parents inadvertently fed into her insecurities. She wanted to go to college and major in art, but they wanted her provided for and convinced her to marry instead. Thus at eighteen she married, by nineteen she had her first child. As a housewife, my mother never believed in herself, only in living for her husband and her subsequent six children.

She knew her husband to be more intelligent than she, so she relied on him to earn a living and make decision. She would cook, clean and be a wife.

Life was hard. Both became dependent on alcohol until illness waylaid my father. My mother found herself at thirty-three working low wage jobs to supplement his income. However, with his illness, she worried he might die and feared for her family’s fate.

She had no faith in her talent or her intelligence, but fear drove her to school. She graduated from a community college as a physical therapy assistant.

She continued to drink, worked her jobs, tended her children, enrolled in a four-year college to become a full-fledged physical therapist. It looked as if she conquered all, but God had one more thing to show her—and, at last, she hit rock bottom.
She recognized the toll her drinking took on her family, so she joined AA. There they taught her to believe in a higher power, which eventually enabled her to understand the saving faith in Jesus Christ.

Through faith, her self-esteem grew. She opened her own practice and the family flourished at last. Her trials taught us how to live responsibly, how to trust in Jesus Christ, how to work for our goals. But most important, we learned the power of weakness.

My mother never took credit for the succor she gave others. She understands she made the decision to fight for a better life, and the rest was in God’s hands. My mother proved to us the scripture that, “‘…(God’s) 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” (2 Cor. 12.9).

My mother still loves to gnaw the meat off bones, but nowadays it’s from T-bone steaks shared with a family that both recognizes and emulates her strength.

About Carol McClain

Carol McClain is a multi-published author in the non-fiction market who currently writes contemporary novels. She has taught high school English for over thirty years, and has supervised numerous student teachers. She is active in ACFW and North Country Habitat for Humanity.
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