Emma is amazing. She is a tiny, 3-year-old gymnastic ninja with skills beyond her years. When I saw this clip of her on The Ellen Show, I was impressed by the reason she started training:
“Well, she was incredibly clumsy,” her mom said, “and I was hoping that gymnastics would help with it. They said that she has a talent for it and started moving her up.”
Emma appeared clumsy, but she really wasn’t. She stumbled because she wasn’t trained yet to use her tremendous natural gift—coordination. This made me wonder: What if weaknesses are really just clues about what our greatest strengths are? What if we are just untrained in how to use those strengths?
That thought gave me hope because I stumble a lot. But if I look at myself through God’s eyes, I can imagine that maybe I am a secret gymnast just waiting to learn how to do an artful, athletic floor routine, or balance perfectly on the beam. I just have to be brave enough to discover what God sees in me. Plus, in the cosmic scheme of things, maybe I am only the equivalent of a three year old in certain areas. I have a lot to learn.
One weak-strong area for me is emotion. I feel empathy for people and share their emotions. Emotional awareness makes me an avid, compassionate listener and a poet who likes to explore feelings through words. On the down side, this emotional sensitivity can become a burden. If I’m not careful, I become overwhelmed by other people’s stuff (not to mention my own). That down side can be tough to deal with, so I’ve been intensively training in several different techniques to learn how to manage it.
I am also trying to surrender to Jesus Christ. I want to use the Atonement to lift me above my limitations. But for me it is a challenge. I will probably be learning how to do this for the rest of my life. Could I have a better teacher than Christ, though? Christ knows and understands all my emotions. In mortality He managed his feelings perfectly, and He can show me little by little how to become like He is: compassionate, long-suffering, merciful, kind, and so much more.
If you haven’t already seen this interview with Ellie Heiden, take some time to watch it. Her testimony and faith in Christ will blow you away. She trusts with her whole soul that Christ can do what He says He will: make weak things become strong (Ether 12:27). And she has seen miraculous things come about in her life as a result, from becoming a 12-time state track champion to serving a Mandarin-speaking mission, after going through tremendous adversity. Her example gives me hope!
Are you stumbling a lot in some area? That can be discouraging. It could even lead you to give up on yourself, others, or God. But maybe you’re just a secret gymnast and you didn’t even know it. Do you agree? What have you learned from your weaknesses?
Consider this journal prompt as a jumping off point!