The Power of Two
My life was perfect.
I had two loving parents who dedicated love, time and attention to me. I had many examples of what men and women of God were supposed to look like. I had a family history of education, hard work and success. I knew how important it was to have a relationship with God, and how special family life was. My mother was a strong, loving, hardworking woman, and my Daddy was a strong, loving, hardworking man. I was raised to trust God - to be strong and independent. I was taught to be self-sufficient. I was built to strive for perfection. I succeeded in everything I attempted. I excelled… and by all accounts, my life was “perfect.”
In all of these experiences, I learned that perceived success is almost always tied to each of the following traits: being strong, being independent, and being self-sufficient. I worked hard to achieve the appearance of strength, independence, and self-sufficiency - and I succeeded. Through all my years in college, in my career, in my marriage and in my family, I was a boss at externally making my life look flawless.
On the outside, I was always at the top of my game. My home was beautiful. My family looked amazing at all times. My career was booming. But my relationship with my husband suffered. I was constantly unhappy at home, I felt like my children never behaved the way I wanted them to, and our home was in turmoil behind closed doors. My career was glamorous, and I knew everyone that needed to be known. My connections were great, and I was amazing at what I did, but I was stressed to the hilt. As soon as we stepped out of our doors, my family knew how to turn on the magic of the “Power Family”, but there were many days that, once we were in the confines of our home, we didn’t speak. When we did, it wasn’t pleasant and we were miserable. Through all of this, I would pray and ask God to help my family, to no avail (or so it seemed) - but I kept pressing through with a smile that could fool the world. I never once wanted to breathe to anyone the struggle I was going through, or the disappointing life I was living. It was too personal and I dared not share. Especially when everyone thought we were the perfect family.
It seemed that nothing was changing - until one day, an incident changed all of our lives forever. My family was torn apart. We went through a season of absolute devastation. The secret was out - we weren’t the “perfect family” - we didn’t have it all together. I was embarrassed, ashamed, saddened, hurt and every other adjective imaginable. Then there was the reaction of the community who loved me - loved us - It was a mixed collection of shock, murmurings of “I knew it was too good to be true”, and sadness.
I learned quickly what the word friend truly meant at that point in my life. I learned, in my time of isolation, that God was honestly always there when others turned their backs. I also learned that there were women in my life who loved me, and cared about me and my family in the good times and the bad times. In my devastated state, I found strength from these ladies who were there for me in the midst of one of the most difficult seasons of my life. They prayed for me. They listened, and they understood the struggle. I wasn’t alone at all. They gave me strength.
As I began to dive into the word of God during this difficult time, I was directed to different scriptures and songs. You see, I have always been a worshipper, a believer - a leader in my church and community, and I had been all of those things prior to that life-changing event in my family. And in all that turmoil, we still went to church, prayed, read the Bible, and tried to activate our faith - but we still had a stumbling block. I now know that the hindrance we encountered was our desire to keep our problems private. But in the isolation, and in the crazy notion of “keeping up appearances" - we were simply being inauthentic. And we all know, where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17) - but we were in bondage.
Through my family's struggle, I was introduced to a world of true friends. People that I knew who I thought had it together shared with me that they, too, had their own family issues. There were struggles in their private lives, but they never wanted others to know. Even my friends felt that it was better to keep their problems private. They didn’t want anyone to know their business. They feared judgment and the crazy looks that they might get when people found out they had issues. In my weakest time, I gained strength from all these ladies. The crazy thing was, we were all thinking the exact same things about each other! We all felt that individually we were struggling, and all of the people around us had it made. I learned, in that moment, that we seriously were all living the same lives, just in different homes. We all had kids that weren’t always well-behaved. We all had problems in our relationships, and we were all trying our best to keep those problems from everyone we encountered. How insane is that?
Relationship is about give and take; honesty, authenticity and openness. Even though we know that’s what true relationship is, very few of us actually have those types of relationships. With technology and the convenience of texting, social media, and all nuances of the world we live in now, it is easy to portray that everything is wonderful. Our relationships suffer because we walk around in an emotionless time where we send texts, pictures, or symbols to represent who we are, instead of getting together and actually living life with each other. I truly believe that the enemy wants to do everything he can to hinder our relationships - both with God, and with others. If he is able to get us to a place of isolation, taking on all of our problems ourselves without the help of God, family or friends - then he has us right where he wants us. Depending on ourselves. Being “strong”. When we need God. We need each other. Proverbs 3:5 says,
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding." (NIV)
When we press upon ourselves that we can handle it on our own, when we feel like our prayers are not being heard and that we cannot reach out to our friends for support, then we restrict our power in Christ. If we have an issue, we need to gather together with other believers, come into agreement with them, and call upon the name of God. When we do this, things have to change! Matthew 18:20 tells us that where two or three gather in His name, God is in their midst. In some of our darkest hours, we can often feel that God is not there. But He is always with us. We simply have to open the eyes of our hearts to see Him there. When we activate Matthew 18:20, it allows us to find support in each other, and comfort in knowing God is with us.
Don’t allow the circumstances of your life to keep you bound. Realize that, in life, we all go through highs and lows, and we need each other to keep moving and making an impact in the Kingdom. None of us live perfect lives, no matter how hard we try. We all have struggles and, despite what we believe, we all go through the same kind of things. Even when life screams that you need convenience, and that it is so much easier to send a text, or share a post - don’t. Whenever you are in need, reach out to your friends and your family.
Cultivate your relationship with God and others so you can activate your faith in times of weakness. There is power in the name of Jesus, and there is power that we can activate when two or three of us come together in agreement on any one thing! We have been given authority and access to the throne of God. It was in my darkest hour that I learned the power of two or three people who gathered, touched and agreed together in faith. My faith was made stronger. I was able to walk in who God has called me to be - flawed and all - and still hold my head high. Through my relationship with Christ and those like-minded women in my life, I now possess true independence, self-sufficiency, and I am made strong. Through my weakness, Christ’s power has made me perfect in Him. I am a living testimony of Matthew 18:20:
“For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.” (NIV)
And through those beautiful women who took the time to pray with and for me, when I didn’t have the words to pray for myself, I have seen God in the midst of it all. For that, I am forever grateful. Never underestimate the Power of Two. It will change your life.