I have a stubborn streak a mile wide.
All I have ever really needed to accomplish anything has been to have someone tell me I couldn't. Nothing fires me up quite like thinking I have been forbidden or denied. I was the spoiled little girl stomping her foot in the store when my mother denied my request. I was the fiery teen slamming my door when I didn't get my way. I have been the wife whose head spins around before I turn on my heel and leave the room. I am the mother whose heart bleeds for children but who rules with an iron fist when it comes right down to it. I am the friend who will dig my heels in until it makes me cry.
It is not pretty, but it is who I am.
Lindsy Wallace said it like this: "Temperament is hard wired. Temperament doesn't change. Character? Character can change. God changed Saul's character and he became Paul. Paul's temperament wasn't any different than Saul's. Both men were zealous. Both sold out for what they believed.
Your husband/child/co-worker's nature, their temperament is given by God, for His purposes. We can't change each other's temperament and we can't change our own. We can harness temperament for good, we can wield it for the benefit of ourselves and others, but we cannot change it. And we aren't supposed to."
I can't my stubborn temperament, but I can harness it for good.
If I told you my story, it wouldn't take long for you to figure out just how handy my stubborn will of steel has been these first thirty-four years of this ride called life.
Genesis 50:20 says, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today."
What could have been used for evil in my life, God has meant for good. When He's called me to walk toward waves no one in their right mind would deliberately enter, He's parted the waters and lead me toward dry land I could have never seen. If I had consulted with man, I would have never known it was true. If I weren't stubborn enough to go another way, I would have missed the greatest blessings of my life.
When darkness has closed in on me and there was no light in sight, just before I thought the very curtains were going to close for good, I have been stubborn enough to look in the face of that darkness and flat refuse to lose. I have been stubborn enough to recognize the enemy, to see an attack for what it is, and to fight like hell to find the light again.
It's changed everything - allowing God to take all that seems wrong to me and make it right. I would give anything to easygoing and amicable, but He's made me for a purpose I cannot being to understand.
Friend, I don't know where you've been or what you believe about yourself, but I want to encourage to look at it from a different angle for a minute. What if the very things you're fighting to change are what God intends to use for your good and His glory? What if you did something crazy? What if you trusted Him just enough to believe he could harness whatever was intended to harm you for good?
What story can your scars tell? What is it about you that you've learned to hate?What is bottled up inside you that might be aimed in another direction and released for so much good? How can you bring hope to the folks around you? How different might things look if you stopped trying to look like them and started shining like light among them?
What if the darkness had to flee?
What if it's up to you and me?
What if we stop apologizing, start embracing, and fight with all we've been given to find another way?
What if we started today?
What if God's grace really is sufficient and his power really is made perfect through our weakness? What if His light really does shine brightest through the cracks of our broken and contrite hearts? If you've ever been brokenhearted, I don't have to tell you that those who are in need of healing don't go looking for perfect people, but those who have lived to tell the tale. They're looking for hope. Why else would God Almighty allow us to break His own Son just so we would see??
How might the Father use us - no matter how stubborn we are - if only we'd get over ourselves and let Him?
What kind of difference could that make in this world we're living in?
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my 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. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 9-10