Painfully (& Beautifully) Stubborn.

“Why are you such a stubborn pain?”
“Could you be any more stubborn?”
“Jess. You’re being stubborn.”
“Come on, stop being so stubborn!”

Stubborn, stubborn, stubborn!

I am constantly being called out for being stubborn.
Even how I got the picture for this post is tied into my stubbornness.
It went something like this:

“Let me take your picture, I know you want one”
“No, it’s fine”
“Jess, I know you want a picture in front of that door, I saw you eye it”
“No, it’s alright. We don’t have to”
“Stop being stubborn and let me take the picture…”

* After several minutes of this kind of talk, I finally let myself give in and have my picture taken (because I really did want one in front of that awesome door!)

So clearly, being stubborn comes as naturally as speaking for me most days.
As I’ve alluded to in previous posts, I like to do things on my own – my own way.
This is not because I don’t enjoy people or working with people.
I absolutely love fellowship and group effort to accomplish something.
However – I love to plan and design and coordinate.
I want things to be absolutely perfect.
And those pieces of perfection I try to create; I want it to be my fault if it fails.
So I like to depend on myself.

Also, as mentioned, I don’t typically give in to weakness easily.
I push and fight and argue until I don’t have the energy to at times.
And I hate feeling like I’m in the way, or being a burden…

So really, what my stubbornness is most often, is a defense mechanism.
It’s out of fear that I become stubborn. If I am stubborn and insistent on remaining silent, or keeping to myself, then I don’t have to let anyone in, don’t have worry about wasting someones time, being in their way, being too much.

“You’ll end up talking to much”
“They don’t care”
“You’re being selfish”
“Don’t take up their time with what you have to say”
“It can wait”

I talk myself out of talking, and into stubbornness almost on a weekly basis. But the strange thing is that many of the things I hold back on aren’t actually selfish or bothersome like I try to reason to myself – they’re encouraging words, exciting experiences, and sharing about what God is doing in my life. And almost always, the person I’m speaking to has asked me to share with them. I feel like this may come as a surprise, because I am constantly going on about being transparent and open and honest. Which I am frequently. But even with the desire to be transparent, I still have little things that I’m not willing to let go of at times. I am still confronted with worldly pressure to just blend in, not draw attention to myself – to my God. I am faced with a choice, a decision: to be bold and move for Him, or to be stubborn and silent. We all are faced with that decision. And sometimes, I am bold, I launch myself into opportunities. Other times, I place my hands over my mouth and take a few steps back.

And yet –
My stubbornness has been slowly cracking and breaking lately.
Each day I have felt God chipping and chiseling away at the stubborn wall I’ve built around myself.

And with each piece that falls away, It is replaced with a beautiful lesson, experience, or love letter from my Creator. He knows my stubbornness. He sees me actively being stubborn, but He also sees and knows the innermost pieces of me. He knows what’s hiding under my stubborn layers – He made me! My stubbornness is painful at times, but it also is beautifully orchestrated and leads me further down the path to intimacy with Christ. It refines me. Each time I feel the urge to make an excuse, to be stubborn, to hide away; I feel Him speaking softly to me:

“Share that”
“Tell them about what I’ve done”
“Spread my love”
“There’s nothing wrong with sharing what you’re passionate about”
“I gave you that gift, use it – and often”

And each time that I listen, incredible things happen.

This doesn’t mean that it’s not difficult at times for me. It can be uncomfortable for me. It truly is a battle to reject that stubbornness at times. It is a conscious effort daily to not hold back. And it can be painful. But I was never promised a life of comfort. I was not created to simply live a harmless, comfortable life. Not even close! I was created to give glory and sing praises to my King! I was created so that all may know Him! And sometimes, that causes temporary discomfort or pain – but It also causes eternal joy. And that is more than enough.

When we follow the call of the Lord, change happens.
When we do so, souls are stirred, hearts are healed, movement happens, forgiveness is given, grace abounds, beauty is revealed and God is glorified.

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