Like Wrestling an Alligator

I doubt that you have ever wrestled an alligator. I sure haven't. But I have wrestled with doubt, and sometimes I think the gator might be an easier opponent. In this devotional I share my experience with doubt when I first felt called to write and speak. Would God use an imperfect woman / wife / mother like me? The answer was yes, because, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9
I doubt that you have ever wrestled an alligator. I sure haven't. But I have wrestled with doubt, and sometimes I think the gator might be an easier opponent.

When God led me to begin stepping out to write and speak, I immediately started trying to get my life together. Because we all know that God can't use an imperfect woman in an imperfect marriage, raising imperfect children, and keeping an imperfect house, to minister to other women.

The problem was, no one would cooperate with my Let's Get It All Together Plan--including me. My faulty thinking went something like, "When all these issues in my life are finally right, then I can move forward with what God is asking me to do."

Well, God didn't wait for me to get it all together. He began to open doors--and I began to wrestle with doubt.

The problem was I could not fathom how a perfect God could use someone so far from the mark--we're talking not even close, people!

I was placing my faith in my own ability to meet lofty goals of perfection, when all God wanted was for me to do was obey Him and allow His grace to move--in my life and through my writing and speaking--in spite of my imperfections. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says it perfectly:

My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.

The truth is, I'm a flawed woman. Though I love Jesus with all my heart, I have not arrived. That used to freak me out. Now, I figure if God is good with it, I can be, too. That doesn't mean I willfully sin. It just means that as I go forward (and occasionally stumble), I can relax and trust that God knows what He is doing--because my heart is to do the right thing, even though I sometimes fail. (See Romans 7:15-16)

I still occasionally wrestle the doubt gator, but I'm making progress. And I'm continually humbled and amazed that God uses this imperfect woman.

How about you? Do you ever wrestle with doubt? Is there a specific thing God has put in your heart but you resist--because you doubt?

Lord, when I recognize my own weakness and ineffectiveness help me not to be discouraged or doubt, because Your power works best in weakness. Lord, may Your power, love, and goodness be showcased in me, not because I am able or gifted or having a good day, but because You are mighty and You are awesome. You are able to use me not because I am perfect, but because You are. Thank you, Lord for working in and through my weakness. In the awesome name of Jesus, Amen.


Diane said...

Who could ever be used if we're waiting to be perfect??? Not me! I am thankful that He takes me as is and I can still be useful to Him. :O)


It took me some time to get the truth that God uses me when I speak out of my weakness, as well as my strengths. Thanks for this great reminder.

And, yeah, I won. Thanks so much.


Mining for Diamonds said...

Oooh, this is a timely post! I am in that very space right now. Not only the doubt thing, but the "but Lord, I'm a nobody!" thing...I guess that would fall under the same category. "Who am I that God would want to use ME? I have nothing, I don't know anybody, I'm not profound or eloquent, blah blah blah." But I keep reminding myself that this is GOD's call, so the burdens are all on HIM. All I have to do is say "yes, Lord"!

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I will certainly look you up when I get to She Speaks!

Kim said...

Thank you for this blog post. You addressed an area that is very sensitive and authentic in all our lives! I wrestle with doubt every day and it took me being bald, sick, and weak before I believed that I was lovable. These days I am choosing to believe and trust...and smiling with delight every step of the way!

achildoftheking said...

Amen... This post was none too soon. Yehwah, Your timing is so perfect. Thank You Father God!

Terri Tiffany said...

Doubt and I live here together every day:)) I doubt my abilities as a writer, as an employee and as a soon-to-be speaker. I have to trust that God knows better!

vcradlebaugh57 said...

(Sigh of relief), thank you for sharing something that I,(and perhaps others), needed to know. It is God's Grace that will bring about His Plan for my life. It amazes me that He has called me to write and speak, something I had a desire to do for many years, but didn't because of self. Your post,"Like wrestling an Alligator", ecourages me.

Cheryl Barker said...

Satan definitely wants us to feel unworthy to be used. He'd love to keep us all mired in that trap and unable to go forward, wouldn't He? So glad God loves us and uses us in spite of our failings.

Lisa said...

Julie thanks for sharing this. I also appreciate all of the comments. When I was little I struggles with reading words backwards. I got held back in third grade. I was taking out of the classroom to work one on one with a teacher. My peers made fun of me. When I was five I felt like a failure. For forty years I believed that something is wrong with me. Like a turtle I lived in a shell of doubting my ability to do anything great for God. Today at forty five I have decided that I am God's Masterpiece and I give him ful permission to use me anyway He wants! The girl who read and wrote letters backwards is now writing. I have so much to share about God. Alligator I am done with you!

Karen said...

Hey, did you know I come from "gator" country. No, not the Gainesville ones, but cajun ones. And I know about the spiritual ones, too.

Shelly said...

Hmmmm...have you been reading my journal? ;) I just posted a short paragraph on surrendering today. One of the points I mentioned about surrendering is that when we surrender, it puts the focus on God's ability and not our own. I think He is trying to tell me something...

I am listening, Lord. Teach me to surrender (and to stop wrestling with the gator)...

Thanks for sharing :)

B His Girl said...

If you ever capture that gator, fry It taste like chicken. Really. I had fried gator in Colorado (never in FL) Doubts definitely try to wrestle their way into my mind. It is a fight to keep them at bay. God is revealing so much of Himself to me, I should never give 'doubt' a foothold in my life. I know the Lord is Faithful and True to what He tells me. I have to cast down those thoughts and put duct tape around its mouth. Isn't that what you want to do to a 'doubt casting gator'...shut its mouth. B

Janna Leadbetter said...

Yes! And I think the doubt comes hardest when He's a step ahead of us. It's that which pushes us, though, and from which we gain our greatest strengths.

Great post, Julie. Thanks.

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