Why I Hope I Never Feel Completely Adequate

As I approach the age of 50 {insert the scary "Jaws" movie music here} I'm beginning to understand the futility of even thinking of relying on myself. I realize that 50 isn't exactly 80, but as my body transforms with age, I'm left with less natural ability. Much less.

Things that once came easily to me, like accomplishing 150 things in a day or remembering your name, (or fitting into my pants) are no longer happening. I struggle to achieve everything on my list, in my heart, and that God requires of me.

And yet this is the time God has chosen to open many doors, and the irony isn't lost on me. I sense God saying Now, now I can use you. Now you are truly beginning to understand that My Power is made perfect in your weakness. (See 2 Corinthians 12:9)

Now that writing a book looms large in my daily life and other opportunities, such as speaking {insert more scary Jaws movie music here} open up, I have come face to face with my own pathetic inability. As I transform into more of a wreck for Jesus, I realize that had these doors opened sooner, I might have fallen into pride.

And so I'm struck with the thought that I'm unspeakably grateful for my inadequacies.

Now that there is no way I can actually do the things He is asking me to do, I'm trusting Jesus and relying on His grace in a raw, desperate, Jesus you have got to show up now because if you don't there's just no point sort of way.

And this desperation has pushed me into a freedom I never knew existed. Because now the pressure is not on me, but on Jesus. I am simply committed to showing up, obeying Him, and trusting Him to do what I clearly am not able to do.

Yes, I study. Yes, I practice. Yes, I work hard. But then His magnificent grace sweeps in like a glorious breeze on a sweltering day, multiplying my efforts. And I'm left standing in awe, my heart crying out Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful woman. (Luke 5:8) I experience abundant grace and ability where before none existed.

And so I hope I never feel completely adequate. Because the truth is, I'm not. But He is. And I'm discovering that His grace and His presence mean so much more than mere adequacy.


Mining for Diamonds said...

Julie, your posts bless me so much. I connect with your heart in this one because I feel so much the same way as I'm about to turn 40 in a few weeks. (We must have close birthdays!) I definitely look forward to meeting you in person at She Speaks!!! Bless you on your journey, I can't wait to see how it continues to unfold for you!


Blessings on your in this new phase, Julie.

Hey, Julie and Kimberly, give each other a hug . . . for me.


Karen said...

Grace sweeps in like a glorious breeze! That touched my heart as it blew by! An old saint-friend of the family used to say, "The more I learn of Him the less I know."

Can't wait to read your book. :)

myletterstoemily said...

it always comes back to His grace, and i
am reminded of "Lord, i believe, help my

Farm Girl said...

Thanks so much for sharing your heart. Also thanks for visiting me today. As I am watching myself do all of the things you describe. One of the things I notice I better be doing is having my mind transformed by the renewing of the word and work on the gentle and quiet spirit which is precious to God and not looking at this outward body that is perishing day by day. But to keep my eyes always on Jesus who is the author and finisher of my faith.
As a t shirt once said, " Getting old is not for wimps." I will be coming back thanks.

Cheryl Barker said...

God is so good -- and faithful -- to provide the words and ideas we need when we need them, isn't He? So thankful that His power is made perfect in my weakness because I have plenty of that! :) May God continue to give you all the words you need, Julie!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I've always had a strong sense of who I am and always felt confident in my abilities to achieve, whatever the task. That being said, this cancer season has brought me to a new level of understanding about myself and my need. Last Sunday, I spoke for the first time to a large group since my diagnosis. I was nearly worn out with worry, confident that I would fail. This is where Abraham Lincoln's quote has fallen afresh on me in this time: "I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go."

I don't know what's in store for my up ahead, and for the first time in my life, I'm completely "OK" with that reality.

Cancer as been my good teacher.

Great post.


Cheri Bunch said...

Love your posts, Julie! Anticipating a new good read with "written by Julie Gillies" sketched onto the cover. You go, Girl!
I love American Idol. I thought this year was extremely special. I didn't like all the extra stuff they put on the show, but I loved the contestants.


Ginny said...

Julie, all I can say is, when your book is finished, I want a copy. I love your writing. It hits home for me all the time.
By the way....50 aint so bad! I am 64 and I can hardly believe it myself! Yes, we slow down, we have less energy, and all that other stuff, but we continue to proceed forward.
You once again touched my heart and soul.

Kim said...

As always your words touch my heart and speak such truth. I just love how when we obey, God shows up in a remarkable way. As I walk this unfamiliar road with writing/speaking/??...I am so excited and humbled to see God at work. Blessings to you on this next phase of life.

Danielle said...

How this post resonated powerfully with my heart.

The moment I think I might have it, the harder my fall is to realize that I am so far from having it its not even funny. Learning to fully trust in His provision for what He's calling is an amazing and frightening thing.

I hope I get to meet you at She Speaks next month!

Kelli Williams Wommack said...

Julie, I am approaching 40 as well and just said to my church staff a week ago what you have titled your blog post. Wow! I love it that when I feel my weakest, He shows up in magnificent way so that He can be glorified! So, "I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses," says our friend Paul.
Can't wait to meet you at She Speaks. I have enjoyed reading your blog today and your prayer room blog post that you mentioned on the Facebook group page. God's blessings!

The Frazzled Mom said...

Julie - Love it. I'm facing an empty nest in 5 years, and I'm trying to reinvent myself with my writing. Been published a couple of times, started a blog. I write and at times I'm at a standstill. I pray and God helps me with ideas or the right words. I'm not capable by myself. Kids are 13, 15, 17. Summer is for chores - kids have to be prodded! Sooo.. not much time to blog. My blog is about frazzled moms. Funny, inspirational. 5minutesforthefrazzledmom.blogspot.com

Terri Tiffany said...

I love the way you turned this around. When I spoke for the first time this spring--it was all Jesus--cause I was totally inadequate but He did it:)
You will too with Him.

Caroline said...

Oh, I so get this: "I have come face to face with my own pathetic inability."

And, I love this: "And so I'm struck with the thought that I'm unspeakably grateful for my inadequacies." What a Paul-like thing for you to say and feel! And a beautiful thing, as well.

Thank you, Julie, for yet another great post.

Kristy K said...

I love the line about possibly falling into pride if you received these opportunities sooner. So true... waiting is such a challenge - I've been in a long season of it, but I know God is preparing my heart and orchestrating something much better than I could imagine.

I'm so glad I stumbled onto your blog. What a blessing!

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