Turning Weakness into Strength

Dear Reader:

We humans tend to like pigeon-holing others with negative similes like ” stubborn as a mule.”

In fact the American Donkey and Mule Society defends this attribute in mules. Mules aren’t really stubborn … they just won’t put themselves in danger. The ” stubborn streak” is just their way of telling humans … things aren’t right.

In scripture stubbornness is only deemed as negative if it closes or hardens one’s heart against God instead of being open to His love.

For example think of Saul’s persecution of Christians until on a lonely road to Damascus his life was changed dramatically. Then God used this attribute as Paul’s greatest weapon … his greatest strength …as Paul stubbornly stood up to persecution as a born-again Christian.

In more recent times we saw this eerily similar transformation in famous theologian C.S. Lewis. After his spiritual transformation he wrote: ” God can’t give us peace and happiness apart from Himself because there is no such thing.”


I remember Aunt Eva telling me that mother was the stubbornness child in the family-the baby who rebelled against everything including college. Uncles Herschel and Harlette and Aunt Eva were all day students at Presbyterian College in Clinton SC -only about 15 miles from Laurens. M

other was four years younger than Eva and six or seven years younger than her big brothers-and she wanted off the farm-to see the world. So instead of a day student for four years-she opted for a two year business school degree at Winthrop College in Rock Hill-living on campus!

I will never forget mother telling me about the first time she got to come home for Christmas… it was snowing and the mountain roads icy. Suddenly the driver lost control and the bus started swerving-perilously close to the edge. Everyone was screaming and mother prayed to God if she would be spared she would quit being stubborn!

The bus made it home but God only answered part of her prayer because He knew she would need every bit of that stubborn perseverance to raise three children, literally single-handed, and put them all through college. God works in mysterious ways.

I come from Scotch-Irish ancestry …renown for their stubbornness but we also keep a sense of humor.

So until tomorrow ( line from a Scotch-Irish prayer!)” Lord, grant that I may always be right, for Thou knowest… I am hard to turn.”

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Turning Weakness into Strength

  1. ambikasur says:

    “God only answered part of her prayer because He knew she would need every bit of that stubborn perseverance to raise three children, literally single-handed, and put them all through college. God works in mysterious ways.”
    Loved it!!! Beautiful stubbornness 🤗😃

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Hello Ambika…that is right…there are no bad attributes…only people who use them badly.Stubbornness can be a positive characteristic, even a courageous character trait when used at the right time for the right reason…and yes..it can be beautiful too! 🙂

  2. Rachel Edwards says:

    When Suzy and Clyde rode the mules down into the Grand Canyon she was terrified but did it because Clyde wanted her to do it with him. When she told the guide her concern he simply said…”we have never lost a mule.” Suzy found a tiny bit of comfort in that comment. 🤔

    Love the planter Honey gave you…absolutely beautiful.

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Was getting tired of all-red on the porch and decided some blues and yellows would perk it up for a colorful summer…I noticed that the Grand Canyon guide left out the fact that though he had never lost a mule…he didn’t mention the mule rider. :):) 🙂

Leave a Reply