This is the least perfect thing I will write. It maybe won’t make sense to you, or have errors. Or it might even be completely out there. You might even think it is terrible and close your browser after the first paragraph. That is fine. I am not offended. (Maybe I secretly am, but that is the beauty of the internet right, I don’t have to sit next to you, while you read something I wrote.)
Confession: I am a perfectionist.
Sometimes in the most unhealthy way. It usually manifests itself in fear and anxiety and inaction. There are many things I stop doing because I know they won’t be perfect. I don’t move or act on a desire or idea because I know it won’t turn out perfect.
So why even try? What is the point?
I long to put these thoughts and ideas on paper. God is working in my heart in crazy ways and I don’t know how to process without writing. But I am trapped by fear.
I don’t want to misrepresent myself.
I don’t want to others to misunderstand.
I want to be clear.
I want what I have to say to be just right.
I want to be well thought of….applauded for my righteousness.
Except, because I am messy, and broken and an so far from perfect, anything I write, won’t be perfect.
And that’s okay. Or I would like to fully believe that it will be okay. (Probably don’t yet.)
Perhaps you are like me, paralyzed by fear, disappointment, unbelief and doubt.
As a Christian, all of those things seem like completely opposite of what my life is supposed to be about.
Except it isn’t.
Those are all realities that we will face in this life on earth. James even talks that it isn’t without purpose.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4 ESV)
James is crazy, right?! I don’t know how anyone that finds joy in hard things…..or trials. Those that are experience harder things than I, most likely wouldn’t use the word joy to describe their lives. Hard things suck. Trials suck. Brokenness sucks. I don’t want those things.
So why do I think that I am above those realities, those hard things, those trials, because those produce the thing that I want most, being made perfect? Why do I think I shouldn’t experience those things? Probably pride, and a myriad of other issues. (All of which are under examination.)
I am not a perfect believer.
I am not a perfect teacher.
I am not a perfect roommate, friend, or sibling.
I am not a perfect woman, or future spouse.
I am not the perfect runner or healthy eater.
I am not the perfect single.
I am far from all of perfection in so many areas. And I have to stop thinking of perfection as the pinnacle that I will never reach and sit in a muck of self-pity.
So why do I write about this?
Other than being a verbal processor and needing to get the words out of my head. I write because I need to declare to myself the reality that I am already free from the trap of perfectionism.
He has already made me free, he has loosened the bonds. Even further he knows my imperfections, in and out, to the depths of my soul. And loves me still.
Friends, the part that strikes me to the core is that even in the midst of my messiness and failures God has not given up on me. God has NOT looked at my messy, confusing, imperfect life and walked the other direction. He remains with me, in the mess and gunk and promises to continue to work with me.
I pray and claim that I want God to rule and work in my life, but I don’t think I am prepared for what that means. So if I want God to transform my heart and soul, I better be ready to shed the shackles of “Perfect” and be ready to be messy.
Do you struggle with perfectionism? What are truths that you cling to when the bonds seem real? Do you struggle to believe that God loves every part of us? Share with me in the comments. I could use the encouragement.