Okay. Here we go. You may have noticed that I started a blog with the intention of blogging regularly and shortly into it, I quit, bailed, left it. Over the past year, I’ve thought about blogging and have even thought through a few blogs, but they would never make it to the computer screen. I would even feel excited about sharing, but then I would begin to analyze what I had to share and it didn’t feel good enough or right enough. A friend recently shared something with me that has helped me begin to overcome this “aversion” to blogging. Let me give you a brief summary of her story and share what she realized from it.
My friend made a quick decision, in the moment, while driving, that only by God’s grace, did not result in harm to her or others. She knew as soon as she had done it that she shouldn’t have made the decision to use her cell phone at that moment, but should have passed it off to someone else in the car. While those around her were quick to forgive and quick to encourage her, she was not so quick to do so for herself. She really struggled with what had happened and the choice she had made. Wrong decisions and choices she had made in the past began to surface again as well as her anguish over those choices. As she talked with her husband about everything that had happened, they began to realize something. They realized that my friend, in her mind, equated perfection with devotion to the Lord. She shared with me the truth that was revealed to her and that has allowed her to begin to heal and let go of the guilt and hurt she’s felt over past decisions.
“Perfection does not equal devotion. I am not perfect. I have a sin nature that makes it impossible for me to be perfect. So when I fall short of perfection, it does not mean that I am any less devoted to God. Even when I fail, even when I made a choice not to obey, even when I make mistakes, even when I lose my temper and blow up at my kids . . . I AM a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ. It also doesn’t mean I love God any less and it certainly doesn’t mean He loves me any less!”
As my friend shared this with me, I realized that I desperately needed to hear it! I began to pray and realize my life had become all about trying to measure up. Am I praying enough? Do I pray the right way? Am I being spiritual enough in my parenting? Am I doing my quiet time the right way? Am I doing enough? Am I doing everything right? Am I experiencing EVERYTHING I see other Christians experiencing in their lives JUST like they experience it? And the answer was always no. No, I am not doing any of those things, any part of my life perfectly. I am always failing, always falling short, always messing up. I saw that because I wasn’t living my life perfectly as I thought it ought to be, I had just quit. I realized I hadn’t written a blog, something I had felt God calling me to do, in over a year because I had been too busy comparing myself and falling short, too busy trying to measure up to perfection and what I saw in other people’s lives or blogs instead of just sitting at the feet of Jesus, my Savior, and hearing from Him. I was reminded that it’s okay that I am not experiencing exactly what someone else is experiencing because that is their story and this is mine. Just because my story is at a different place than someone else’s does not mean that I don’t measure up or that I haven’t heard from God.
So, here I am again, ready to give this another shot, going back to focusing on the Lord and just sharing what He’s doing in my life and what He’s been showing me. Thanks for reading and allowing me to share with you my struggle and God’s way of bringing truth to me through a friend.
P.S.—My imperfection does not mean that I am any less devoted to the Lord. I am broken and perfection is unattainable, but God doesn’t expect me to be perfect. For some of us, this is a daily struggle. We’ve set such high standards for ourselves that it makes it hard to be okay with our failings. How do I deal with my imperfection? How do I daily accept God’s grace and unconditional love that welcomes me back, that wants to set me free? Even as I write this and get ready to post it, I have to stand against that urge to compare it, to analyze it, to worry about what other people will think when they read it or what faults they will find in it.
There are these lies that we have believed: that we have to have it all together, that we have to be perfect, that it’s even possible to be perfect. Then we spend so much time being Martha, trying to make everything perfect, trying to figure out how to do everything perfectly instead of just sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to Him and spending time with Him. Sometimes I don’t think we even know we have this standard we’ve set for ourselves until we talk about it.
Do you identify with any of these things? Does any of it remind you of yourself? If so, I encourage you to find someone you can trust and tell them. Tell them what you struggle with. So often, when we verbalize what we have been struggling with, it begins to lose its power. We begin to see the lies we have believed and often we are able to see just how ridiculous and untrue the lies we have believed are, how they don’t line up with God’s Word.