The word of hope in the Bible for perfectionists is grace. It’s by relying upon God’s grace that we are free to be ourselves before God and then by his power through Christ to become more than ourselves, to become like Christ. “It’s by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:15)https://www.soulshepherding.org/bible-verses-on-perfectionism/Bill Gaultiere
Change of Plans
All last week as I thought about what to write this week, nothing was coming together. There are many holidays at this time I could talk about. We have Armed Forces day and Memorial day which should be celebrated and the men and women who serve our country in many ways should get their due applause. I also have a daughter who is a senior this year and am writing about her experiences, which are in constant flux. But, God has been laying something on my heart that I cannot shake. And that is the idea of perfectionism vs. perspective.
As women and mothers, sometimes I believe we feel like we have to look perfect. We have to use the right diaperbag, the right stroller and as our children get older we have to invole them in all of the advanced courses, music and sports we can fit in. Then we all have to get to church on Sunday with happy faces and know the perfect Sunday School answers to the questions.
There is so much pressure to be everything the world sees as beautiful. We see it everyday on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and even in the blog world. Perfect clothes, perfect skin, perfect and healthy food…. I mean, how many of you have snapped a picture of your child when they were throwing that tantrum and put that on Face book (I’m not encouraging this) or of yourself when you lost your temper at your little one after you told them for the 27th time to put their shoes on so you could go? I didn’t think so. We only show those lovely moments we want to remember forever.
Not So Perfect
The truth is, families are imperfect. Living with other human beings is messy. Relationships are messy. God, in His infinite wisdom made men and women very different from each other. We do not speak the same language sometimes and this makes things messy. Guess what, that neighbor who seems to have it all together-maybe she is broken inside and afraid to let anyone know what is really going on in her life. Maybe she is deathly afraid of rejection. Maybe, just maybe, her family is not as perfect as it seems from the outside. Possibly, if there was someone else who was willing to let go of the “perfect facade” and let others see the truth of who they really are, she would feel free to open up as well.
I began this blog to help women let down a bit and realize they do not have to be perfect to be a good mom/wife /daughter/ (fill in the role). As in the quote above, it is the grace of God that is the salvation to perfectionists. When we can come to God with all of our mess, all of who we are, He can make us into who He wants us to be. We are not perfect and will never be this side of heaven. Therefore if you can admit that to yourself and then sit and let it soak in, you will find who you were meant to be. You are not perfect. God is your perfector.
Finally, knowing that we can we open up with one another and drop the perfect facade allows others the true perspective of who we are. We are flawed women of God. As women who love God and want to serve Him, can you show your scars to each other? Can you let your neighbor see that side of you that screams to stay hidden out of embarrassment? Are you able to be real with your sister in Chrsit? Those scars are beautiful and were allowed by God for His purpose.
I believe so many women are living in bondage because of the fear we all share of being rejected by each other. Ladies, lets love each other. When another woman comes to you with her pain, shame and imperfections, do not react in judgement. Don’t gasp in horor. Give her a hug. Tell her you understand how painful that must have been to share. Then seek to help her become all that God has for her as she shares all of what she is with you and God. If it is more than you can help with, seek a pastor or another wise friend. But support each other. Show your sister grace.
But instead be kind and affectionate toward one another. Has God graciously forgiven you? Then graciously forgive one another in the dpeths of Christ’s love
The second part of this is perspective. Perspective is how you see and sense things. Your perspective may be different from mine. When talking about holidays it could be something as simple as how we decorate the tree. Are you one of those who has to have every ornament in a certain place and only white and red? Or you a free for all mama? I can tell you I was the free for all mama. What ever the kids wanted to do with the tree, we did. Now, that they are all grown, I am changing and want a certain look but my perspective has changed. I don’t see it as much through my children’s eyes now but what I want.
In the eyes of a child
I remember one birthday cake I made for one of my daughters. It was a castle. I remember it as lopsided and the purple being way darker than I wanted it. No matter what I did I could not get that cake to stand up straight. I thought it was certainly not my best work. But for my daughter, now grown with kids of her own, it was her favorite cake. Now, I made many other cakes much better than that one, I made a pop up Lion King book cake for her one year. I couldn’t believe it when she told me that years later. To her, that birthday memory was perfect. To me, it was a bit of a disappointment.
Challenge the perfectionism and get a new perspecitive
I want to challenge you this week to look in your heart. Look to see if there is a part of you that wants to look perfect on the outside? I know there is for me. I am constantly fighting this desire for others to only see the good parts. But it is in letting others into the parts of ourselves we find to be messy, that we truely begin to connect with others and they can connect with us. We need to have the persepcetive of God. Accept who you are, give it to God and let Him make you into who He created you to be. Then, help others do the same by opening up about your imperfections.
Not in your own strength, for it is God who all the while effectually at work in you energizing and creating in you the power and desire both to will and to work for His good pleaseure