Friday, January 4, 2019

One bright Saturday morning, my mom and I had breakfast at a coffee shop. While waiting for our food to arrive, my mind wandered into swirls of thoughts that made me restless and insecure. It kept bringing back mistakes. Mistakes from yesterday, a week ago, 2 years ago, 10 years ago. Mistakes that never seem to end. Mistakes that never seem to heal.

As I grow older, I've noticed that I have been a perfectionist-not in terms of my work but of my attitude. I try to make sure I am the right person for everything and for everyone. This is very exhausting as we all know.

After having breakfast, I turned around to examine the place. A particular quote written on the mirror caught my eye, "The challenge is not to be perfect, it's to be whole." I immediately wrote it on a piece of paper and smiled with feelings of encouragement. Taking it as a simple reminder from God.

When I arrived at church, an overwhelming feeling crashed down on me as I realized the amount of responsibility my church has placed on me. I sat in church feeling empty. Where is God in this moment of frustration?

While having a conversation with a church member, she got annoyed with me for not being clear about what I was saying. I stared at her for almost a minute and quickly ended the conversation.

As one of my friends called me into the room, I walked straight into her direction and a crash was heard. A broken glass. I immediately assumed it was my fault and repeatedly apologized to the owner of the glass bottle. Until now, I'm not sure if it was even my fault.

Having no sense of value, I was quick to think it was my fault. Guilt and shame overcame me and I wanted to go home. What will these people think of me?

Another mistake added to my collection of regrets. My brain will surely play this again and again for days, weeks, months, years, forever. At that moment even if I knew it wasn't true, I felt like everyone was waiting for me to make a mistake. Waiting for me to say something, so they can mock me. I just wanted to hide away. Even now, I want to hide and be silent about this because I don't like people commenting about what I do, but this message is so precious to me and here's why:

During the afternoon of our family Bible reading, the designated chapters to read for the day were Deuteronomy 1-3. I believe that when reading the Bible, God speaks. As my heart became like a stone, these words were trying to win me back to life:
“Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” Deuteronomy 1:29-31
I have given so much power to my consuming thoughts when in fact, there was no need for me to fear other people's opinion. God goes before me, to fight my battles, to fight my insecurity. He has carried me to reach where I am today. Surely, He'll never leave me alone.  

Sometimes we focus too much on ourselves which causes us distress and disappointment. I constantly dwell on my mistakes as if that's all I ever am; I let it define me. I can try all the tricks and formulas to distract myself, but the only solution is to look at Christ.
"If you look at the world, you'll be distressed. If you look within, you'll be depressed. If you look at God, you'll be at rest."Corrie Ten Boom
He's the one who deserves to take up space in my mind not anything else. I don't want to be perfect anymore. I want to be whole. I want Jesus to pick up the pieces and fragments of my life and make me into a beautiful tapestry of imperfection. I am imperfect, yet I am still loved and accepted by the One who shaped my heart.

Have you struggled with perfection too? Let me know in the comments.

Scripture Reference꞉

Mark 10꞉18
2 Corinthians 10꞉5
Galatians 1꞉10

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So true, Rachel! I'm glad you're realizing this and were so real and transparent about where you've struggled. It reminds me of how I felt so much of the time when I was in my twenties and thirties. I really struggled to let go and not be responsible for every failure going on around me--even when it wasn't my fault. I'm not "perfect" yet, by a long shot! But I'm so much freer than ever before to be an imperfect woman chasing after my perfect God!


" I'm so much freer than ever before to be an imperfect woman chasing after my perfect God! " I love that! Thanks for sharing your thoughts Beth. Glad to have you here.


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