The people-pleaser and perfectionist in me does not want to post this. But alas, I feel like I should. I started it over a week ago and can’t seem to let it go.
Thursday I had my school dream. After some initial research, I found it it basically either meant I didn’t feel like I lived up to someone’s expectations or that I had a challenge in my life that I was anxious about completing.
It’s no secret that I’m a perfectionist. I have a need to do everything the right way and do it to the best of my ability. And sadly I fail. A lot. And this weekend I found out about a particular incident where I had failed big time a long time ago. And I just couldn’t let it go. Even after a conversation and apology. I beat myself up over it. Over and over again. And then it brings up all the other ways I’ve failed. And we already know I was having a pity party about my weight and even though I joined the gym, I gained weight the day after my first day. And there were dishes undone in the kitchen. The playroom was a mess. I beat myself up over not spending enough quality time with the kids. It’s just how my mind works. I just can never, ever do enough.
I think I just know that God has big plans for me and I know Mom always just wanted the best for me and I just want so bad to live up to all that. I don’t want to regret anything or miss anything. But dear goodness, it’s exhausting especially since I fail so frequently at actually being perfect.
Saturday night I had a headache and a big knot in my stomach. I couldn’t go to sleep. I waited until the house was quiet and knew I needed a moment with God. Only He can bring my body and mind to peace. So I went to sit in the living room and God said no, go lay face down in the middle of that mess in the playroom. So I did. And all I could say was I’m sorry, I’m so, so sorry. I’m sorry I fail. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. And God, literally right in the middle of my mess, just spoke, “It’s ok not to be perfect. It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok. I know you’re going to fail. You have no other way to go. It’s expected. It’s ok not to be pefect.” It was such a relief. I just cried until I could not breathe. It just struck me for maybe the first time that God knows we’re going to fail. He isn’t surprised. And He isn’t going to strike me dead when I do. And it’s ok to fail and get back up and just move on. No need to beat myself up over it. It’s ok not to be perfect.
I think God put me to sleep and woke me up whispering “It’s ok not to be perfect.” over and over. Because in between, I’d try to convince myself in another way that I wasn’t and how it wasn’t ok. How I’m supposed to be a Christian and I can’t mess up. But He would interrupt before I could even finish my though. “It’s ok not to be perfect.”
I’m not saying God says sin is ok because it’s not. But I am saying it’s ok if we do. Or even if it’s not a sin, just a stupid choice. Because guess what? God’s grace and mercy is big enough to handle it. If we screw up, it’s ok. He will use it for his glory and our benefit. He is always working all things together for the good of those who love Him. He cares about our heart. As long as we’re living for Him and trying, it’s ok not to be perfect.
It’s OK not to be perfect.
The Sunday after I wrote this, our pastor talked about forgiveness. Honestly I don’t have much of a problem with unforgiveness. But near the end, he said we have to forgive ourselves. And it hit me like a ton of bricks. For as many times that I feel like I’ve failed, I have to let it be ok. I have to let myself off the hook. I have to forgive myself.
And then the next day I believe it was Amanda blogged her pastor’s sermon on the lineage of Christ and just how imperfect they were. In fact, the whole Bible is made up of a lot of people that screwed and royally and yet were used by God. The difference is they let themselves move past their mistakes. They were forgiven and forgave themselves.
Yesterday, Carlos blogged about a 30 day challenge to get physically, spiritually and relationally fit. I’ve been working on the physical aspect but the spiritual one stood out. For months, I’ve been wanting to join Beth Moore’s scripture memorization group. And for some reason the first Scripture that jumped out that I should learn is Psalm 139: 14
I will praise You, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, all Your works are marvelous, and that my soul knows well.
This week I’ve almost gotten to the point I’ve been depressed just because of this imperfection and this verse spoke to me. I know in my head that despite my imperfection He still loves me and doesn’t want me to dwell on it. I remembered a suggestion Lysa Ter Keurst gave in her book Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl: Living the Faith after Bible Class Is Over that you should concentrate on each word of a verse, let it soak in . So I pulled out the dictionaries and got a feel for the real meanings behind each word.
To start, I wondered what does that mean fearfully mae? Was He scared to make me? Fearful He might not get it quite right? The transliteration is actually yare. In the first entry, Strongs tells us it simply means to be fearful, be dreadful, be feared. But this second one hit me hard: to cause astonishment and awe, to be in awe of. This whole time He’s been trying to tell me He delights in me (I don’t think I’ve blogged about this…it started back in August) and here it is again. He was in awe. of. me. when He made me. The last one hits even harder to inspire reverence or godly fear or awe. Can you just imagine? I don’t know how God puts a person together. But at some point he decided I was going to have brown hair and brown eyes and freckles and long legs and that I’d love to read and hate when people lie. And when he put all that together and made me, He was in awe. I just imagine me in His hands and Him looking at it in awe. His creation of me inspired awe. He delights in us and it started from the very second He made us. God is not just there for us to worship Him although this very verse talks of us praising Him but He is in awe of us. And sometimes, my friends, we need that to soak in way down deep to the very crevices our souls, the marrow in our bones. He is in awe of us.
Not only are we fearfully made, we are wonderfully made. It’s simple to say that means that He called us good. But it comes from palah meaning “to be distinct, be separated be distinguished”. Do not every doubt He has set aside each of us. He puts us together uniquely. There is a difference between each of us and not only that, we are separated from His other creations.
It says all his works are marvelous. From pala, that means wonderful, surpassing, extraordinary, beyond one’s power , difficult to do or understand. We are not chance. Man’s creation is marvelous, just as all His works are.
And we know that don’t we? We know that God’s works are marvelous. We stand on a mountaintop and know that God made it. That it was difficult. That He must be in awe of that. Why is it so hard for us to believe He is in awe of us like that? Don’t we realize he sits back and delights in us? That He calls us good and can’t wait to be in relationship with us? Because the mountains? They sure do look pretty but they weren’t made to be in relationship with Him. And He made each and every one of us so unique and so special. Enough to make Him in awe of us and He can’t wait to spend time with His creation. So even when we don’t feel it. Even when we feel imperfect. Even when we feel sad, depressed and lonely. He’s there. Sitting back in awe of us. Just waiting to tell us how much He loves us. How special we are. How unique we are. How marvelous we are.
And so after all that, I know I’m not perfect. But I don’t have to dwell in that. I am unique. I am special. I am marvelous. So many before me were unique, special and marvelous and imperfect all at the same time. And knowing that gives me hope. Hope that when I’m not perfect that He can still use me.
It’s ok not to be perfect.