Specifically with me, I have smiled. And cried. And yelled and laughed. There have been some dark moments recently and I’ve been working on identifying the root of my recent struggles. I think I’ve begun to narrow it down. Again, the positive has outweighed the negative. It always does. At least in time. In the dark moments, it’s not easy to remember, but I cling to the promise that God is not done working on me and will never leave me. Nor will He fail to complete the work He has begun in me.
Why is this on my mind? Well, for starters, because I think its something we all need to hear now and then. God loves you and He hasn’t given up on you. Far from it; the fact that you’re breathing today means He has great plans for you.
For you.For you.
Sometimes I feel like I’ve screwed up too much. I’m not enough. I never have been and never will be. Not only am I screwing up right now but there is no hope that I will ever get it right.I am not entirely sure what “get it right” means, but I think it looks a little like perfect. And that’s a big part of the problem.
On those “not enough” days, in those dark moments, I feel frustrated, overwhelmed and insignificant. I feel powerless and hopeless. And frustrated. If “perfect” is my standard, or at least my goal, what exactly does that look like? I’ve learned (somewhat late in the game, I’ll admit) that perfection is not a normal goal. And it doesn’t even have a static definition. It looks very different for different people.
I asked my 7 year old what it means to be “perfect”. She said she couldn’t really think of what a perfect person would look like because she’s never seen one. She reminded me that “perfect people don’t sin and only Jesus didn’t sin”. Then I asked my husband, son and daughter. Going into these conversations, I thought I would get 4 different answers about perfection but instead got 4 confirmations that perfection doesn’t exist.
With these answers, I turned inward. What is my definition of perfection? This is where I learned that I don’t really know the answer to that question. One day it means being a perfect friend – saying the right things, remembering all the details of my friend’s life, having unlimited time to spend listening, sharing about myself but not too much…. Etc. Another day its being the perfect wife – being supportive and encouraging, having an immaculate house and a hot, aromatic, delicious dinner, being sexy and playful and “in the mood”… And yet other days its being the perfect mother – having happy, well-behaved children who are successful and kind, smart, funny, attractive and know about God. The problem (well, one of many, really) comes when my definition of perfection conflicts with itself. I need to have happy children to be a “perfect” mom but in order to have well-behaved children (also necessary for perfection), I have to discipline them.
That makes them unhappy.
This creates a problem.
And leaves me feeling inadequate and like a failure.
Because my expectation for myself is perfection.
If I can’t even define perfection, how in this big, ever-loving world can I live up to these expectations?!?!
And why do I continue to torture myself with these impossible standards? Questions I will be examining into the new year, I’m sure. This time I’m going to the source of all wisdom for my answers though. Enough trying to do this on my own.To my knees I fall. At the feet of my loving father. To ask Him to fix me. Or at least to learn to love me. That’s probably a better plan. J