I am a perfectionist by design, it is in my DNA. I find myself in a time of life that requires me to fight my perfectionistic nature at every turn. I simply cannot maintain my expectations. My house is not as clean as it has been in the past, I do not cook as creatively as I have in the past, I let emails pass without answering them, I don’t follow every assignment my kids have in school and I simply cannot do it all as I have been able to do in the past.
As a perfectionist, when faced with a time of life, such as mine, we tend to procrastinate because we do not believe we can succeed to the extent of our expectations. In this season, I tend to come up with a ton of reasons in my mind not to do something that I know I have to do or that I know God has called or asked me to do. The reasons seem right to me sometimes, but then if I truly examine them against God’s word and listen to that still and quiet voice that is sometimes drowned out, I realize that all those reasons are based in fear of failure. Fear of failure is rooted in my perfectionist nature and fear stops us from enjoying God’s blessings. Fear causes us to miss things that are right in front of us because it does not fit into our expectations or imaginings.
I constantly do battle in my mind. I regularly hear my inner voice repeat: don’t blog until you have exactly what you want to say, don’t approach that person until you have formulated what your message is, don’t search for your next step until God has clearly pointed it out to you and don’t reach out because it might not be reciprocated. But that all eliminates faith and the belief that God will come through, every time. And if I never step out, speak my thoughts, or embrace new futures, then I will miss something huge that God has for me.
In this season, God has been so faithful to me and my kids, and I have been faced with new, unmarked and intriguing paths. Ecclesiastes 11:4 says, “Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.” If we wait for perfection in our words and plans, we will never bear fruit or experience all that God has for us. And much of that may be right in front of our eyes. I am encouraged by the quote, “What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail.” Perfection does not exist on this side of heaven, but the grace of our God does. My path, good, bad, crooked, straight, hard or easy has put me right where I am today with the people that are in my life, new people and old people. I am thankful for it all and for the grace and peace God provides me in my imperfection.
My house may be a little dusty, my cooking less creative, my emails lagging behind, and my kids assignments a blur to me, BUT I have relationships that are fulfilling, people who check up on me, a community that is enriching and the addition of some wonderful new friends to laugh and cry with. While I never envisioned this in my perfect plan, God has created beauty above the waves.
By His Grace