I want to be perfect. I try not to make mistakes. My biggest fear is disappointing others. I am a rule follower, to break the rules is to be imperfect. I want to please others. To displease is to be imperfect. I want to get things right the first time, to mess up is to be imperfect. I wanted to be perfect, until yesterday morning.
I woke up and read my bible, then I closed my eyes for a bit. After that I read a text from my dad, then I began to pray. I started praying for the list of people I have a prayer reminder for in my phone, then I began to pray for my siblings, then my relationship, then I prayed for myself.
When I began to pray for myself I began to notice that I had accumulated energy and I was no longer tired, that is when I also noticed that by starting my prayer for others the Holy Spirit gave me a boost after each name I called out and spoke of. I prayed that I would no longer desire to be perfect.
Imperfection is normal and no one other than the Lord can be perfect. While this is something I knew, it was not something I believed. I wanted to be and do all of the things listed above. I thought imperfection was terrible and I wanted to stay far from it, forgetting that I was born in sin, thus imperfect.
I was reminded of a devotional I read with my boyfriend the other day, how in it the writer was talking about God's perfect plan for our lives. She writes, "Perfection seems impossible. And guess what? It is" I read this plan a few weeks ago, but this morning it came back to my memory while I was praying.
For me, I did not think perfection was impossible, I know I have said it to myself and that I have heard it over and over again, but my actions and thought life said the opposite, they all said that perfection was possible and that I could be perfect if I tried hard enough.
That is a lie! A big fat one, but when I look at my life and the role I play in my family and in some of my friend groups over the years, they all said I was perfect. I was held to a certain standard and expectation. People knew that they could say something to me and it would be done the way they wanted it and that I would not complain or put up a fuss. In my family, I heard over and over how I was the "good child" and how "Jas never acts up" or "Jas is the more responsible one"; the list can go on. I have heard these things at work, the several places I have worked, I have never received a bad report.
All of this time I had not seen what was happening. I did not notice pride sneaking up in my heart and mind. I felt I was already all good and the wrong that I did do was treated with self deprication. I had no idea of what the words of others had said were doing in me. Now I can see and my eyes are continuing to be opended as I do life with friends and those around me. They help me see me and I thank the Lord for them.
Today, I don't want to be perfect. Tomorrow I don't want to be perfect. I want to live in the here and now and be okay knowing I am going to drop the ball. When I drop the ball, I can pick it up but not with self deprication or with overthinking. I will pick it up with grace and forgiveness to myself and with truth; I am not perfect and I will never be perfect.
My prayer for you is that you would be able to see any ways that you may be trying to perfect something in your life; be it your job, your time management, your ability to create. Or you may be like me and find that you want to be perfect for others and the Lord but find a hard time extending grace to yourself when you mess up and are afraid of failure. I challenge you to sit in that and ask the Lord to take it.
I will leave us with a prayer,
Father I thank you for your grace and your patience. I thank you for your love and peace that comfort me. I pray that as I continue in life, you would help me to remember you are the only perfect person. I pray that when I mess up I would meet myself with grace and be okay with failure. I pray that I would no longer try to prove myself and to dress myself up for the pleasing of others. Would you help me to be more present and in the moment, as opposed to calculating every step so as not to miss one? I thank you for your Holy Spirit and for those in my life that love me enough to help me see me. I pray you would continue to bless them as they bless me.
In your son Jesus' name I pray, amen.