I have a confession.
I have a secret that only my innermost circle knows about. In fact, I've hidden it so well that maybe even they've forgotten I struggle with it.
It's debilitating. Sometimes, I can't get anything done as I inwardly battle against it. It causes me to overly criticize myself, my circumstances, and the people around me - always resulting in disappointment and negativity. It literally displaces my joy and infects my heart with discontentment. It's worse when I project it onto my loved ones - as if they are not enough, or the best that they could be. It can change my entire perspective in a split-second. It's fed by the trending rhetoric found on social media, that no matter what you do -it isn't good enough or pretty enough. All of this works on convincing me that my lack defines me more than the abundance that lives within me.
Does any of this sound familiar?
I am a perfectionist.
It's incredible how much this one personality trait holds me back from embracing this season I'm in. How can I embrace that which I am constantly critiquing? It's impossible.
For me, motherhood presents a few challenges - as I'm certain other seasons of life do as well. What it boils down to though, is that there just isn't enough time or the emotional energy to present my life, and this season, the way I wish I could. Some days, I wake up having only slept a couple of hours the night before. I might not brush my teeth until after lunch time. I might throw my hair into a bun and will most definitely wear my leggings as long as possible. There are days where I wake up happy and ready to be the best mother that I can be; and then other days where my husband has to drag me out of bed. I mean I can give countless examples where I am a mess. I run late. I forget important tasks. Breakfast is just oatmeal. My kids whine. I hardly see my friends. Coffee is more of a food group then it should be. I don't workout. The house is covered in train tracks, and 'beep-beeps', and crumbs.
I've had to let go.
Of friendships. Of habits. Of routines.
Of expectations. Of ideals. Of performance.
I've had to let go of the pretense that I'm in control. My perfectionism is a shaky grasp for what I think is better - my version of redemption and my kingdom, NOT His.
But you see, God is changing me. He's working on these areas of my heart that I didn't even know existed - digging up both treasures, and ruins. Perfectionism? I no longer have a need for it - it deserves a place in the recycling bin.
God takes what's good, and makes it better. And He takes what's bad and redeems it - changing it until it has no shadow of it's former self. Nothing goes to waste, and even more is added to us. This is the abundant life.
I'm a citizen of the upside-down kingdom where my imperfection is invitation to His perfection and where my lack welcomes His abundance. It's where letting go gives me the ability to embrace and celebrate my flaws, my mess, and my unbrushed teeth. Thanks God.