I met Rebecca Trammel last spring at a writers conference and knew that I wanted to share a bit of her story. She’s got something to say, girlfriends, so listen up:
Let’s face it sisters…the bar is set high. The confines of social acceptability are narrowly set but loosely defined. The thing most painfully clear is that no matter hard we try, no matter what we do, no matter how much we achieve, we fail. So, WHY do we strive for this ever evasive, non-descript goal of perfection?
I have been the poster child for the frustrated, type-A perfectionist. I don’t know about your story but in the storyline of my life, striving has never met success! Rather, it collides recklessly with pain and defeat. In my naivety, I blindly walked off the plank of perfection and nearly drowned in the throes of a ravenous eating disorder. I didn’t have anorexia… Oh no, girl! ANOERXIA HAD ME! Perfectionism, while nearly destroying me, never gave me what I so desperately craved.
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There is an insidious, venomous lie that tells us that without this non-descript “perfection”, life will be a dismal disappointment and we will be hopelessly incomplete. We strive endlessly to make our lives be good enough in order to be accepted, loved, appreciated and validated. We fear our shortcomings because we believe they diminish our value. All this is a lie, but most of us have bought it hook, line and sinker. This is why we are willing to sacrifice deeply and go to great lengths to attain that which we have actually already been given. Perfectionism is only Perfection’s deceptive decoy. Perfection is not a goal, it’s a Person. Jesus Christ is the only One Who ever was or will ever be flawless and He offers Himself to me saying, “In your weakness, I will be your strength. I am looking for someone to be strong for. Whatever you have done wrong or has gone wrong, I will make right if you put your entire self in my nail scarred hands. You don’t have to be afraid anymore. Your value is backed by the stable currency of My incorruptible blood. I will NEVER leave or forsake you. Please don’t be afraid; let My love take away every fear.”
Here are the nuggets of truth I offer you from the ocean floor of perfectionism: There is no need to strive. I don’t have to be perfect to be perfectly loved. I am His and He, Perfection Himself, is mine! FOREVER!
Lord Jesus, thank you for the truth that not only saved me then, but saves me now. Please help me turn away from all of my tight-fisted striving so with my heart wide open, I might freely receive what I could never attain by my efforts. I was destined to thrive in You…and may You thrive in me! In Jesus precious name, Amen!
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