Hello everyone! I know that it’s been sometime… to be exact it’s been since school started this semester, that I have posted. Well the semester is winding down, though finals are certainly not behind me, and my 18 credits have given me enough of a breath that I could actually think about the blog and have time to reflect on what it is I would like to write. This semester has possibly been the most stressful semester of my college career so far, and it will possibly be THE most stressful one that I have my entire college career. With three upper division writing classes, an upper division French class and a Shakespeare class, and my very, very silly 100 level philosophy class that thinks it can demand all my time and attention (I will accept a D in that class if I have to), God has certainly be teaching me something. Something crucial.
I wonder if this Something was always there, and I wonder if I only became teachable enough through the constant breakdowns about prioritizing and the stress to get everything done just right. I have always been a perfectionist. And since I have been married I have begun to acknowledge what a burden it truly is. I have been aware of making my perfectionism an Idol. But only recently have I come to realize that awareness is not helping me any. I am a Slave to perfectionism. I am not living like one of the Redeemed when I break down from anxiety and stress; when I beat myself up for some perceived ‘failure’. And it has been only recently, that I have decided to get out. I want out! Only recently have I realized that I don’t want to live like this anymore, and that I am going to have to do more than “be aware” to be free from this.
I read somewhere recently that you can’t uproot something out of your life simply for the sake of uprooting it, something will always take it’s place. So you must replace it with something better than was there before. For me, uprooting what was there before cannot even be done without the strength of the replacement: and that is Jesus. As I have been aware of previously, when I live my life for my perfectionism, even though I am doing good things, I am doing them for the wrong reasons and that leads to sinful Idolatry. As I realized this before, I tried to combat my perfectionism with sheer will power to “do it better” and “for the right reasons”; but you can guess where this led to—more perfectionism. And at even higher stakes. I have been duped once again into thinking I can fight my own way out of this; and terrifying as it is to say— I can’t.
I was having this conversation with Willy a couple weeks ago. I was probably sobbing. Asking him; “What do I do??? What do I do???” And this is what he told me. He said, “You need to just live every day for Jesus, give him the glory for what you accomplish and for what you didn’t accomplish.”
Of course, I wanted a cure all. I wanted a “Say these magic words and WAAABAAAM you’ll never have to deal with perfectionism again!” This is a slow solution. A solution that involves making a day by day commitment to live TODAY for Jesus Christ, my savior, my Identity; and to give the Glory to Him alone and not to my shattered, grasping, perfectionistic, idolatrous self. It also means trusting him with my Self, with my Identity—which is honestly so much better than trusting myself. My perfectionism won’t let me be good or feel good about myself; not for one second. And Jesus knows that I am not good, but he teaches me to feel good about myself as I would about any other Child of God. I am beloved. I am valuable. I am NOT perfect, but Jesus is; and He loved me enough to die for me.
If you’re going to be teachable, that is truly the first lesson you aught to learn, and it will likely be the lesson that you will keep learning day by day, for the rest of your life.