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The Monster In the Room

As I looked around my living room at the toys, cushions, trash, dirty dishes, and yes, even my living room curtains that were on the floor, I felt the old voice start in my head…

Why can’t you just put things away as you go? Wow, you are doing a great job (ha) teaching your kids how to clean up their messes. Why can’t you keep up with the house work? (it is your job after all). The kids would do better if everything wasn’t such chaos all the time. Why can’t you be more like her (insert whoever you compare yourself with here)? Why!?

This is the monster (aka the devil) in the room that points out everything I feel like I’m failing at. Do any of you have one of these monster’s living at your house?

The monster of perfectionism, impossible standards, outward appearance, insecurity, exhaustion, pride, comparison, discontentment, and fear. The endless cycle of do do do. The monster who won’t let us rest, causing us to never feel done with anything.

I saw this chart called, “10 Ways to Tell if you are a Perfectionist” (1) online and I cringed as I read it, the truth of it sinking deep in my gut. I have let go of several things over the years, but I still struggle…some days worse than others.

So often I measure myself by what others think of me or say about me, or by comparing myself to how well I think others are doing. Neither of these are a wise ideas. They both lead to bondage.

I grabbed a book from home to read in the waiting room at a doctor’s appointment yesterday. As God so often does, He provided just what I needed to read to reset my thinking patterns and remind me (and my tired heart) how much I am loved, just the way I am.

I opened the book (You’re Already Amazing by Holly Gerth) and the first thing my eyes fell on was this verse:

By one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. – Hebrews 10:14

“I thought at first my Bible might have a typo. But it turns out it’s true. I’ve already been made perfect. And so have you. Here’s how it works: There’s only One who is perfect. To be perfect, I’d have to be him. But wait – “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). When I give my life to Jesus, he gave his to me too. In God’s eyes, I’m as perfect as Christ. All that sin? It’s settled once and for all. Whew. Jesus shows Ms. P (Perfectionism) to the door and says, “I’ll take it from here.” We’ve been made perfect – check - but we’re still in the process of being made holy.” (2)

I love this!

As I sat in the waiting room, God whispered to my soul: “Tammy, I love you just the way you are. Let me take it from here. Be free, Daughter, as I intended you to be.”

And once again, my heart was reminded of how deeply I am loved. And it’s okay, and even great, to just be who I am. And my breathing slowed down, and the rest I so desperately needed flooded my heart.

And God put the icing on the cake (I love how often He does that) as I kept reading Holly’s book:

Why You Don’t Have To Be Perfect
I know Perfectionism
She calls my name and says,
“You will never be good enough.”
And sometimes I listen.
I cower in a corner.
Or I endlessly run.
But it’s always about fear.
Then these words stop me in my tracks,
grab me by the heart,
and invite grace to speak instead:
Perfect love cast out fear (1 John 4:18)
I don’t have to be perfect.
I only need to be perfectly loved.
And I am.
So are you.(3)

I am perfectly loved. And so are you. Thanks Holly Gerth.

Thank you, Father. You always keep pursuing me and You pour out your love and acceptance just when I need it most. Thank you for kicking the monster in the room to the curb with your truth and grace. Amen.

 

Sources:
(1) - Celestine Chua; Learn to handle your perfectionism.
(2) - Gerth, Holly. You’re Already Amazing. Grand Rapids, MI. Published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2012. Pg. 45.
(3) - Gerth, Holly. You’re Already Amazing. Grand Rapids, MI. Published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2012. Pg. 47.

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If you are an imperfect wife, mom, daughter, or friend, struggling to stay focused on God in the craziness and find joy in the heartache, then we have something in common. I am a recovering perfectionist and daughter of the King, slowly learning to fully trust the One who sees me just as I am, and is already pleased. I’m so glad you are here.

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