I struggle with being a perfectionist. I hate doing stupid things. Actually, I rarely do stupid things because I like pretending that I have it all together. Of course, I don’t. But it always really deflates me when I really mess up. I realize that striving for perfectionism is the opposite of what God wants for us. Which is interesting because many people believe that faith requires following a bunch of rules. In reality, God can finally use us once we realize that we’re broken messes. Sometimes I feel like he is saying, “thank goodness she finally gets it—I can use her now that she realizes her brokenness and my strength.” I think that Francesca Battistelli puts it so well in her song Free To Be Me:
I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
And on my own I’m so clumsy
But on Your shoulders I can see
I’m free to be me
Every time I hear this song on the radio, I am stunned by the simplicity of the statement, “perfection is my enemy.” Because for my whole life, my heart and mind have believed the opposite—that perfection is the goal. I love how God has blasted the truth into my life in so many ways lately. He is not asking me to be perfect. Although he is sanctifying me and bringing me closer to him, it’s not really about me at all. I am his vessel; God just wants me to understand how broken I am because then his love and forgiveness can shine through. It’s about him using my life to further his plan and his kingdom.
I want to share something that I wrote back in the spring at a women’s retreat. I never planned to post this, but God is weaving this theme through my life right now. I hope that he uses this to speak to someone else too:
Why did you choose this vessel?
Cracked, broken, ugly, unclean
What if I contaminate those around me instead of sharing your love with them?
What if I am no different from non-believers; what if my life has no fruit? no joy?
And the Lord responds,
It’s not about you—it’s about me
Me molding you, changing you
Turning weakness into strength
Making whole what is broken
Healing your heart, accepting you, forgiving you
Holding you in my arms and filling you with my water
Teaching you to be joyful like the child playing in the leaves—
At peace with herself because she is a child of the King.