I asked myself this as I confessed my perfectionism. There was a time when I finally realized that the only way that I could be rid of the guilt and sin was through Jesus Christ. But there was still something in me that wanted everything to be just right. As an artist, I take great pleasure in seeing something really come into full swing.
Listening to someone preach and getting right to the point and letting those words sink deep into my core, really gives me the chills. Watching a creative living out their dreams and looking so passionate as they use their minds or hands to glorify God, it gets me. My heart becomes so full as I embrace how efficiently God is working through others' lives. But what about those times when things aren't going the way I think they should go? What if I am only seeing chaos and confusion as I try to assemble something together, with my human effort?
I become angry and irritated. I cannot stand slack and half done work. Everything needs to be thought out and prepared. Even when I don't come through with these ideas I still feel that everyone else needs to get it together, as I beat myself up in the corner for not preparing. There begins this downward spiral of shame and feeling like I am not good enough. That God just won't get what He wants out of me. To cover up this shame that I feel, I pound out my feelings on others.
While I felt this anger inside, something just did not feel right. Despite the perfection that I was trying to attain, there was a small part of my heart that was whispering to me. There in the quiet, the Holy Spirit was still present despite my harsh heart. He kept trying to push in front of me that this anger wasn't belonging. That I really did not have a right to be mad. But I just could NOT for the life of me figure out how it got there? Don't I have a right to feel stuff? What part of this is all true?! I was practically yelling in my head.
Wow. Can I just say that God is a-maz-ing.
While I was working this all out and hoping for answers, He was in the background setting the ground work for setting His power inside of me. How does one bring up an issue to a perfectionist? Honestly, I think it is probably one of the hardest things to tactfully accomplish without loosing someone. But God is cool like that. He knows just the right thing to burn my heart and get me to finally flop on over into His promises, despite my pride. We don't give Him enough credit.
God put someone in my path that opened up my heart and made me see that He still felt that I was beautiful despite my inefficient thinking. I felt His arms around me as I cried and spoke about how I just did not feel I was wise in my ways and how I was dealing with this perfection. I kept repeating, "fail", "not good enough, "sorry", "if I just did this", "how come", etc. In trying to get over perfection I was trying to use IT! Not God. Not His power. Not His grace to wrap it all up. Not surrender. Just myself and my weak attempts.
I had forgotten the words of Christ repeated by Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." What did Paul have to say about this? " Therefore most gladly I will boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may REST upon me."
I know these words. I have heard them a million times over. Ya ya, when I am weak God is strong. I get it. NOT. It isn't when I am in a pit calling out for help that I need His strength. His power I need when I am getting in the way of myself, when I think I have this all under control. His grace I definitely need when I get angry and want things to go my way. It is not always when I feel paralyzed and fearful, it is also when I think that I AM STRONG. When I think I know how things should go. THAT is my weakness.
I have been given so many opportunities to taste this gift that God is offering. In little pieces He has shown me His love despite my interpretations of life. While unwrapping my pride and exposing the hurt inside, He has quickly wrapped me in His robe of purples and placed His ring upon my hand. He has shown me that I am a child of a King so great that no matter what I have done or how much I think I have it all together, He is still anxious for me to come home. Even when I am the one standing there telling Him that I have been with Him this whole time as I watch others come into the fold, He is reminding me to celebrate with Him. I am His.
How tactful is this?! How amazing is God's love that while I am exposed in my sin, He is revealing my royal status? Without this opportunity I would not know where I now belong. Without failing, I would not know triumph.