If I’m honest…I’m actually happy to be home today. Isolated in comfort…wrapped in my soft Vera Bradley blanket and fuzzy Ugg (my kids call them ugg-ly) slippers snuggling with my little dude surrounded by a John Deere farm being invaded by Transformers on the living room floor. I’m happy to not have to answer questions about how I’m feeling or hearing other people’s opinions about it. I will eventually have to leave the solitude of my sanctuary and go to bible study tonight and discuss…ugh…perfectionism. Oh joy.
I have been struggling with why it is so much easier…even if subconsciously…to choose the futile pursuit of the image of perfection. I have been trying to get to the root of the issue. For so long it was a deliberate attempt out of pride to not be found out…in which insecurity is the opposite side of the same coin. But now that the jig is up and I’ve come clean…ya’ll know I’m a hot mess…if I’m honest…I think it’s an attempt of self-protection.
I cannot tell you how many times I have been hurt by what other people say. People who are supposed to get it. Just when you feel like you’re understood, one comment can send you reeling back to square one feeling so.alone. Words can cut deep. And my inner Martha can get so caught up in the doing instead of just being. If I appear to have it all together, then those questions don’t come as readily. It’s a distraction from reality. And as they say…true fools fool themselves.
I get that people care. And I get that the truth can be hard to hear. If I’m honest…it’s easier to slap on the smile, put on the mask and head out the door pretending I’m.fine! It’s easier to be a pretty little liar…even to those who know me best. But it’s a double-edge sword at the same time. When someone says out of love and encouragement… Oh, you look so great….those old feelings of being a phony come creeping back in because the last thing I feel is great. I can’t remember what great even feels like. If they only knew what I go through everyday…comments about my appearance would be the last topic of conversation. In this fallen world that we live in, appearance can be so deceiving.
I love this quote by Ann Voskamp. A perfectionist avoids…believe me…I know. It’s easier to avoid the issue and pretend it doesn’t exist. The great lie is that is we could just be perfect enough, we will be accepted. And the procrastinator in us tries to intervene and protect us with distraction. But God changed all that. He convicted my heart that I have to be honest because a lie is a lie. And it’s wrong.
So…if someone asks how I’m feeling..I’m going to tell them. They may not like it. And I have to be prepared to take what I hear with a grain of salt and not run to what vain things bring me comfort…but to the One who can take my hurt and transform it into something beautiful…the way only He can. The Refiner whose fire is burning away everything in my life that doesn’t matter, so that only what will last remains.
Today I’m thankful that I can come to Him just as I am…I don’t have to say a word. He knows…no explanation needed. I am so thankful that while others see merely what I look like, the Lord sees my heart. And when I have to be honest…He gives me the grace to do so and He doesn’t waste anything. Because of what I go through, it gives me compassion for others and their struggles.