Confessions of a Recovering Perfectionist

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Psalms 18:32 says…

It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect.

This week’s devotional talked about perfectionism. So before I began I looked up the definition of perfectionism, and this is what I found.

Refusal to accept any standard short of perfection.

As I was finishing up this week’s devotional, I began to think and wonder of what God must think when He looks down at me. This is what I imagine Him saying…”What in the world is she doing?”. Seriously though, I’m sure He asks Himself this question more than once a week. When it comes to making mistakes, especially if I’m the one making the mistakes. I tend to be quite hard on myself, because in my head if I don’t get something right the first time then that’s it. I’ve failed. It literally rattles my brain, and so my failure quickly turns into my frustration.

All in all I am not the type of person who copes well with failure, or accepting the fact that I made a mistake in the process of whatever it is I was doing. There are some nights where I go back to those moments and I beat myself up over them, which factors in me not having a good night’s sleep. We all strive for perfection, and sometimes we make ourselves believe that we are capable of taking on more than we already can. We cannot perfect ourselves on our own, nor can we force such a thing to happen.

God sees our faults and failures as an open window for Himself. He sees it in a way for Him to display His goodness, and His glory…HE perfects us. I think back to Mary and Martha in the bible, and how Jesus was on His way to visit their home. While Mary was calm and relaxed, Martha was in more of a panic mode. I feel as if Martha felt obliged to make the house look neat, and in order for Jesus’ appearance. As the story goes when Jesus finally makes his arrival, Martha at this point is already upset because Mary hadn’t lifted a finger to help Martha out. Jesus already knew the state Martha was in, and informed her that not everything needs to be done…or perfect in other words. Jesus also stated that the way Mary chose to act was right. If you think about this a little bit further, even Jesus’ disciples were not all that perfect. As a matter of fact most of His disciples were known for their humility.

As many faults as we have, and as much as we mess up in this life…nothing can change the way God views us. He sees us worthy, and embraces us when we’ve hit the lowest points in our life. He never turns away, His arms will be forever open for those who are willing and ready to come to Him.

So with all of this being said, you must know that it’s okay to make mistakes and that you don’t always have to have it together. He sess your flaws as a canvas to paint on, so allow Him to do just that and more.

Perfectionism is not the enemy, we just make it seem that way.

The Nature of Love

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Matthew 6:25 says…

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

This verse explains the importance of life, and how we shouldn’t sweat the small things. He has crafted our lives in such a way that we ourselves don’t understand, but that’s the beauty of it. He created us in the most perfect way that even nature cannot measure up to us.

Matthew chapter #6:25-34 talks about how we shouldn’t worry about the clothes we wear, and how that even King Solomon wasn’t even dressed in jewels.

This weeks devotional really expressed on nature, and how God’s love ties in with it. For this whole past week I’d get up in the mornings and the sunrise was always breathtaking, and each one was different. The colors, the look, the shapes, it was just absolutely beautiful to witness such glory. Then it hit me….God may have created the birds, the moon, the grass, the animals, and even the sunrises/sunsets…but He sees us even more beautiful than all of this. He took the TIME and LOVE into creating us, and even those who are insecure about their imperfections…well God made you that way, because to Him you were just perfect.

Every little detail you notice about yourself is exactly what He had in mind. Those freckles that you despise, those dimples that are just a little too big, and even those beauty marks that others think don’t look beautiful at all. We shouldn’t feel the need to cover up, or even measure up to those who look “perfect”. The way social media praises these models for their looks, their skinniness, and so on. Yes they’re perfect the way they are, but the editing that goes into making them look even better is a bit ridiculous.

God didn’t create us to  measure up to be the most beautiful, but to the best that we can be. He didn’t design us to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, no not at all. He designed us to become victorious, and not to worry about life in itself. He’s crafted you into something so much better, and that is to go out and reach others….to be able to relate to those who are hurting, who are struggling, and who are ready to throw in the towel.

We are His, and He is our King. In His eyes we are a masterpiece, and like I said before even nature itself cannot measure up to us. He sees us more beautiful, more important because we are His children. So I encourage you sometime this week to go outside and spot something that God has created, and tell yourself…”God loves me more than the (blank)”.

Yes, He loves you this much.

I.Love.You

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Week #1 is titled “Three Words You Need To Hear”, and they are “I love You.” While reading I came across a scripture that made me think…it left me feeling conflicted within my spirit…but not necessarily in a bad way. In Isaiah 43:4 says

I paid a huge price for you…That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.”

This verse blew my mind, especially the part where He mentions “I’d sell the whole world to get you back!” Such a powerful meaning, and to know that it’s coming from Him makes it even more powerful.

As I was writing down my notes for today’s blog, I took a moment to ponder on Isaiah 43:4….and then it hit me. Over this past summer I had asked God “If you love me, allow me to see a butterfly.” While vacationing I had completely forgotten this request, until one day. As we were (my family and I) were touring Washington Island, we had stopped at this small mini museum. As I was getting off the trolley, and making my way to the museum, I was soon distracted by a butterfly that had passed by me and landed on a tree stump. I looked, and looked at the butterfly. I smiled instantly as the tears welled up behind my eyes, because I remembered my request that I told God.

He loves me. Despite my slip ups, failures, and I could go on and on here. He still loves me…He still loves you as well. 1st John 4:19 says

We love him, because he first loved us.

Jesus knows we love Him, but just like us He also likes to be reminded. He never leaves us, but there are times where we leave Him…and I’m sure that hurts Him, but his love endures. Knowing that He loves me has made me question of whether or not I openly receive His love. When he asked Simon the son of John “Do you love me?” was a question that he wanted Simon to be aware of for when he answered which was “Yes Lord.” Then Jesus asked him a third time in which he responded “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Not only do we crave such reassurance, but so does God. I understand that God knows our hearts more than we do ourselves, but he wants the words “I Love You” to roll off of our lips…and out of our hearts, and with meaning. He yearns to hear from us from the time we get up, to the time we go to bed. He waits, because His love endures forever and ever.

Have you told you Him that you love Him lately? Did you mean it? Did you really mean it?