I have a flaw. In fact, I have many. I have so many, that sometimes, I forget I have any gifts at all because I’m too busy thinking about my flaws.
See, I grew up in a society where we idolized perfection.
I went to a church where everyone seemed flawless and put together with perfect hair, perfect clothes, and perfect smiles. I attended a Christian school where it seemed like everyone kept the rules, made perfect scores, could be a model, and was going to be a doctor. It was clear that God handpicked the most perfect teachers and staff who never failed or faltered. My parents worked hard, ate healthy, worked out consistently, had great friends, and managed their money well. It seemed like every sport I played, my teammates could master the sport quickly and become stars.
It felt like I didn’t fit.
When I got older, I learned that I wasn’t alone in my imperfection, and decided perfection wasn’t worth it anymore. Whenever I would try to improve in an area, I’d fall behind a little, look up, and see how far away I stood from perfection. After staring at the gap between me and perfection, I would realize how impossible it was and stop trying. Why bother?
And honestly? I said that all in past tense like it doesn’t happen any more. But it does.
It happened with my writing.
After starting this blog, I wrote some posts and stopped for a few weeks. Then, when I would try to pick it back up again, I’d get discouraged at how long it had been since I’d last posted. I’d give up, and say I’d try another day.
I know my fault lies in staring at the gap between me and perfection, but, honestly, I don’t know where else to look. I don’t know how to persevere through my imperfection because I have not learned how to keep learning and growing even after failing. I just know how to make others view my perfection, which is living a lie, just like you, perhaps.
Would you like to join me in my imperfection? I’m tired of being sad that I’m not perfect, and yet hoping others see me as such. It’s exhausting living that way.
I really don’t know how to fix how I focus solely on this seemingly endless gap between me and perfection, but I do know that it helps to start with being honest about where I actually stand instead of where I want to be.
There’s only shame in what I lack, but there is grace where I stand.
In other words, God isn’t waiting to love me when I reach perfection. He loves me right now. He chooses every morning to love me in my imperfection just as I am, even though I don’t deserve it. He loves me. The same goes for you.
God isn’t waiting to love you when you reach perfection.
He loves you right now.
And you know what else? I have to keep learning this–all the time. Sometimes I wish I could just remember that and keep improving consistently, but I’m not perfect and I have to keep learning it. I have to keep learning that my worth/value does not change because of anything I do.
My worth is stable because God’s love for me is stable.
It’s ok that I need friends to remind me that it’s ok to not be perfect. It’s ok that sometimes in my wallowing of self pity that God reminds me how much he loves me, and it’s the same as when I was a missionary as it is when I’m a dirty-rotten, no-good brat screaming at a car for cutting me off in traffic.
I don’t know if you’ve ever met anyone who loved you the same amount when you’re screaming at them as when you do them a huge favor, but that’s how much God loves you.
It’s illogical and nonsensical and I just can’t wrap my brain around it.
And it’s ok that I don’t get that right now.
It’s ok if it doesn’t make any sense to you either, but just because it doesn’t make sense doesn’t make it false. God loves us the exact same as when we’re brats and when we’re selfless. He loves us perfectly in our imperfection, and if the only thing I ever do in my life is strive to understand that, I will have lived a good life.
Admittedly, I wanted to write a blog once a week and I haven’t done that. Not even close. But that’s ok. Jesus didn’t take the punishment I deserve so that I could sit around and tell myself how lazy and pathetic I am. He paid for me so that he could sit right next to me and tell me how he loves that I enjoy writing and the way I express myself artistically reminds him of himself.
So where do you stand? Can you hear what things about yourself God delights in, or are you too busy looking at your perfect gap to hear him? Close your eyes. Listen.