I feel it when I look in the mirror at my unclothed self, when I try on jeans, put on make-up. I hear it when the dishes pile up and the house is cluttered. It weighs on me when I don’t fit in, when I feel left out, or don’t understand. It mocks me from my to do list and silently chokes me as anxieties take me from the present only giving me worries of what the future should look like.
Anyone else know this call? It’s a hot topic since society lies behind shiny white grinning teeth proclaiming that it is possible, while holding up altered, photo-shopped images of perfect whether it be a model or a model home. Media targets women really hard in this area. And why?
Because we already feel the pressure to be perfect, the call to rise to perfection.
I’ve striven for it my whole life, anxiously waiting the day that I have finally achieve it. From the outside my façade would claim that I have already attained it, but secretly, desperately inside I am still fighting for it.
I quickly shove all the shoes on the shoe rack, neatly in little rows, put the pillows on the couch by the arm rests, frantically scrub the dishes clean, rinse and dry (we don’t have a dish washer) so I can put them neatly away in the cupboards, and light a candle as the finishing touch to freshen up the place, all before someone comes over to make it look as if we lived in a perpetual state of clean.
I try on ten plus outfits of the 50 or so I’ve bought over the years, straighten my hair so that it lies perfect against my head, cover my imperfect skin with concealer, thicken and elongate my eyelashes and polish my lips all before I go get groceries.
I take multiple photos of the same shot of B and I so I can pick the one that is in just the right light, where I look a certain way, which I put through a filter to mask any imperfections and share on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to show the world.
I try to be the best, to do the best, to receive recognition for my efforts, but the farther I go to answer the call, the more imperfections I see.
It’s an uphill battle that has no winner, only losers. Perfection is unobtainable, especially when the ideal keeps changing.
The closer I get, the farther I am. The harder I try the higher expectations rise.
It’s exhausting answering the call to be perfect.
It’s a daily struggle I wrestle with. I stand in the mirror and look at myself and only see what I could improve, what I wish I could change. I look around my house and see only the clutter, the piles of paper, the dishes, the mess. Even my relationships are strained as I look at them through these lenses. I see only what I should be doing, realizing that I am never doing enough.
I used to get energized by striving to answer the call. I set goals, made lists and diligently crossed stuff off one by one. But the list never got shorter, it only grew. The older I got the more things were added, the stakes raised, the pressure elevated.
Most days I feel like I’m drowning, barley staying afloat, overwhelmed by the massive amount of tasks that lie before me. I am quickly defeated by those left undone, those unreachable goals that shadow me, plaque my thoughts.
Lies disguised as truth cruise through my head deflating me, taunting me, degrading me, till I feel defeated with only anxieties to comfort me.
Oh the call to be perfect is a call we should not answer because we cannot. It will bring no satisfaction. It only leads to emptiness and despair. That’s no life to live.
There has only ever been one perfect person, one victorious of the call.
He and He alone can save you from this treacherous battle that you have entered in. He shouts truth to defeat the lies that we so strongly hold onto, the lies that call us.
His truth is the only thing that will set us free from this snare. My friend, listen and hear so that you might find freedom in the place that you are in.
1. You have been called out of the darkness and into the light. You are no longer of this world but in it. You are not defined by societies standards or people’s opinions but by the one who called you. Rest in Him, trust in Him. Col. 1:13-14
2. You are beautiful, not because of your waist size, flawless skin, or fancy clothes but because you were hand crafted, molded and knit together. You have a beautiful body that does amazing things, like breathing, moving, feeling. We were made in the image and likeness of our Creator and that is more beautiful than any man-made thing or ideal that we could put on our body. Gen. 1:25,Psalm 139: 13-15
3. You need saved because you cannot do it. Hard to hear but true. Jesus came to save us because we could not save ourselves, not even you. There is nothing you can do to earn God’s favor. Truth is, you are not perfect, though you strive to be and you cannot enter into his presence because of your sin. Romans 3:23, Psalm 14:3
4. It is finished. Through Jesus you have been given God’s favor, you’ve been given grace. Because you couldn’t do it, he did and you are free. You cannot undo what has been done, nor can you add to it. It is finished. You can mess up, you can not get it all done, you can let go, because it is not up to you. He has saved you and He will sustain you, through all the mess that piles up. Romans 3:23-25, John 19:30, Isaiah 41:10
5. You are loved beyond measure. The love that the Lord has for you is unconditional, which means it is not given based upon what you do or who you are. It is LAVISHED upon you, like his grace, forever extending, never ending, abounding. He loves you, not based upon what you do, what you accomplish or how you appear, but you, the deep inside your heart, thoughts and all. He always will. Romans 8:38, Ephesians 2:4-5, Zephaniah 3:17, Romans 5:8
These truths are hard to believe some days and some days I’m graced with a belief that withstands the mirror and to do list. It’s an ongoing battle and struggle in my life but I know the one who has won, the true victor, will be victorious in my life.
I have been given the freedom to let go, to not get it all done, to be satisfied in Him even when the dishes are not done, a layer of dirt covers the floor and the laundry is overflowing, even when I mess up, I fail to extend grace or love, I am mean or frumpy.
It’s ok. Say it with me.
I am not perfect and that is ok, because I know the ONE who is.