“If I just work harder then I’ll be more successful.”
“If I just work out more then I’ll be more attractive.”
“If I use bigger words then I’ll seem smarter.”
This “If, then” narrative has plagued me most of my life. I’ve always aspired to be more than “just me” because the “me” I am just isn’t good enough.
I have always been so caught up in my achievements and how successful I want others to think I am. I felt as if my associates degree wasn’t enough. That the hard work I’d poured into radiology school wasn’t enough. I never paused to be proud of my accomplishments or truly enjoy those moments…I was too busy stumbling on to the next step.
Somewhere along the way I managed to let the world define who I am (and who I’m not) based on what I do and how well I do it. Let me tell you, life is a whole lot harder and less enjoyable when you’re striving for a false sense of perfection.
Ive found this “perfection-obsession” slowly seeping into my marriage, being a mom, even into the way I keep my home. I would worry about not being a great cook, feel like a failure when laundry piled up, wonder if I am raising good and healthy children, and obsess about if my home was “Joanna Gaines worthy”.
Y’all, it is exhausting trying to keep up.
Instead of listening to what the world deems as perfect, I want to embrace the woman that God envisioned when he created me.
It starts with reminding myself who I am in Christ (loved, chosen, set apart, created with a purpose, daughter of the King) and choosing to agree with the truth of God’s word. I need to put my trust in God; that He is good and His plan for me is not half-hearted or an afterthought. He doesn’t ask me to be perfect on my own. He provides the Holy Spirit so that through Him I am perfect, covered by the blood of the Lamb. There’s no list to be checked off, no expectation on my part. I simply need to know Jesus and follow Him.
I wish I could tell you’ve that I’ve finally broken free from the “need to measure up” and the “drive to be perfect”. However, I’ve quickly learned that, like everyone, I will struggle until I arrive at Heaven’s gates. It’s simply the sinful, human nature in me. It’s why I so desperately need Jesus. He was and is and always will be perfect, holy and worth pursuing.
This year I am making a conscious effort each day to draw near to Jesus and listen to His narrative of who I am. Sometimes it looks like waking up early to meet with Him while the house is quiet. More often than not its little pockets of time during naps, watching my kids play while I read on the floor with them, or while I’m waiting in the car line. I grab every chance I can get to meet with God. As a result, the things that used to cripple me before seem a lot less daunting. Little messes don’t define my standing as a housewife anymore, I’m learning that quality time and unconditional love are what my kids need most from me, and I’m striving to be intentional with my husband (with our time and conversations).
Life will always be crazy and it is constantly changing. No matter what season I’m in, there is always more learning and adjusting and letting go of expectations I’ve unfairly placed on myself (and my family).
The world will always be right there, yelling at you, who you need to be, and how you need to act. But God, through His life-giving whispers, will be there too, louder than the world could ever hope to be.
All you need to be, is His.
All you need to do is run to His throne room and rest at His feet.