Welcome to YES TO GOD Tuesdays. Remember you can visit the host of this Bible study, Lelia at Write From The Heart and read what other women are saying about this particular chapter.
Chapter 2- Ms. Perfection (Behind Those Eyes by Lisa Whittle)
Chapter 2 begins by Lisa describing the Great Sunday Morning Fakeout. Do you relate in any way? I know I certainly do. How does the Great Sunday Morning Fakeout begin in my home? Well, let me just tell you. It happens within the first half an hour of being out of bed usually. My children are complaining about having to go to Sunday school. One of my children (who will remain anonymous) doesn't like what he has been told to wear because otherwise he would wear the same thing every single Sunday. I am seeing some progress in this area to be fair. I don't have anything to wear. Women you know what that really means. I don't like what I have to wear and I want something new. I'm just sayin'. Why is it that only on Sundays, my boys seem to really push each other buttons more than any other day of the week? In the meantime, I'm getting angry, impatient, and frustrated. I'm reminding (yelling) at the kids to turn the T.V. off because they need yet another reminder that we don't watch T.V. on Sunday mornings. Jessica gets up on her own, but if I have to go in her room one more time to make sure she's up, I'm going to blow. I'm having to deal with this all on my own because my husband is a pastor (even more reason to put on that smiling face right?) and he has already been at church since 7:30 A.M. All I want right now is for a peaceful, beautiful Sunday morning and for everybody to just be like Jesus!
I then walk down to church. Our friendly greeters are waiting at the door for my precious family so we can enter the House of the Lord. Do I sound sarcastic when I say that? I don't mean to. Sort of. Actually as I sit here and write this, I'm cringing because I can feel the stress. Anyway, my smile goes on.
You know the rest of the story I'm sure. We've all done it if we are honest. We say hello with the prettiest of smiles. When asked how we are, our response is,"Great!" Everything is great. Our marriages are great. Our children are great. Our spiritual life is great. Or is it really?
We strive for perfection in every area of our life. Lisa states, "We are buying into the notion of perfect wife, perfect mother, and perfect package, at the expense of ourselves and our loved ones." Well said, don't you think?
Several years ago, God took me to a place of having to deal with the idea that I had to be perfect. Who I was, in my mind was based on what I looked like and what I did. It stemmed from nothing more than wanting to please those around me. I really came to a complete place of brokeness before the Lord over this particular issue. I couldn't live up anymore. I was tired, drained, spiritually and emotionally worn-out, and really living a complete lie. To myself, to my husband, to my family, and to God.
Lisa says, " It doesn't take us very long to see and know that in our flesh, perfection is not even remotely possible. But while it is not possible to achieve this on earth, perfection is, perhaps, the most common characteristic that women impersonate."
When I am wanting to live that "perfect" life, I leave no room for Jesus. I'm too focused on me. I don't want to live a life like that. A life without freedom to be who God really created me to be. I want to give my attention to knowing God and surrendering to His will and His way in my life because then I can be a woman He uses. A woman that still has flaws and imperfections but is allowing God to use them for good.
I was challenged to really search my heart through this chapter. I know that God has brought me much growth in this area. He has made areas that were weak and broken whole. He has replaced lies with truth. He has brought restoration. I won't think for a minute, however, that I won't struggle or have the temptation to be in the place of wanting to be the perfect wife, mother, or woman. In fact, I just found myself in that place last night at my youngest son's baseball try-outs. Yep, I did all the measuring up and comparing to the other moms out there. Do I look as cute in my jeans as she does? Is my son as good as all the other boys out there? After all, behind every perfect child you will find a perfect mom. Right?
The struggle to fight those areas of wanting to be perfect and have it all together will always be there. This side of heaven anyway. I have to go back to truth though. The truth of who Jesus is and that I am made in His image. Through Jesus, I can have the courage to let my imperfections be seen because I want to be real to those around me. I can love my husband and my children well knowing that in spite of all my mistakes, God covers them with grace.
So from here, I'm willing to keep searching those deep places of my soul because I want wholeness and for God to move in and do what He has to do to make me more like Him. If there are areas that need to be brought to the light, I trust him to do so. I will ask the Lord to quickly, but gently show me when I am desiring perfection over being real. I know what I will find in being real too. Genuine, authentic relationships. Experiencing Jesus in my life as well as those around me because I've given them the freedom to be real too.
Even perfection has it's limits, but your commands have no limit. ~Psalm 119:96 NLT