You know that ‘thing’ that threatens to break you?
It’s that thing you deny exists and try to run away from? Yeah, that.
It’s okay, you can turn around and face it. There’s hope when you walk towards it and through to the other side because I’ve lived it.
Perfect has been a ‘thing’ for me. I bristle when someone calls me perfect or perfectionist. Perfect hair, perfect smile, perfect performance, perfect response and yet, within the bristle, is a craving for it as well. It’s the craving that made me examine my heart and the hold that perfect had on me.
It has long held me hostage in my relationships, my mind, and in the quiet space of me and God. Perfect has used my fear of rejection to keep me in a place of denial that I really do have issues with perfection.
The deal, though? Perfect became a noose. It became a strangler in my journey towards authenticity in my relationships, with myself, and with my God. As I attempted to break up with perfect, perfect’s hold threatened to break me.
As I began to crumple under the pressure of perfection, God began a different kind of breaking in me. You see, if perfect had broken me I would have been left with shards of perfection that I would have tried to hold and pretty soon my hands would be full and perfect would fail, I would fall and break again into tiny pieces.
God’s breaking is a healing kind of breaking. And it’s a necessary break. Perfection was so woven into the fabric of who I was that the only way to put me back together again, in the way God saw me, was for him to completely and utterly break me. I needed to be so broken that perfection could be separated from the essence of who I am.
When brokenness happens because God is doing the breaking then he can be trusted to do the putting back together, and the putting back together is the part where his touch can bring healing and a whole lot more wholeness than I ever could bring in my own strength of breaking up with perfect.
God broke me and I was left in shards at his altar.
The initial breaking was painful. Like, I want to never lift my head again painful. It caused sleepless nights where I writhed in heart pain and questions. I would lie in bed listening to the creaking of the old house and the cycling of the furnace and the sound of the coyotes in our backyard and wonder. I would wonder if my heart was repairable. Everything I based my identity on-performance, acceptance, and approval-was suddenly stripped from me.
I was unable to perform to my level of standards in music.
I was failing in church leadership.
Friendships were broken.
I’ve been rejected at the core of who I am.
I have complexion issues, wild hair, and a tongue that’s difficult to control.
I’ve lived through some dark days of groping for God in my own strength.
These were some of my shards and he’s been piecing me back together. He’s filtering through the rejection and discarding the lies that I have long believed about myself.
He is teaching me to say ‘thanks’ for those monthly outbreaks, crazy hair, and to slow down and think before I speak.
He’s showing me that he’s the one who does the growing in my spiritual walk, not me and my efforts.
To be honest, I’ve run from the breaking. I’ve scurried like a rabbit before a prairie fire not realizing that I’m not the rabbit, but I’m the prairie grass that brings life and beauty, and sometimes the prairie needs a good burn.
Only when I’m broken of perfection can I be made perfect by a perfect God.
Perfect in the biblical sense means to be made complete. My relationship with perfection prevented my completeness in God. God’s desire is for me to be complete in him. I can know him completely and love him completely when I am released from the noose of perfection.
I’ve grown since the initial breaking. I’ve come to see God’s hand in the breaking and to trust him with the healing because as I submit to the breaking and the healing I see how he has discarded the threads of perfection and picked up the pieces of me that glorify him best and he is shaping me into the woman he wants me to be.
So, yes, perfect and I have broken up, and yes, we still get together. But the breaking up with perfect is really done best when I submit to a brokenness before my God and when I do, I find that I receive long-lasting healing instead of the bandaids I apply to my ‘perfect’ issues.
Perfect brokenness is what I strive for now. Complete brokenness before a God who sees me, heals me and loves me enough to break me in order to make me new.
He is perfect and there is none like him and in the security of love he provides I find the true meaning of perfection.