March 28, 2016
“Hi, my name is Emily, and I am a recovering perfectionist.”
It took me many years to finally admit that. If there was a goal or task to accomplish, I would throw all of myself into successfully completing it. I still have great work ethic, but the problem was the fact that I was too concerned with what people thought of me. Accomplishment and drive became the meaning behind every breath I took; I found my identity in my performance and productivity. I wanted to impress everyone, including God. Because of all of that pressure, I was a huge ball of stress and anxiety constantly.
Then I became a (stay-at-home) mom.
If I wasn’t drained before, this took exhaustion to a whole new level!
I have to admit, I tried to keep my balancing act going right out of the gate, but it did not take very long for all of my plates to shatter on the floor. It became very obvious that I could not do it all. I felt so utterly weak. I needed help and thankfully, I knew Who to ask.
In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul hears an encouraging word from the Lord about His grace and power, and Paul responds in gladly boasting that he is weak:
And [The Lord] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, NKJV).
That idea was so foreign to this goal-oriented momma, but I was ready to see Christ’s power and strength in my life. I began saying “no” to tasks and events that I didn’t have peace about being involved with. I needed to be careful of what I allowed on my plate and what I committed to outside of my home in this new season of my life. Even after a year and half, I am still living by those habits and guidelines.
I have learned to press into the Lord’s strength when I notice I am experiencing stress or anxiety. My go-to prayer is “Help me, Jesus!” and I am not afraid to boast that I am totally weak and need God’s strength. I know that cry is enough for God to move in my life and help me balance all of my responsibilities as a new mom. Like the good Father He is, He is so excited to step in when life gets too overwhelming. I have experienced great peace in my life that I know is because of God’s grace being displayed in abundance.Boasting in your weakness requires humility and we know God gives grace to the humble. Click To Tweet
“But [God] gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’ (James 4:6, ESV)
I have learned to rest in Christ’s performance on the Cross, no longer feeling as if I have to perform to impress other people or God. His love for me is not based on how much I accomplish for Him or don’t accomplish. That goes for my “quiet-time” with Him too, which is not so quiet these days. I’m willing to admit I’m weak in that area of my life as well, and need His grace.My weakness does not mean that my love for Jesus is weak or false. Click To Tweet
Each day, I learn to lean on His strength instead of my own and He never disappoints me! His grace is enough!
What about you? Do you find yourself struggling with “perfectionist syndrome?”
If so, send me an email and we can encourage one another!
I also invite you to pray this prayer with me:
Father, I repent for trying to find my identity in my accomplishments and performance, thinking it all would make you love me more. You love me not because I am perfect, but because Your Son is. I am ready to boast in my weakness and frailty and trust Jesus’ empowering grace to give me strength in my daily life. Lord, I find strength in You alone and trust Your strengthen is perfected in my weakness! I believe I will see Your mighty power as You use this weak vessel for Your glory! In Jesus’ name, Amen.