My Faith

Excellence not perfection

I’ve realized something about myself recently, or God has brought it to my attention. I’m not good with grace.

I mean I’m pretty good extending grace to others. I forgive other people’s mistakes pretty easily. Sure I get annoyed or upset with people sometimes (because that’s human) but it doesn’t take much for me to forgive because we’re all just human.

It’s myself that I don’t give grace to. I’m a perfectionist who will never be perfect. At the core, I’m an overachiever who wants to be the best, and it’s just not realistic to be the best very often (if ever). Whenever I face a perceived failure (no matter how small), the old enemy of “you’re not good enough” rears it’s ugly head again.

I mean if I am perfectly honest, I’ve struggled with that demon forever. Sometimes I haven’t even struggled with it and just took it as a fact. Recently though, I’ve tried to redirect my thinking and tried to actively fight this demon.

Am I always successful? Nope. In fact last week, I let it win for a little while until one of my people reined me in and reassured me that I was in fact “good” in all the ways that matter. I’m super thankful for those people that help me fight battles they don’t even know about.

Will I fight the same battle tomorrow? Probably. I have fought it for 41 years so why would I anticipate tomorrow to be different.

But tonight, reading Looking for Lovely by Annie F Downs, I feel like I get it now. Giving myself grace means I don’t have to be perfect, but persevering means I still can strive toward perfection. I can still try my best but need to be okay if I fall short of some arbitrary goal. Strive toward excellence. God didn’t call us to be mediocre in anything we do. But I have to give myself grace to make mistakes and have shortcomings. To be disappointed sometimes. And to feel like my best isn’t enough sometimes but to lay that at His feet and know that He loves me as I am and wants what’s best for me.

Will I still struggle knowing that? Yep. Will I still need my people to put me back together occasionally? Probably. That’s why God gives us people. But there’s something in knowing that it’s okay to not be perfect. I’m just gonna need reminding…probably lots. And I’m still gonna overachieve and over-volunteer a lot. God made me this way.

I’m still gonna worry sometimes. I’m still gonna not like the fact that there’s no timeline and I don’t know what happens next. I can’t read the end of the book of my life because it’s not available yet. So I just have to trust the journey.

“I don’t have to know the destination; I just have to trust the path.” Annie F. Downs, Looking for Lovely

There’s a new song by Lauren Daigle called “You say”, and it’s amazing! Last week when I came home from my friend putting me back together, God made me stumble upon it, and it said everything I needed to hear. The lyrics are in my journal. (And below).

If you’re like me, try to free yourself from the burden of perfection this week. Just keep following the path and doing your best, but cut yourself slack when you fall short or get a little lost on the path.

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