In my life I have continually battled the issue of perfectionism and in different seasons God has given me different revelations in order to combat the inward striving to be perfect. Vulnerability. Surrender. Humility. And here He goes, moving in my life once again, to remind me that I’m far from perfect and I don’t have it all together and that is more then ok.
When I moved to Thailand the Lord spoke to me again and again that this would be a learning, humbling, and maturing season for me. I just said “Bring it on Lord.” I didn’t feel like I had anything left in my heart that wasn’t surrendered to Him so I was curious to see what He had to bring up on me. Well I think since then He has been taking His time proving to me that there is indeed much to be learned, many areas to be humbled, and a lot of maturity to grow into.
Perfectionism says I should have mastered these things by now. It whispers disappointment in my shortcomings and shame at my weaknesses. Perfectionism says that I should just KNOW things, I should just BE a certain way, and I should just DO what I know I should do. It tells me that being in the process of maturing is shameful and I just need to learn a lesson and move on.
I recently had a conversation with a friend who is 8 months pregnant. She said the thing that she loves about being pregnant is that people talk to her everywhere she goes. Perfect strangers feel connected to her, like they not only have the freedom to speak to her but they can relate in some way to what she’s going through. When I thought about it I realized it’s because she wears her season on her sleeve (or I guess on her belly, but you know what I mean). She is in the long painful process of pregnancy, stuck between where she is and where she wants to be. And guess what, people don’t condemn her for the process! They offer words of encouragement, excitement for where she is headed. People weren’t disappointed in who she was before she became pregnant and they aren’t disappointed that she hasn’t had the baby yet, they are just recognizing the process and speaking into what is to come.
What if I viewed the processes of life that way? What if I didn’t see a process as a burden but as a gift? Not as something to be rushed through, but embraced? Not as a symbol of failure, but as the evidence that I am birthing something new?
As someone who is used to making quick decisions and zooming through life, it is hard not to seek a shortcut through the processes that God has plotted to sharpen and mold me. Knowing that maturity only comes through time and discomfort can make me want to turn the other way and instead just stay right where I am. I’m faced with the effort and the sacrifice of growth and I fear I won’t be strong enough to make it to the other side. But in this season God is showing me that the process isn’t just something I will pass through, but it is something to be treasured, and when I look back and reflect on each process He brings me through I will realize how worth it each individual moment was.
The vision has been cast in my heart of who and what I want to become, the kind of woman and leader I want to be, the things I want to see happen when I walk into a room. Yet, lying between who I am now and that person is a vast desert, a seemingly endless wilderness. It intimidates me and I’m tempted to stay right where I’m at, but the discontentment and curiosity push me to take the first step, and then the one after that. My eyes fixed on my destination. And I’m happy to be on this journey because I would rather be walking through the wilderness with God then stagnantly waiting on the sidelines while He takes someone else to their destiny.
As I take the first steps into my next wilderness I’m content but dissatisfied. Full but left with much to be desired. Whole but incomplete. I’m hesitant but determined to go and not turn back.