Such a small word to hold so much weight.
And God has been showing me different ways to extend grace to those around me.
Growing up I felt I had to be perfect, never wanting to disappoint my Heavenly father or my earthly one as well.
No one really ever said "Lauren, be perfect"...yet somehow I spent years of my life (and still occasionally) fight for perfection.
I can extend love and understanding to others. I always try to see from the others perspective, because we each perceive every situation in our own way.
But to those we love most and are the closest to us...oh those are the ones that test us.
You want so bad for them to do better. For their life to be full of good, Godly things.
Maybe I am alone in this, but I am tested most by this area.
You see, my expectations for myself are SO HIGH, I have a hard time excepting failure. Broken promises. Mistakes.
It is exhausting.
I am much better than I was, but I am a work in progress.
How exhausting would it be to try and live up to a perfectionist expectations?
VERY. I think eventually it has potential to ruin a relationship. Never adding up. Never feeling good enough.
Lord, help to never make those closest to me feel that way!
How many times have I crawled to Jesus because of the mess I had made? No one else made the mess, only me.
And how many times has he been there with open arms? Offering GRACE
The conviction that has been in my spirit has been humbling.
I have repented for my internal dialog and have asked for forgiveness from those closest to me that I held them up to a standard.
Guess what? That is not fair. Nor is it healthy.
Be careful perfectionist.
We can push others away with our ridiculous standards and expectations.
We can put those internal thoughts and unhealthy behaviors on our children.
They are watching. I want my children to want to do what is right, what is Godly... but because they have a fire in the soul to serve their savior.
NOT because that is the only way for mom to be proud of them.
I do not want them to experience the anxiety or the angst that I have felt trying to live up to something I will never attain.
Do we become spotless as we receive Jesus, sure. But not by our own doing.
It is only through the blood of Christ that I am spotless and can be forgiven.
God does that not me.
John 8:31-36 (ESV)
We are made FREE by Him.
I do not have to carry this load... the load of perfectionism. It is so, so heavy.
Let me be clear about something.
I have lived for God and searched after him for close to thirty years. And he planted a desire in me to run after him. Even though I have fought this battle of perfectionism, I also made choices that lined up with the word of God because that was my desire... to live out my destiny that he had planned for me.
I guess what I am learning is to take care of myself too. To not only remember to show Grace to those I love and cherish but also to show myself some...
That is tough for me. Because I am also a natural caretaker. And I am not even going to go into the burden of that is in this blog... maybe soon though.
When I have walked through grief it was hard for me to give myself permission to grieve the way I needed too. I had to learn how to do that. I did by counseling, reading God's word, and praying. I felt because I was hurting so bad that I some how was not having enough strength like I should have. But that is not how grief works. I have talked about our grief with losing our babies. We have lost three. two early miscarriages and one at six weeks.
And it still hurts, it is not as fresh. But that pain comes some times.
In Matthew 22 Jesus says this:
Read that again. If we are to love others, we have to love ourselves too.
Not in a selfish or unhealthy way.
But to realize as we are telling others that they are a beautiful creation in God, we are too.
When we say, "Hey momma, take care of yourself"... we need to take care of ourselves.
When we encourage someone to get counseling, maybe we need to think about talking to someone.
When we teach about forgiveness and Grace... and that you can come to Jesus just as you are... that message is for us too
Or when we quote Matthew 11, and tell others to Jesus will give them rest...give him your heavy burden...that is for us too
Practice giving yourself and others Grace
If I can pray for you in somehow please reach out. Or if you want to talk about this more... I am here.