One of the reasons why I have a blog is because I think so many people, especially women struggle with the desire to reach perfection. In our attempts to reach this unreachable standard, we tend to be surfacey with each other. We hate transparency, because it means we are allowing people to see that we are in fact, a big ball of hot mess. Someone asks you how you are doing and we give the same, quick, automatic response that seems to be wired in our brains… “I’m good, how are you?” I really don’t know why we all believe we need to strive for this idea of perfection. Oh, how silly we are to believe another one of Satan’s lies.

In saying all of that, perfection and control are definitely my biggest struggles. Often times I fill my plate with so much, make myself so busy, that I don’t have 2 seconds to breathe. I catch myself trying to be Jesus to my friends and family, acting like I have it all together. But in all actuality I really don’t. I want control of my life, but I don’t have it. I want everything to fall into the perfect place, but it never does. I don’t want people to see me hurt, but I really am hurting. So I fill my schedule, overwhelm myself and eventually get so tired that I hit a wall. Once I hit that wall it becomes so stinking clear that I am in fact hurting. I am not perfect and I certainly do not have control… And oh my gosh, I need Jesus so so so badly.

Last night Ethan and I were driving home from CRAVE (a young adults group in Oakland) We were having a conversation in the car about some stuff that had been going on with my Dad.  Growing up my dad was never really around and when he was, our house was not a very pleasant place. So now that we’re planning a wedding, I have to make a lot of decisions. For example… who will walk me down the aisle? Do I have my father walk with me even though he was never a father figure and still doesn’t make an effort in my life? What song will I choose as a first dance with my dad? Gosh, I can’t even pick out one of those sappy birthday or father’s Day cards for him because I feel like I would be lying. So how do I pick a father/daughter song? How do I pretend that he deserves the right to give me away to my husband, or that he really has any say in our wedding? For so long I’ve been playing things off that I was okay- that it didn’t hurt me- that I understood we lived in a broken world and Jesus didn’t promise me a life of running through fields of flowers.

Here’s the one thing that we all need to remember; John 11:35… “Jesus wept.” As humans our goal in life is progress, not perfection. Our goal is to strive for freedom from our problems, so Satan does not have a strong hold on us. Freedom doesn’t mean not hurting, freedom doesn’t mean not allowing yourself to experience your feelings. Jesus wept, Jesus hurt, Jesus was vulnerable. Jesus was going through the very SAME human emotions that WE ALL go through. He looked to his father, prayed to his father and surrendered control to his father. The only way to reach God’s standard of perfection is to surrender your life. If you are feeling like you need to reach perfection in any other way such as grades, your body, being a good girlfriend/boyfriend, obtaining a higher salary… these thoughts are not of God. God does not use idols as a measuring stick for perfection. God would not give us a standard that no one could reach.

My lack of relationship with my dad hurts me, especially as I’m planning a wedding. I wish I was “daddy’s little girl.” I wish my father loved me and pursued me the way a father should towards his daughter. It hurts. However, through the pain there is a joy that can only be found in Jesus. HIS power is made perfect in my weakness… His love covers rejection and abandonment.

If you are feeling a distance from God right now, just allow yourself to feel pain. Don’t use Jesus as a mask to pretend to others that you are perfect and that you have it all together. People can see right through the lie and it’s not appealing to a non-believer. Surrender the control, allow yourself to feel the hurt inside and I promise you, he will show up.

The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands. -Psalm 138:8 (LOVE the King James Version)