My sister’s post made me cry. First, and most of all, I cried because this beautiful woman is hurting. She is an incredible gift from God who thinks so little of herself and her worth. She downplays her extensive contributions of love and laughter to her family, to her church, to others in pain, to her children, to her husband, to me out of genuine, but misguided, self-depreciation. She’s a wildflower–beautiful and fragile, but also strong enough to spring to life wherever she is with single-minded determination. Some people don’t appreciate wildflowers. They prefer the perfection they see at a florist. These are beautiful flowers that are carefully cultivated, viciously pruned, coolly appraised, and ruthlessly discarded when they don’t meet an artificial standard of perfection. They have one moment to shine, one moment to be adored, before they are tossed out and thought of no more. Wildflowers aren’t like that. They are recklessly beautiful and free. They scatter seeds that spread, bringing their life and beauty to new places. Ever see a wildflower by the side of a busy road? Ever wonder what it took for that flower to grow right there in that spot, even when its surroundings are so hostile? When I see one of these tiny sparks of color, I can’t help but smile thinking about all that little flower had to go through to bloom in such a place. This is my sister.
Second, I cried because I could have written that post. Remember the one-week challenge I gave myself to keep the table clear? Didn’t happen. The flu happened. Months ago, I bought Playmobil sets for the amazing curriculum we are starting this year. Yesterday, I went to put it all together and found pieces missing, pieces broken. Like several items out of each set. (Few things in my life set me to boil like missing pieces. Very few things. In fact, this may be at the top of a short list. Yep, it is.) The chalk I bought for the art center, the same chalk I specifically told my children to save just four–4–little pieces of, was melted because they left all of it outside. I was ready to give up because it wasn’t perfect.
I am so thankful that I have a Father who loves me and has a plan to use me even though I am a couple of crayons short of a full set. He doesn’t say that I can’t use her because she is melty around the edges, or because she yells too much, or because she can’t keep her table set. Those are issues He may work on, but He doesn’t toss us out because we are flawed. He uses us anyway. In spite of. I found this post today–definitely worth the read. I was especially touched by her comment, “We are so busy focusing on what WE cannot do that we lose sight of what God can do.”
Perfectionism is just fear in disguise. Fear that I can’t. I am so thankful that I don’t have to! God tells me to, “Fear not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.”