Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Realizations

I am a self-proclaimed perfectionist. This curse has haunted me over the years with body image, school work, how others perceive me… pretty much every aspect of my life. The search for perfection is my weakness and my pride. Now I know conceptually and in my heart that only Christ is perfect. I am a flawed, sinful woman whose self-made “perfection” is filthy in the sight of Him. How hard it is to let go of our idols, though!


One particular point of pride for me is my driving record. I have never been in an accident, hit a post, even ran a red light – until yesterday. Central Illinois got nailed with an ice storm that turned all the roads surrounding me into solid sheets of ice. Perfectionist that I am, I drove slowly and precisely as I went about my errands. Sure, people may have been blowing past me but I wanted to be exact. This lasted until I pulled into the parking lot of my apartment complex, not 100yd from my own front door. There, my car began a graceful, elegant, slow glide right into my neighbor’s Ford Focus. There was absolutely nothing I could do. In tears, I called my husband with the aching question, “What do I do now?”


It was quite a humbling experience. Right after I got a hold of my husband, my cell phone died (oh modern technology). My neighbor wasn’t home. I was on my own with the realization that I can not always control circumstances but I have to make the best of them anyway. I began to pick up the pieces of my car off the ice, praying desperately that someone would take pity and help me. One of the maintenance men for the complex was on the other side of the parking lot, so I begged use of his phone to call the police to come file a report (and my husband, who was panicking when my call dropped). I had to explain the situation to the officer. I had to stand there as other neighbors came and went, all staring, and none of them sliding on the ice. I had to walk over later in the evening to explain it all again once my neighbor was home. This is all so normal, and yet was so painful to me as I came to the realization: I am not perfect.


God has been prodding me to trust him more and to not be as concerned with how others perceive me. It’s been a recurring theme for the past few weeks (or years…). Although I’ve grown greatly in my journey as a Christian, I still hold back many parts of my heart. I’m still more likely to trust my own skills and knowledge than lean on the One who knows more than I can even grasp. I’m trying to learn to live like this:


“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18


Sometimes I can’t see what God’s doing. I have to let go of my obsessions with how I look to outsiders here and now if I expect God to truly use me and change my world. Sometimes God asks His followers to look silly. See, everyone yesterday knew that my accident was just that – an accident. I had to move past my need to be perfect so that I could put a smile on my face and do everything I could to make it easier for the (very busy) police officer. I was forced to admit that even I can make mistakes. Yesterday was one of the hardest days I have experienced recently. Yet now, looking at the realizations I have made, I can almost say I’m grateful for the local ice skating rink also known as my parking lot. I am actually beginning to believe that,


“In
all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

2 comments:

Sarah Jane said...

I am so sorry for the hard time you went through yesterday! But I was so encouraged by reading what you said about the Lord using us in situations we may ourselves not be comfortable with. That is definitely applicable to me since I struggle with the same things myself.

And, it is SO COOL that you live in IL! :) We are about an hour north east of Springfield, near Bloomington!

Mrs. G said...

What a good post. I struggle in some of the same ways so it was an encouragement to read this! Blessings to you.

Paris