*Please note: In respect of my family’s safety and privacy, I will not be referring to my children by name on this blog or on my Facebook page. They are being referred as Super W, Humorous H, and Little L (listed by birth order). Though I may post pictures, I will be intentionally keeping their faces hidden. Family and friends, please help me keep their privacy by refraining from using their names in comments. Thank you for understanding!
It was one of those crazy mornings and, if we were going to eat dinner that night, a trip out was unavoidable. We had lot to accomplish that day and it was early so I didn’t worry about appearances.
Let me paint this picture for you. I was wearing athletic pants that were too short for me and a grubby, old t-shirt with dried snot on the shoulder attained from holding a wild monkey-baby suffering from allergies. My hair was a mass of wild curls that I had halfheartedly tried to pull out of my face. I was make-up free with glasses on and my retainers in (that’s another story).
My oldest, Super W, had dressed himself in an interesting combination of colors. Our three year old, H, had dry yogurt all over his face that he refused to wash off. All three of them had bed head. Don’t judge.
I hadn’t even finished buckling Little L into the cart seat at the store when I heard a friendly, “Hello.” I looked up to see Humorous H’s preschool teacher – personal contact number one that would see us in this dreaded state. As we were chit-chatting, a fellow preschool mommy walked up. She was wearing athletic shorts and shirt (yet still looked like a model) with her face on and every perfect curl on her head in place. She was so thin that it ought to be a crime that she gave birth to three children within the last five years.
“Oh, um, sorry for my appearance. It’s been a crazy morning.”
The other mother was sweet and generous in replying, “Oh, I understand. I’m looking rough today too!”
My only thought was, “Oh, shoot me now.”
In that moment, it was undeniable that I have imperfections. Though the situation brought out some of my physical failings, there are many more that can not be seen with the human eye.
“I’m not perfect,” we’ve all stated at one time or another. Yet what lengths do we go through to, at the very least, put forth a strong impression of perfection? Are we at peace with acknowledging our imperfections to ourselves and others?
I have a hard time letting others close enough to see the nitty-gritty-she-doesn’t-have-it-all-together-girl that I am. The irony is that, no matter how I might try to hide it, people are going to see it at some point or another. It’s inevitable. I’m not Mary Poppins and am most certainly NOT “practically perfect in every way.”
It’s suffocating to wear the “perfect” mask and, yet, absolutely terrifying to take it off. However, as I learn and grow, God has been showing me the freedom in being willing to acknowledge and address my shortcomings and why He wants me to discard the mask.
1) We all have the same problem. Despite any and all differences we may share, every single person on the planet has one common denominator – we sin against a Holy God. We aren’t perfect! Even as a believer, I will struggle against my defective, sinful heart until the day I die.
2) I need a Savior. I’ve been a Christ-follower for many years now. Jesus rescued me but it wasn’t a one time event. I need Him each day! Is He my “crutch?” No, He’s more. He’s my everything. The more I get to know Him, the more in love I fall with Him.
3) Jesus is in the business of changing me. Though I will never be perfect this side of Heaven, I know the One who is and He just so happens to be the Ultimate Heart Surgeon. He wants to rid me of the pride that motivates me to wear the mask in the first place.
4) Recognizing imperfections gives way to improving upon them. After all, you can’t fix a problem until you admit that you have one. God can change any heart, but we must be humbly willing. Proverbs 12:1 sums it up nicely, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”
4) Acknowledgment gives opportunity to take the attention away from myself and to the One that deserves it. You know what I love about being a mother? Every day I have the privilege of sharing the gospel with my children. Guess what they have witnessed time and time again – an imperfect mommy. Instead of making excuses for myself or trying to hide what they already see, I get to share with them that those failings are exactly why their Mommy needs Jesus. It’s why we all need Him.
5) There is freedom in living for God rather than trying to please and awe man. If you want to feel exhausted and defeated, live life trying to impress those around you. Here’s a great truth someone once told me, “It’s not about you!” Everyone has to make the same choice: to make more of himself or more of God.
Am I perfect? Absolutely not. Will I ever be during this life? Nope. Does that mean that God isn’t at work changing me? Nuh-uh. Should I use my imperfections as an excuse to do what I want or as a cop-out? Never.
The five reasons listed above give me cause to joyously say, “I am practically imperfect in every way BUT He is making me more like Him every day!”
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6