God kept me up the other night. 2AM and I was sitting in bed, open journal. Just tired. But sometimes God has to get you to that place before you stop and listen – and I was finally listening.
I can be a very hardcore perfectionist. Maybe you’ve been there too – at the end of your day, instead of feeling peaceful, you turn over every situation, conversation and action, thinking you could have done better. I should have said it this way, not that way. I wonder what they think. I probably messed it up. Maybe if I do this tomorrow, it will fix it. I have to do better.
Anxiety sets in. Sleep happens, but you don’t feel rested.
I’d started down that path. And Papa God stopped me. I grabbed a pen and let the sleepy ink roll over the page in front of me – not what was wrestling around in my head, but what I felt like He was saying.
“You’re afraid to look foolish or make a mistake, and be rejected because of it. But child… when did you decide that learning was foolish?”
Oh, ouch. When did I decide that?
“I only put you in situations you are ready for. But your definition of ready and my definition of ready are just different. You think it means being perfectly prepared to do everything without flaw, and without pain. When I say you’re ready, I mean you’re able to learn from the situation and walk away with what I wanted you to GAIN from it.”
God’s perspective is always so much richer than mine. Look at how he flipped that on its head – I acted like every new situation was a test of what I could bring to the table. He looks at every situation as an opportunity to bless me – to change how I am on the inside. To give grace, and peace, and kindness to me – to you.
Because we get to play this game called life with no risk – he already won. So we’re allowed to go in learning.
We don’t have to be so afraid of making mistakes.
And why are we so afraid? If I’m honest, my real fear, the root reason I’m so driven to deliver perfection… is that I fear rejection. Deep down, this all goes back to relationship. We want relationship with the people around us. We want love and acceptance. We want to belong.
Out of that desire, if we keep our old-man perspective – we are desperate to deliver everything we think they want. Our friends, our family, our society.
But when we put on new-man, kingdom perspective… that all gets flipped. We have relationship that guarantees we can make mistakes. We have acceptance that allows for failures. We belong not because of what we deliver, but because of who we are.
Honestly… what we strive for in our perfection isn’t relationship after all. It’s a grade.
A wise woman recently asked me, “Are you actually afraid, or are you insecure? Because those are different. You don’t have anything to be afraid of – you’re just insecure because this is new, and you could make a mistake. And you know what? It’s okay to make mistakes.”
It’s only when we show our imperfection that we actually find relationship. Think about your closest relationships – when did you get close? Was it in the moments you did everything perfectly? Or was it when you messed up and made up? When you shared something that was messy and they didn’t leave? When you made mistakes and you worked through it together?
Mistakes allow learning.
Learning brings us together.
Togetherness is what we actually desire.
Because it’s relationship, not perfection, that make us feel safe.
So whatever you’re in… You’re ready. Don’t look at mistakes as your failure – look at what’s in this for your gain. God is all about blessing you. And we’re cheering for you, no matter how many mistakes you make.
Don’t fear sharing your life – be thankful for the ones who are willing to share it with you.
You don’t have to be so afraid to make mistakes.