Two words, with so much power behind them. What first comes to your mind when you hear them?
Here is a small glance of my story…
I grew up in a Christian household with loving parents and an older brother with an inseparable bond. My family and I would do everything together, always going on trips, places to eat, holiday traditions. Everything seems perfect, right? In high school I was the athlete, the girl with straight A’s, the person that was always eager to join any club or organization. Seems perfect. While having all of these perfect things and titles in my life, I felt as if I had to fulfill them in a perfect way – by always having everything in my life together.
As an athlete, I had to make sure my team ran the perfect plays, had the perfect defense, the perfect bond. As a straight A student, I had to make sure my grades were perfect, the teachers made sure I was the perfect student, the perfect projects and papers. As president of clubs, I had to make sure all the paperwork was perfect, meetings had to perfect, shirts had to be perfect. I had to be the perfect friend, the perfect girlfriend, the perfect student, the perfect daughter, the perfect little sister. You catching the drift here?
You are probably sitting there wondering how all of this could possibly be bad…
Here is the catch, while my life seemed so perfect on the outside, the inside was filled with nothing but lack of confidence, comparison and emptiness. I was living two different lives, playing everyone around me into thinking I had everything together – when I had nothing. I went from believing I had the perfect family into seeing my family have a time where we were nothing near perfect. While having all of those titles and jobs in my life, I compared myself to everyone around me. While all of this was going on in my head, I had to make sure no one knew about it, because I had to remain perfect.
I struggled with this throughout high school, always putting a smile on my face and eager to help others with situations in their lives. How can you help others with their problems when you are trying to battle yours on your own? This question circled my head so many sleepless nights, emotionless days. It was like I was giving everything around me the attention I needed to give myself first. I was pouring so much of myself into the titles I had with school, relationships, friends, and sports that it finally became my identity. I was living my life for the world and material things, not myself.
My brother as impacted my story in so many ways. Going from my role model, to a person I felt like I didn’t even know, to a person that has truly changed my life - my inspiration. He was speaking at a retreat and being the little supportive sister, I didn’t have the choice of not going. I went, thinking that I was just going to go and show support – boy, was I wrong. I grew up going to church, but I always thought being a Christian meant you had to be perfect and have everything together. That night, I put down all of my perfect titles, I stopped battling the war on my own…because God already won.
As I began reading and understanding who God was, He began revealing the love I kept giving to others and poured it into myself. Through all of the struggles and decisions I made, God was right beside me. All of those nights I would cry myself to the point there weren’t anymore tears, He was sitting there ready to wipe them away. Instead of trying to battle the war on my own, all I had to do was bring my brokenness, hurt, and imperfect flaws to Him.
Perfectly Imperfect…those two words now meant something much more greater than me. I was made perfect, because I was made in His image. But I finally understood that it is okay to not always have it together, it is okay to feel like you are falling, it is okay to be imperfect. Because my identity and worth was found in something bigger than myself and those titles that held me down for so long.
Those two words.
My identity and worth are found in the one that paid it all just for me, so I can be perfectly imperfect.