I set my heart and mind on things above, not earthly things. This gives me peace. Colossians 3:1-2
Last Friday, my husband and I sat alone at a restaurant for lunch. Long, uninterrupted talks don’t happen often enough between the two of us. I cherish these moments with him. I sat there and shared my heart. I shared my recent joys. Then I shared some hurts I had been battling as he listened with open ears.
And then, he said something that has stuck with me ever since. At first I tried to deny it, but then, I realized he spoke truth.
Perfectionism and living to please others is being a slave to affirmation.
I once thought that people pleasing was a good characteristic. This trait I have battled my entire life, has left me disappointed, defeated and not fully living in God. I have had unrealistic expectations of myself and others. I have worried too long and too often about others opinions and making everyone happy; avoiding conflict or confrontation at all costs. I have felt that I was not enough. I have felt unnoticed. I have felt hurt.
Ultimately, I've been living in fear. Fear of not measuring up. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of not being loved. Sadly, I realize that I wasted years, not living in God’s truth. The truth that each of us are enough in Him. The truth that my identity is found in Christ alone. The truth that His grace is sufficient. Period. Nothing added. Nothing less. It’s not sufficient only when I make the “right choices”, act the “right way”, and say the “right things”. No, His grace is enough always; yet, time and time again, I let the world tell me otherwise. I told myself otherwise.
As I look at this picture of our daughter, I am reminded of the freedom I can experience when I remember how God sees me. There is beauty in the imperfect and His light and His love are always there shining. I don't have to earn His love. I never have to fear that I am not enough.
I want these words from Bethel Music's song, No Longer Slaves, to be the anthem of my life. "You split the sea so I could walk right through it. My fears are drowned in perfect love. You rescued me so I can stand and sing. I am no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God".