Blogs are funny things…I have no idea really if many people read this thing, but I write as though I am talking to someone when I could very well just be talking to myself. But hey that’s ok. Anywho, if your there and reading this, Hello! It has been quite awhile from the last time I posted and I have jotted down a lot of thoughts from within my brain in this gap time and finally feel as though they need to be shared.
So today is a topic that isn’t fun, but actually pretty down right scary at times to the point that the fear of it has paralyzed me. Actually it paralyzes me on a pretty constant basis….if you know me you know I can be very indecisive. It is frustrating, infuriating and annoying. This indecisiveness is rooted in what I want to address today…the crippling, horrifying, and nasty word, mistake.
I wouldn’t say I pursue perfection in life, but I want to make the perfect decision…always. I don’t want to mess up, end up on the wrong path, lead myself somewhere to only find regret or even as simple as choosing the wrong thing to order a restaurant only to look at what someone else got and think dang it! I should have gotten that! It is silly and a very unnecessary stress I add to my life. but as silly as it can be, it is real for many of us I believe. There is a pairing between the word regret and the word should, “I should have done this” and “I regret doing this”, “if only I had made that choice..”, “or if only I hadn’t made this choice..”. and it is in these shoulds and regrets that we begin to fear mistakes.
mistakes- such a daunting word that makes us cringe, something we will run in the other direction from at all costs. they paralyze us, hinder us, and hold us back- but its not because of what they result in, it is because of our fear of them- our fear to come across as anything less than perfect. Our avoidance of mistakes leads to endless, exhausting, seeking that will never be satisfied
..but what if I were to say they were something you should seize?
Mistakes are something that humanizes us- reminds us that we are fully human seeking to be spiritual. If you look at that word it has the word Spirit in it- the reason for that is because we are wholly, innately human that need the Spirit to intercede in order for us to gain a foothold in the spiritual realm. Naturally- we are human though. God knew/knows this. Jesus knew/knows this. That is why He provided a way to save us from our humanity. Without our seeking of the Spirit we live fully in our humanity- our mistake laden humanity. God was aware of this, Jesus intercede because of this. I am not perfect, and I cannot be. I was designed by a God that is perfect, I serve a God that is perfect, I can seek daily to be made more perfect- but I myself- in this lifetime will not attain perfection. Therefore, I will face the potential of mistakes and I will make mistakes.
With this I fall pray to the desire for perfection- I desire to create the perfect moment, the perfect appearance, the perfect life…but this prevents me from truly enjoying life, from truly relishing in my God and His abundant goodness & grace. It causes me to place all the weight on my shoulders and bare it day to day, decision to decision. It causes me to think I can do this on my own, it is up to me to make it in this life and by-golly I am gonna do it! It brings me to running tirelessly until I run myself dry- finding myself beaten, weary, in a frenzy and wondering how I got where I am and who I even am anymore. I have gotten to this place before and let me tell you it isn’t pretty. I was so busy trying to get myself where I wanted to be, that once I paused- or was forced to pause out of desperate weariness- I looked around and did not like what I saw. I did not recognize who I even was anymore and how I had even gotten to this point. I was a selfish friend, a detached & victimized roommate, a disconnected daughter and sister- a desensitized human being. I had dug myself into a self-absorbed pit of loneliness and numbness. All because I wanted to not only appear to have it all together, but actually have it all together, though I knew I didn’t I faked as though I did.
My life became empty because I was not enjoying life as life itself. I was not seeking to see the blessings lavished on me from the Lord in even the act of His grace or seeking to walk hand in hand with Him through the not so pretty. I was too caught up in making it “perfect”, being “perfect” and coming across as “perfect”. I wanted to attain perfection of self- not radiate the perfection of my God through my imperfections. I was not seeking the Lord at all, but elevation of self.
Mistakes. What if I told you they were just a part of life- unavoidable and common? That your not alone in facing them, making them and pulling yourself out of them? or that it is ok to make them, to be imperfect?
We have the choice of walking in togetherness through mistakes or letting them overcome us. We have the choice of vulnerability and sharing in imperfections or hiding them deep down in hopes no one will ever see them. I want to be loved, but more then that I want to be liked. because liked signifies that I am cool, I am desired, I am calm, cool and collected- I have it all together, I want to be seen as perfect. This is a dangerous place we all live in. A place where we seek to be seen as put together. Where do we reveal God in all of that though? We also cannot be genuinely loved, or genuinely love others in that way.
mistakes are necessary, a part of life, normal, unavoidable. So often in life we forget how much people relate to weakness; always feeling the need to be strong, we hide the fact that we are weak therefore the Lords power isn’t able to shine through clearly in our lives. Seeking the Lord is one thing, but recognizing his faithfulness amidst brokenness is another.I didn’t want to be human, or imperfect. I didn’t want to make mistakes. none of us do. so we try and avoid them at all costs.
My challenge to myself and to you is to reform our understanding of the word mistake.
Let the word role of your tongue and define it as something of beauty, something mystical, something magical, something of necessity…not something that limits you, or lessens your worth, not something of humility or disgrace. In mistakes we find grace. In mistakes we find more of God’s character. In mistakes God takes further hold of our hearts and says, see here my child, you need me. Let His Father heart come and say this is what I have for you… He loves us so and wants to provide for us- if only we would seek to let Him. Seek His Spirit, seek for your life to be aligned with Him, but do not let the potential of mistakes paralyze you from making decisions.
I guess what I am saying is 1. we need to stop measuring our success through the eyes of this world, but rather through the eyes of our Savior! (We call Him Savior because we acknowledge that He saved us, because we had something we needed saving from- like our tendency to make mistakes) 2. remember His grace. 3. quit striving- for perfection, to attain your own righteousness…you can’t. I can’t. we cant. no one can- except our Savior. 4. dont let the fear of mistakes hinder you from taking action. Seek His guidance, seek to have your heart rooted in His word…let this guide you, but take action and realize you may mess up- that is ok- because our God may just have something for you in those mistakes.
excerpt of words I wrote to no one in particular-
“I want to proud of your failures that teach you to rely on your God. i want to be proud of your weakness that shows your strength comes from Him. I want to be proud of the times you see as shameful, because you listened to your Lord and not the world/ self. I want to lift you up in support as you step out of what is easy and into what is hard, the times you may feel as though you have fallen down, let yourself down, been a disappointment, see yourself as a failure, live within the unknown, are broken…because that is when you are strong in Him, that is when you have learned you are weak, that is when you have learned that this life is not yours…that is when He has become greater. I want to help teach you to seek pride in the Lord, to lift your head high when the world tells you “you have failed!” because it is not about gaining reasons for people to be proud of you. But in Him. so that when you go through these times of unknown, so called failure..you can say “I have set my eyes upon the Lord, I may fail, but he will not..He will lift me out of this muck, He will provide, He will make something of beauty out of this, and He will get the glory. because my strength does not come from me, or worldly success…it comes from the Lord and my pride rests in Him. I may be weak, but he is strong. I may fail, but he will not” I want to do this so that you learn a whole new meaning of pride. that you learn to boast in your weaknessess, because how can you have pride in yourself, in your strength..in something not real?”
*(disclaimer- I am not saying choose mistakes that you blatantly see are bad choices/ decisions- but rather to not fear the making of unintentional mistakes while seeking a life that is edified by the Lord)