Tired of Trying to Be Perfect

Tired of Trying to Be Perfect

June 10, 2015

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

I’ve always struggled with perfectionism — in every stage of life. When I was young, I strove for excellent grades. As I grew older, I wanted to be perfect in my friendships. Not only did I want to be the best for my students when I became a teacher, I aspired to earn awards and accolades, too.

If you’re also a perfectionist, I bet you can relate.

My losing battle with perfectionism was at its worst after I had my first baby. As a resource junkie, I was sure I could research my way to being the perfect mom. My friends loaded me up with their recommended parenting books and being a voracious reader, I dug right in.

Soon, I envisioned two very different supermoms in my mind. The first was Earth Mama. She wore a bohemian skirt, chandelier earrings and a quilted baby sling as her predominant and most important accessory. Earth Mama cheerfully flexed with her baby’s every need, cuddling up together in the family bed at night or confidently supplying her — ahem — natural sources of nourishment at a moment’s notice no matter where they were — home, a restaurant or in the middle of a department store.

Then there was supermom number two, Right-on-Schedule Mom. This mom wore chinos and a dry-cleaned shirt that was always unwrinkled because she only picked up her baby when it was time — time for a meal, time for a nap or playtime. Right-on-Schedule Mom’s baby slept through the night at two weeks in her own snazzy crib and sat up before anyone else in their Mommy and Me group. Any natural sources of nourishment were tented in public and permanently covered at precisely one year.

How to choose? How to choose? Each model seemed perfect in its own way, and I vacillated between them until I ended up confused, worn-out and frustrated.

Whether you’re married, single, a career woman, or a domestic manager, creating an image of perfection is a never-ending, exhausting activity. Because the measure of perfection keeps shifting, the stage we’re in and the crowd we follow determines the units on our current measuring stick.

The perfect sorority girl tries to live up to a very different image than the perfect athlete.

The perfect socialite works to have an image that is in stark contrast to the perfect revolutionary.

The perfect preppy disdains the perfect punk.

Not only do these personas divide women instead of creating relationships and community, these perfect images start a cycle of never-ending shape-shifting.

Maybe you’re the career woman who works more hours than you’d like to gain the approval of your team.

Maybe you’re the single woman who accepts blind dates your married friends arrange even though you’re content in your singleness.

But God didn’t create us to be shape-shifters. God crafted us to reflect His image, not create our own.

As a young mom, I finally realized that I was trying to figure out the wrong thing. I didn’t need to choose an ideal supermom. I needed to allow God to show me how to be the best mom to the baby He had given me.

Living fully in the knowledge that we are one of God’s wondrous works is our greatest praise to Him! It’s in becoming our truest, God-created selves, reflecting His image in the gifts and wiring He’s given us, that we’ll connect most deeply with our Creator and with others.

Lord, I’m worn out from trying to be perfect. I long to walk in freedom and to become the woman you intended me to be when You wove me together. Help me be authentic, instead of shape-shifting to please others or to attain an impossible image. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Genesis 1:27, "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." (NIV)

Genesis 1:31, "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning — the sixth day." (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Breaking Up with Perfect: Kiss Perfection Good-Bye and Embrace the Joy God Has in Store for You by Amy Carroll releases next month. Click here to pre-order your copy.

Amy invites you to visit her blog today to celebrate the release of Breaking Up with Perfect. There will be a terrific free resource and a giveaway.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Do you live life as a shape-shifter or an image-bearer?

In what ways would you live freer by giving up a "perfect" image?

Write a written response to this verse from the Bible, "The LORD
your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing"
(Zephaniah 3:17, NIV).

© 2015 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. I live my life simply trying to live the way God wants me to be with my husband, Ron Smith. Ultimately, he’s currently teaching me that being perfect isn’t something that we humans can do. Only God is the one who is free of iay flaws whatsoever. He’s entirely perfect.
    When I find myself dealing with trying to be perfect, I’m merely going to allow my wonderful husband to show me that being perfect isn’t something I need to always try to reach. I should simply just be me, even when other people want me to be something I’m not.
    When God tells us that He isn’t going to punish us anymore for our mistakes, this is His way to remind us that Jesus has already payed the penalty for our sins by giving up His very own life the cross.
    “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)
    Amen! what a wonderful thing to remember on this Tuesday night! Before our moms even knew who we’d be, God already knew absolutely everything there was about us.
    “Lord, I’m worn out from trying to be perfect. I long to walk in freedom and to become the woman you intended me to be when You wove me together. Help me be authentic, instead of shape-shifting to please others or to attain an impossible image. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. “~Amy Dohm Carroll
    Awesome! What a powerful prayer! We should ask God to help us be transparent and true to those around us. God can help us be real with those around us, especially when we’re sharing our own testimony and life struggles with them.
    Genesis 1:27, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (NIV)
    Amen! what a very powerful thing to always remember! God has created each and every one of us in His own image. We look nothing like the person next to us.
    Genesis 1:31, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning — the sixth day.” (NIV)
    God saw that all His creation was very good. On the 6th day of the world’s creation, day and night, morning and evening had been created by the Lord.

  2. Tristina says:

    In my weakness he is strong. I have been taking heed. Looking at my shortcomings to identify where I need God the most. I think I came up with trust. I need to trust that God has a plan for me. A plan to prosper me not to harm me and to give me hope and a future.

    • Tristina – I have never posted here before, but today, a couple of comments have stuck out to me and resonated with me. I am going through the exact same thing lately – looking at my shortcomings and seeing several areas I need help in changing. It’s an ongoing process. But one of the verses that has been running through my mind pretty much constantly is that God has a plan to prosper me and not to harm me, to give me hope and a future. I hope that you and I can both trust God to fulfill His plans for us, and to know that our shortcomings are often areas where God wants to use us.

  3. I feel I fail in being the person that God created. Never measuring up. Always a problem and usually what goes wrong is my fault. Why can’t I just be in God and things go half ok. Tired of trying.

    • Linda, dear Linda, you cannot fail at being the person God created. He CREATED. You ARE.

      God isn’t holding up his version of you and measuring your version of you against it. He looks at you and thinks, “Yep, there’s Linda. I do good work.”

      It doesn’t mean that life will be easy. Hard times happen, even to those who are fully devoted to Christ. God’s promise isn’t about a smooth path. His promise is that we are never alone.

    • Linda – I can completely relate with feeling like I am failing in being the person God wants me to be, and ultimately finding out that what is wrong in my life is of my own doing. I try to lean on my own “abilities” and not on God, and that very seldom works out well for me. In Mark 2:17, Jesus says “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners.” Making mistakes is part of being human. Fortunately God’s grace is sufficient, we just need to accept that grace, and we need to exercise grace for ourselves, not expecting that we can change overnight and forgiving ourselves the way God forgives us.

      Fran – excellent comment!

    • Jessica says:

      Linda,
      I pray that you study the Word and obtain a deep understanding of who GOD truly is and that revelation will in turn open your eyes to who you truly are “in Christ.” I pray this not only for you, but also myself, and all others who need this awakening in our hearts and minds to live the glorious and powerful life He created us to live…. In Jesus’ Mighty Name, Amen

    • Please ask the Holy Spirit to help and guide you. Quiet your mind and be receptive to his direction… He is our Teacher and Comforter.
      God Bless

    • Linda, I’ve struggled/still struggle with the idea that I’m not good enough as I am. All of us can be improving in some way all the time, but I it sounds like you (and I) have this fundamental “feeling” that we’re just not quite right regardless. The enemy wants us to keep believing this so that we’re always defeated and discouraged and depressed. I stand with you, standing up against that outright lie in the mighty Name of Jesus, the “author and finisher/perfecter of our faith.” He loves you and me so very much, regardless of how we feel. I am praying for breakthrough for you!!! God bless you today!

    • Press on – keep up the good fight – keep up the faith. Often when times get hard I think of Paul. Imprisoned, persecuted, alone at times, without – and yet because of his love for Jesus and the call that Jesus had upon his life, he did not give up. He finished the race set before him. Linda, we will never measure up to our own standards or the world’s standards. We will however, be loved and forgiven by our Heavenly Father. Keep the faith friend! In our weakness, He is strong!

    • Amy Carroll says:

      I adore how women are ministering to each other so tenderly here. Linda, you are loved!

  4. In response to Linda:

    God says that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ. I guess everyday is a process of doing so if you allow Him. You have to lose yourself in Him to find yourself because that’s where the fulfillment of your soul will be at. You are not perfect and neither am I! I still have to learn and practice and relearn these things I’m telling you thanks to God! The work is not done yet and we do have shortcomings but we repent and are led to genuine repentance and go strive forward. God loves you and we have a Father thanks to Christ’s sacrifice and even if moments are difficult and you mess up, He is right beside you. Remember in Isaiah 40: He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youth grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in The Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

  5. Amen, Fran! Enough said.

  6. Christie says:

    Great word of truth Amy!

  7. Resource junkie…hmmm

  8. Melanie says:

    I have a sticky note on my desk that say “perfectionism doesn’t exist on this side of reality” as a nice little reminder for me. It’s about giving God your best, not trying to be perfect in the eyes of the world. We were born to be awesome, not perfect!

  9. I need this reminder every day to break up perfect!

  10. I’m not a mother but I think God still spoke to me through this devotion. My idea of perfectionism is making sure I’m double checking everything over and over again in my life for fear of messing up. Lord please help me feel your calling on my life and let me follow you and do your good works and be just who you made me. Help all of us to live for you today and spread your love and the gospel Jesus. Thank you for salvation! In Jesus name amen!

  11. Oh how I can relate. Being a perfect mom seemed within reach somehow, until I realized I was the crazy lady getting irritated when things didn’t work out perfectly. Why was my sleep trained baby waking? Why couldn’t my baby latch? Why did my toddler throw fits in public places? I was a mess. Now I’ve learned to chill and just be me, not super mom. Moms need this message! Thank you for sharing it!!! http://www.micahmaddox.com/irritated-irrational-frustrated-not-the-mom-i-want-to-be-how-do-i-break-free/

  12. I, too, struggle with perfectionism. After my first baby, I nearly drove myself over the edge trying to be the perfect, nursing mom. Praise God that He gave me friends to speak truth into my life to help me realize that he doesn’t expect me to be perfect. Ultimately, it is so freeing to let go. Perfectionism still rears its ugly head sometimes, but God enables me to focus on Him instead of worrying what other people think.

  13. Your thoughts are encouraging, Amy. Now a grandma, there is even pressure in this stage to be the best and better than. But just being who we are is so freeing. And that we never have to be ashamed of our weaknesses, because we are all a work in progress is so helpful.
    Your description of “how” to mother reminds me of the book a daughter of a good friend of mine co-authored.
    Spirit-Led Parenting by Megan Tietz and Laura Oyer is such a well-balanced approach and I recommend it highly.

  14. This is a constant struggle and often leads to me shutting down. I’m currently in shut-down mode… The whole perfectionism thing for me is derived from a need to be loved. If I set my self-inflicted goals to reach perfectionism and I fail, I am a failure and why would I deserve to be loved. I fail so often and I fall short but I am still loved by Jesus, but what about everyone else, I just feel not worthy. Along with the strive for perfection is the unnecessary issue of doing something productive each day. It is my need to prove my worth to myself and my family. The problem is that when something impedes my productivity I get mad at them. For example I have a cleaning lady, and I have her help me with special projects around the house. This is very helpful but rather than me use her to fill in the blanks and complete what needs to get done I have taken on and started more projects. This means the tornado of my 5 teenage boys is winning and my battle of them picking up after themselves and not leaving messes- well I’m losing. I don’t feel like constantly reminding them to do stuff, so I have just stopped. This is causing me to be resentful of them and disconnect from dealing with them. I feel like I’ve dumped them to my husband to deal with and I’m not sharing in my responsibility. This viscous cycle is never ending and I’m praying now for God to please help me. Amen

    • Amy Carroll says:

      Britta, I can so identify. The reason I became determined to break up with perfect was that I realized that it was ruining my relationships. Writing the book has boiled some of it up in me again, but God is teaching me to rest in His work in my day by day.

  15. It has taken me a long time to stop being a shape-shifter though I sometimes fall back into old habits. I have finally learned at 42 years old that Jesus is the ultimate gap-filler. I don’t have to try to be perfect and constantly struggle to get everything just right every time because He is there to strengthen my weaknesses. It is in my weakness that He can work through me to fulfill His purpose. I became a Christian at six years of age, but I was 40 when I finally grasped this truth. Now I when I see myself slipping back into shape-shifter mode I just say “Gap-Filler” because I know Jesus will perfectly fill in my deficiencies. Praise God!

    • Amy Carroll says:

      Oooo… love this, “Now I when I see myself slipping back into shape-shifter mode I just say “Gap-Filler” because I know Jesus will perfectly fill in my deficiencies.” I’m going to borrow that in my own life, Amy!

    • I like it too, Amy. Thank you very much. God continue to bless you richly!

  16. Lynnette Reeves says:

    I LOVE this verse. It’s one of my favorites. God rejoices over ME with singing. Really? How can this be? He is so awesome and I love Him so much!!

  17. Thank you for your timely words. Goes right along with what I read in the Message this morning in Matthew 5:3-5.

  18. Maribeth Deese says:

    Thank you, Amy. I needed to read your words and His words. God bless you and yours!

  19. Holly Rutt says:

    I would love to have this book to study the Bible in more depth with my kids. There is always something that you’ve never thought about before as you read Gods word every time you read a passage, you get something more out of it!

  20. Julissa says:

    This was meant for me!!! This is my constant daily struggle. I homeschool my 3 children and have an in home daycare with 4 other children and I am always downing myself for not having the perfect and clean home. I try daily to do everything I can to please my husband, to raise my children. I go to school to make my life better and I am always volunteering at church. I am always trying to be the perfect Christian and in doing that have been committing the sin of perfectionism. I am so glad that this was the devotion today. I need this devotion everyday!!!!

  21. margaret says:

    I truly long to be the woman that God has created me to be, but I just keep getting in his way! I’m always trying to be what I imagine is the perfect me. When all this time, according to Zephaniah 3:17, God has been taking GREAT DELIGHT in me! All this time, The God Of The Universe has been loving me, and rejoicing over me with singing! Where have I been? Have I been too busy trying to be perfect to notice that my Savior has been there all this time? Just the thought of Jesus singing over me sends shivers down my spine! This particular image is so beautiful and brings such peace to me! I can just see him standing over me, with nothing but love in his eyes, singing me to sleep! Thank you for reminding me that I serve a God who loves me enough to let me be me and doesn’t expect me to be something I’m not! Now, that’s what I call freedom!

    • Thank you, Margaret. This reminds me of nightly singing my daughter (now 18) to sleep – mostly because my husband had to go to work the next morning, and our other daughter had to go to school – so they needed to be
      able to sleep. I would sit on the floor next to her crib. 🙂 Wow! “Jesus standing over me, with nothing but love in His eyes, singing me to sleep!” What peace! Thank you again for sharing your blessed thoughts. God continue to bless you richly!

  22. Adrienne Ingram says:

    Good Morning!…Every morning I read the devotion for the day and every morning whatever the topic it seems to be exactly what I’m dealing with at that moment. I’m happy to learn that I’m not alone in my quest to try to get it right all of the time. The more I learn who I am in Christ and the more I learn about who God says I am the less I strive to be perfect and the more I lean into who God is. Have A Blessed Day!

  23. Cheryl Evans says:

    I Thank God for this message of confirmation,I used to want to be like Every Christian woman that seem they had it all together,These last few years,I have experienced God like never before,I learned how to Let Go of Old way of Cheryl!Trying to be someone else is exhausting!!Thanking God for 54 years of life,an Him molding me an,Shaping me as an original Woman He created Is Liberating,Freedom in GOD is so much,peace,even in the midst of storm,I can rest assured ,God is my refuge!!

  24. LuAnn Morrison says:

    How appropriate for the first devotion that I receive from Proverbs 31 Ministries uses 2 verses from one of my favorite chapters in the Bible!! God continues to use Psalm 139 to speak to me! I didn’t know the verse in Zephaniah. I know there are days I haven’t been worthy of Him singing over me and He does it anyway!! How Amazing is our God?! His LOVE endures Forever!!

  25. Alice Arwood says:

    Once again, the day’s devotional has told me something I needed to hear. A perfectionist by nature, I have long struggled with trying to measure up to standards I’ve imposed on myself, doing too much and trying to be one notch better than everyone else. It’s exhausting. And, in the end, a little destructive. God’s opinion is the only one that matters. Spending more time with Him is the antidote to most, if not all, of our problems.

  26. Although I’m not a mother, I completely relate to this as I’m a performance perfectionist. I constantly feel the need to do the best and BE the best but God has been working in my heart to be content with who I am and trust that God will take care of things because He is my strength in my weaknesses. Learning to accept reality that you are never going to be the best is such a hard lesson to learn but if you rely on God and stop worrying it will not only allow you to be more joyful in everyday life but also allow you to grow in your relationship with God. Freedom in God is so liberating!

  27. Cathy Cabaniss says:

    I have always tried to please everyone. I never thought of it as trying to be perfect. I am working on myself these days. I want to find out who God meant me to be, instead of who I thought I was to be. I have always been close to God,trying to please him. It was never easy with all the requests from my family.

    • Wow, Cathy! “I want to find out who God meant me to be, instead of who I thought I was to be.” What a good prayer. I, too, have been a people pleaser – I am less of one now, but I know that tendency/desire is still there. Pleasing God should be at the top of our list, and as we please God, others will be pleased, too (known or unknown to them at first.) 🙂 Hope that makes sense. God continue to bless you richly!

  28. God’s plan for each one of us is PERFECT!! I have learned to trust His Word. “For I know the plans I have for YOU.” He has every minute of our lives in His hands!! Trust & Pray!

  29. “The LORD
    your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17, NIV).

    I absolutely love this verse. To know that God loved me, my imperfect sinful self, is a beautiful and amazing thing. I am in awe of God’s wonder and grace.

    I am a shape shifter, trying to change who I am to be the perfrct person for whatever situation I am in. It is exhausting, especially when I fall short each time. The deal is only The Creator and His Son and The Holy Spirit are perfect. It is time for me to stop trying to live up to an impossible bar. God created me. He is pleased with His creation.

    Thank you Heavenly Father for Your ever lasting and beautiful Love, Grace, Patience, Forgiveness, and Guidance that you show to all of us each and every day. Please forgive me for my sinful and stubborn ways. Please forgive me for trying to shift the shape of what You created. In Your Precious Name, Amen.

  30. Grace vega says:

    Put perfectionism together with an anxiety disorder and the perfect storm for a depressive disorder is on the horizon. I am a recovering perfectionist, a misguided soul who was proud of my addiction like many of us are. Often wonder if perhaps that was Martha’s real issue when Jesus came to her house for a visit. One of the things that finally helped me begin to grasp that “perfect” is not something I can or should strive for was another devotion I read years ago that frankly made it clear that in place of honoring God through perfectionism I was actually putting myself in God’s place on the throne. I appreciate your rather more loving way of once again making it clear that perfectionism keeps us from allowing God to use us as the individuals he made us to be. To allow God to do that we have to stop not only comparing ourselves to others — other women or men — but listening to their voices instead of God’s. Much easier said than done, of course, but reading reminders in God’s Word does help. This summer I have a bit more free time than I often have, so decided to commit to memory some of those great reminders, like your opening scriptures. Scripture memorization was not a priority in the church I grew up in, and procrastination is still one of my chief complaints (especially problematic when addicted to perfection) so all prayers and good thoughts welcome that I actually prioritize this starting today!

    • Amy Carroll says:

      There are so many great insights in what you’ve shared, Grace. I’m so happy the devotion encouraged you today!

    • Yes, very good insights. Thank you. Praying that God will indeed help you prioritize so you can really work on that scripture memorization. May you be strengthened in your inner man to be disciplined in this area, knowing it will so fruitful in a variety of ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. May He continue to bless you richly!

  31. Thank you for speaking this powerful Word into my heart today! Such a beautiful reminder of the unfailing love our Father has for us!

  32. I was curious if your new book would be available in audio? I see so many books coming from Proverbs 31 but I have no time to sit and read a book but spend a lot of time in the car. Would love hear your insite.

    Thanks!

  33. As a 24-year old girl with a bachelor’s degree and a minimum-wage paying job at a hotel and getting dumped by boyfriend after an almost 2 year relationship, I have without a doubt, had to eat a slice of humble pie in the past few months. When it feels like I have failed the expectations of those around me and find myself looking at others my age who have already landed careers, husbands, and even babies, it is hard not to feel as though I have failed miserably and have exhausted my spirit trting in the process. Yet I am choosing daily to remember that I was “Fearfully and wonderfully made” and that God DOES have a purpose and plan for my life, even if I have stumbled upon an unforseen roadblock along the way. We have to remember that His timing is not our timing and His ways are not our ways, so have faith and hold your head high in inner confidence and peace, that He wants us to be proud of who we were made to be, imperfections and all, so that we can bring him glory through them and let his perfect love shine through our faith when we feel less than perfect!

    • Hi, Christiana: Thank you so much for sharing with us. I really appreciate the last few lines especially: “We have to remember that His timing is not our timing and His ways are not our ways, so have faith and hold your head high in inner confidence and peace, that He wants us to be proud of who we were made to be, imperfections and all, so that we can bring him glory through them and let his perfect love shine through our faith when we feel less than perfect!” Selah! Thank you again. May God continue to bless you richly.

  34. I cannot even begin to tell you how much this devotional has been a blessing to me. I’m a single 26-year old lady and at some point people told me to “change” so I can attract a man and have more friends. In the process I became depressed and I almost lost touch with my spiritual life. Thank God for His word. I had to accept who I am in God and His word & ever since then it’s been peace, blessing and satisfaction all the way.

    • Hi Osa, I am rejoicing with you that you found peace, blessing and satisfaction in God’s Word! Isn’t He amazing! He is truly everything we need. Your comment stuck out to me (I’m now 40), but when I was 26, I believed those lies that you did, especially about attracting a man. What God has taught me through His Word and His Holy Spirit has been life changing. He taught me that obedience to His Word is the way that blessings come, which included learning to dress modest. I learned that men who believe lies of lust are attracted to opposite things of what godly men (who are healed from those lies) are attracted to. Praise God that all the answers to our life questions are in His Word! And praise Him that He is our Shepherd and He is everything we need! Blessings! 🙂

  35. The line that struck me, the most, was about being “shape shifters!” Bingo! It seems we all have an ideal “us” in mind, and this line reminded me the only ideal I need to be concerned with is what God wants me to be by the power of His Holy Spirit, and it probably won’t be what I had envisioned! Thank you! This is a keeper.

  36. janine ratliff says:

    I would love to win this book for myself. I’m struggling with recovery after 20 yes of addiction. I know God has à plan for my life, but I need help in understanding. I’m fighting to be good kind and giving, I pray God will change me.

  37. As a recovering perfectionist, I totally relate. I try and remind myself that even if I could make myself “perfect” in MY opinion that might look VERY different on looking “perfect” in GOD’S opinion!! Ergo, I try and just walk hourly in obedience into who HE would have me become. Cuz, duh, His plans for my being are waaaaaaaaay better than mine. If I continue to focus on how I’m not living up to my own standards, then I can’t focus on how God is living up to His own standards. The latter is a much more pretty sight!!

  38. Grace vega says:

    Posting again as I forgot to say that for me it is ironic that your post is on the Proverbs 31 Ministries site. It is a site I do not follow as, to be honest, I feel very angry when I read about the woman in Proverbs 31. In those scriptures I feel like an impossible standard of perfection is being held up for us women, no comfort for a recovering perfectionist. However, my sister posted your blog post on FB. How is it you apparently draw comfort from the description of this woman when she just discourages me?

    • Hi Grace, Thanks for sharing your story, and for how God led you here. I’ve been so blessed in my relationship with the Lord through Proverbs 31 ministry, I’ve been going to this website on and off for over a year. They are beginning a new online Bible study called “Mended Heart” in a couple weeks. It was on my heart to invite you. I believe it starts June 22nd, and the coolest part is you can do it all in your own time (nobody will know if you get super behind). 🙂 I’m a recovering perfectionist as well, so I know what you mean about the woman in Proverbs 31 (in the Bible). God has healed me of much anxiety, panic attacks, and depression, and insomnia. Although I still struggle at times. God bless you, Friend!
      Amber Paulsen
      http://amberpaulsen.blogspot.com/

  39. Thanks, Amy. Loved this.

  40. Amy, as I was reading your humble post, I was reminded of my childhood. I was SUCH a perfectionist (still can be). As a child I remember having thoughts “I can’t wait to be an adult so I won’t have to do these things that make me so nervous” (like reading out loud in front of class, giving speeches, etc, even in elementary). Then, as an adult, God has called me to do many things where I have to be in front of people, like being in a skit for ministry, singing in front of many people, etc. I sometimes still stomp my foot, like a little kid and say “I don’t wannu!”. Anyway, more recently the Lord has given me a desire to write, to share His redemption story, how He redeemed me of certain things. Yet, I sometimes focus on the things I still need growing in, and think “Oh I can’t share yet, I’m not perfect enough, maybe when I’m 60 I’ll have enough wisdom to share”. Ha! Those exact thoughts have come to me, yet now I realize how ridiculous it sounds. The truth is only the Almighty God and Jesus Christ (the visible image of the invisible God), are perfect! I will always be growing. There is one bible verse that is coming to mind as I type this:
    “You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” – Song of Songs 4:7
    We are each wonderfully made, there is no flaw in the way He masterfully designed us. Yet, He is the only One we worship and are in awe of. We will always be sinners, always growing, always transforming and we praise God because we are each wonderfully made. Yay, God!

    • Wow, Amber: That last paragraph made me say, Wow! You have written truth here! In that there is much HOPE! Thank you. May God continue to bless you, richly!

  41. Amy Carroll says:

    Beautiful, Amber! Thanks for sharing.

  42. Thank you! It amazes me that my sweet Jesus can take all my pain and turn it into joy. Praise His name!

  43. Monique says:

    Amen!

  44. Wow, I was the EXACT same way with my first baby. I also, ended up worn out, stressed, and honestly, I didn’t really enjoy his babyhood. I now have my second and have thrown all the books, advice, and pressure to be “perfect” out the window. And you know what?? I’m LOVING babyhood this time around! What’s even more amazing is that my second has been much more difficult than my first- we spend a month in the hospital after he had a brain hemorrhage at 6 weeks. You think if I would be stressed with either baby it would be the second. But after allowing God to close my ears to the pressures of the “perfect” mom, I have just focused on doing what feels right in my heart, enjoying the moment, and above all, being thankful for every little thing. And I am so much more joyful!!! It’s really amazing what happens when we don’t pay attention to what we think everyone else cares about. Thank you for this! 🙂

    • Amy Carroll says:

      Good for you, Sara! I did a little better with my second, but I don’t think I had thoroughly learned the lesson. I’m so glad you’re thriving in motherhood!

  45. In Matthew 5:48, Jesus tells us to be perfect, not as society dictates, but as our Heavenly Father is perfect. While it may seem even less attainable, we are made perfect in Christ and have no need to follow the whims of the world. Being Jesus to our neighbor is all we are required to do.

  46. Perfect devotion!!

  47. “I’m Breaking Up With Perfect.” Thank you for sharing these thoughts and the great give-away. I have really been learning about “breaking up with perfect” through my job – I am now in my 9th month on this job. God is so teaching me to take one day at a time, and I can apply that other areas as well. Praise Him! I still need work in the area of relationships; changes are taking place. So very thankful. God continue to bless you and your readers richly!

  48. Perfect devotion!!

  49. Thank you for the awesome devotional. Recently I decided I didn’t want to be a shape shifter anymore. I was so tired of trying to be what everyone expected of me….God continues to encourage me to be strong and courageous. To keep moving forward into His purpose for me. I stand on Joshua 1:9. God is with me wherever I go.

  50. This is all me. I had goosebumps reading this.
    I always feel like I need to measure up to someone else’s standard… CONSTANTLY comparing myself to others and outdoing myself in a bid to be like them. On the 14th of June, I turned 26 and though some might say I’m still young I kind of feel like a failure cuz of all the things I have failed to achieve or even attempt. It’s a sickening, hollowing feeling and I’m truly tired of it all but I dont even know how or where to begin.
    All the scriptures contained here look like a starting point so thank you for this article.

  51. Trish Beach says:

    Thank you for this poignant reminder. I am this person of perfection from s young age. At home my earthly father instilled that nothing was enough. I am slowly learning to catch myself….and remember that perfection is my truest enemy and exhausts my all. God Bless the work you do!

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