Over the past month and a half, I have been reminded of a huge, giant lesson that I clearly knew but had decided wasn’t for me just for those other people who don’t have it all together. In the span of a month I dealt with a job rejection, illness, tragedy blowing up around me, my work load being quadrupled and to round it all out, my happy outlet was planning a 700 person Easter Vigil…I mean, have I forgotten the word rest. And then it happened, finally the dust settled and everything finished up and there was just one giant feeling.
For a month that feeling hadn’t really been present, but when the silence hit, it came crashing down around my ears. And then there was just one thought.
I can’t do this anymore.
If there is any feeling that makes the anxiety become a feeling of suffocation, it’s the feeling when a perfectionist loses control. Every terrifying thought ran though my mind. I would never leave my awful job. I would end up a bitter, spinster secretary. Why did, at the age of 15, I say that I never wanted to change my name…ohmygoshdidijinxmyself. Fear, trembling, loathing, defeat, brokenness. And then there was a whisper.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
From the most likely of places, i.e. my counseling session, came the whisper. I was challenged to look at the past month not as the worst month ever, but as the month that has led to the greatest change. Because as a perfectionist, with a need to please everyone one around me…apparently the only way I learn to let go is falling flat on my face. I took a breath and looked back at my “what do you want to make happen” list from MTH2013 and realized that while it included a lot of tangible things (e.g. having a successful business), it mostly included a lot of feelings…letting go of the fears that hold be back, to always being dancing and singing, to feel led 110% by God, to never stop dreaming, but mostly (and the last thing on my list) to be happy. Somewhere I have remembered the truth. And then the realization hit.
“God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.”
For in my weakness, when I have no idea what is going on and I don’t have the energy to move an inch, in that place growth begins. When I am incapable of coherency and find myself weeping into my pillow, it is there that life happens. When I panic in fear and am blinded by my shortcomings, it is there that I am led.
So today I said enough. Today I said that I wouldn’t continue on in the pattern of insanity that I have allowed to be the label on my life. Today I said I don’t have it all together and that is okay; but mostly, today I realized that in my weakness, as I lie prostrate on the ground, it is there that I am to remain and it is there where I will flourish on the path that has been set out before me.
1. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
2. Exodus 2:25