I'm a people pleaser. I always have been. No, scratch that. It has increased 10 fold in my 2nd decade of life. For some reason, my 20's has been about doing and being what I thought every other person in life wanted and expected of me. My marriage had to be what others expected. I had to have perfect babies and raise them how everyone else says I should. I have to say all the right things, do all the right things, and never leave my house with a hair out of place. And I most certainly cannot come to God a total mess.
And the funny thing is... the last 10 years of my life have been the total opposite. Behind the closed doors of our home there has been raging chaos. Marital chaos, parenting chaos, chaos in our ministry, and internal and spiritual chaos inside myself.
A few months ago I had a total God moment. I was praying about something and suddenly it dawned on me- all I had ever done was try and make myself good enough for God. I had no concept of what grace was. I'd grown up in the church and the term was familiar and rolled off my tongue easily, but I certainly don't understand it and don't know how it applies to my life. Not long after that I came across a book called Christ In the Chaos: How the Gospel Changes Motherhood. In the books she was saying things like...
Grace is God's declaration to a believer that she can never disappoint him...My God will never say, "You've done this a thousand times, and I'm through with you.
"I have been adopted into the family of God and given the perfect righteousness of Jesus, so God looks at me, and says, "That's her! That's my daughter. Isn't she so beautiful and perfect?"
Grace tells me I can royally mess things up and am still loved.
What?! That blew my mind. It was then that I realized that me trying to be a perfectionist in my relationship with God meant nothing. God won't be disappointed or upset with me when I mess up. He's happy with me when I do Godly Christlike things. And trying to maintain a fake "perfect" lifestyle isn't one of those Godly things.
Ok, so hear me on this one... does this mean I suddenly understand the depths of God's love and the exact implications of God's grace in my life? Absolutely not. I'm just starting to understand a fraction of all of this. Does it mean that I'm free of the burden of the perfectionist lifestyle and live every day to it's fullest God pleasing potential? Nope. But it's getting easier.
One of my favorite songs of all time is In Christ Alone. It's funny how was you grow/change/age, songs that you've known for a long time suddenly take on new meanings and new truths stick out to you. I had this song stuck in my head a few weeks ago and as I was humming it, suddenly I realized the sweet truth of the 2nd verse. Something I'd never thought about before....