Monday, July 4, 2011

Perfect, so no one else has to be

This might just be the most gut wrenchingly honest posts I have ever written. I struggle with perfectionism, but not in its traditional form. No, my grammar doesn’t have to be right, nor my spelling, nor my sentence structure when it comes to writing. My house doesn’t have to be clean, and my car could be considered a bio-hazard. But when it comes to living my life, I want to do it perfect, so that no one else has to be.

Following the date rape, I acted perfect, I never told anyone, I was perfect, so no one else had to be. I would save myself, and I would save them as well.

Got married, had two kids, a boy and a girl, perfect, so no one else had to be.

I got depressed, I went to counseling, and I was the perfect counselee, so my counselor wouldn’t have to deal with the messy parts, perfect client, so she didn’t have to be.

In my healing, I had to start this blog, I had to do something good with it, I had to do it perfectly so no one else had to be.

In writing this book, I can’t even sit down and map out the structure, because every time I do, I delete the entire thing, it wasn’t perfect, and I have believed that it has to be.

I have been broken, and open about my brokenness, but I would not be telling the truth if I said that I did it all out of the desire to help others. Some of it was out of knowing that to not admit my brokenness would break me further, so I made myself perfectly broken, so that no one would have to “help” me. I would make myself the most perfectly broken person the world had ever known.

My biggest fear is needing help, and yet that is exactly what this process of writing, healing, humbling, crying, falling has caused me to be. Broken, finally acknowledging that I need my Jesus, not just because He looks good to have around, but because he was broken so I didn’t have to be.

And yet for the first time, I think I am realizing, for reals this time, that Christ was perfect, so I didn’t have to be.

I just may have the subject and title of that book yet, a perfectionists struggle who was perfect so no one else had to be, until she finally realized that there is only one who is perfect, so she doesn’t have to be.

This blog post is not perfect, my book proposal will not be perfect, but I will write it, and I will write it from the gut wrenchingly honest viewpoint of my struggle with perfectionism, and it will not be perfect, because it doesn’t have to be.

Jesus thank you for loving me unperfected. I need you so bad. Thank you for letting me literally fall down off of my bike tonight so that you could speak to my heart. Thank you Jesus. I love you.


  1. Wow I'm in the hospital trying to be perfect so my nurse won't have to be and so my family won't have to be
    Thank You so much even after almost dying I still won't stop

  2. Wow, that hit me in my core....that's me too. Praying for all of us tonight...Thanks for being so open and sharing with us. Kristi

  3. I'm tearing up reading your post tonight. The part of being the perfect counselee so the counselor wouldn't have to deal with all the messy parts. That's me right there, that's where I'm at right now. I can't even allow myself to cry at my counselings sessions. I keep it back no matter what & I hate doing it. I'm not letting her see what's really going on that way, how much I'm really struggling. It's been a rough weekend, my nights keep deteriorating into tears but will I talk about that at counseling tomorrow night, I don't know.

  4. Perfectionism is really a huge struggle. I think we all try to cover our past regrets, things done to us, or the whatevers because we are afraid of rejection, judgement, and the "whatevers". Thanks for your post reminding us that Jesus and what He says and what He has done for us is enough.

  5. Yes, that will forever stay with me. In the still of my soul Jesus is there whispering, "I perfect so you won't have to be"
    How beautiful He is!

  6. What a beautiful vulnerable post. What a tight grip perfectionism can have on us? I spent 15 years in "therapy" trying to be the perfect patient and never got any help because I was never real - didn't really let out any of the imperfect. Thank God He is good enough to keep working on us and drawing us closer and cracking open our perfectionistic shell and drawing out the flawed us inside.

    He is perfect so we don't have to even try to be anymore. We are free to be ourselves, flaws and all and learn to love ourselves just as we are, because He loves us unconditionally.

    Thank you for your truth. It is beautiful.

  7. Perfect, wearing a perfect little mask. That was me to a T. I've been working hard to take off the mask, it ain't easy, but it'll so be worth it in the end! I can't wait to read your book!!

  8. You are definitely not alone. I went through the same thing ~ didn't tell a soul about my date rape. I was the perfect little virgin who didn't want anyone to know I wasn't anymore. Wore the mask. Ended up in an awful place for a long time. You know what I've discovered about Jesus? He was perfect because His Father (who happens to be my Father, too) knew that I COULDN'T be. He knew that His Son was the only one for the gig. I am not able, you are not able, no one reading this is able to be perfect. Letting go of that takes years and years, I am finding out on my own! But I believe the realization is the biggest first step in my life! Oh how I would love to sit down with a group of women who have been through the same experience as me and find comfort in our similarities! Anyway... good luck to you on your proposal! God is on your side!

  9. Thank you Stephanie. I think sometimes just being a woman causes one to try to be perfect. We have to remember that God really does not give us more than we can handle.
    The best part is that God wants all of it, all of our dark sides, our hidden secrets, our ugliness. He knows about it and just wants us to give it to Him so we can be free to walk with Jesus.
    Praying for all of us!

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  11. Bless you Stephanie! Some of the most beautiful things can come from our imperfect messes. From one former perfectionist (in an attempt to cover up the mess of my life) to another... I will be praying for you!

  12. Wow! I felt like I was reading about myself! Thank you for the reminder that Jesus is perfect so I don't have to be! Enjoying all your post! Thank you for being real!!

  13. perfection, it just wasn't for me it was for the things I owned as well. Books, notebooks were/ are the worst. But it pertain/s to everything I own that's new. They must be perfect , The book Hidden Joy is one of the few books I have not only underlined in but wrote in the margins and almost every blank space. This study is talking to me so much. Being perfect was the only way I could hide my abuse, I didn't want anyone to think less of me and I feared they would. I can already see changes for the better since I started this study and or journey.