The beauty of "imperfect progress"

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The statement from chapter 1 of Unglued: ”What kept me from making changes was the feeling I wouldn’t do it perfectly. I knew I’d still mess up and the changes wouldn’t come instantly.” resonated in my soul on such a deep level that it felt like my heart was vibrating!
I have struggled for so long with the idea of being "perfect." It even crept into my spiritual life. I had to be the "perfect" christian. And as we all know somewhere in the deep recesses of our hearts and mind, perfection is impossible for us to attain. So I basically set myself up for failure on a daily basis. And after the failure would come guilt and shame that I had failed myself, my family, my friends and more importantly I had failed God.
It set up a vicious cycle in my prayer life. I'd spend part of my prayer time requesting help to be perfect, part for forgiveness for failure and the part in desperate pleas for a better tomorrow.....a perfect tomorrow.
After this cycle went on for too long, I finally had a dear sweet friend who FINALLY got me to truly understand what God's grace meant for my life and my failures. You'd think that was the beginning of my success story right? From that point on I wasn't bound by the desire to be perfect or the fear of failure right?
Ah, if only! In reality, what happened was I quit trying. If I couldn't make perfect choices then I would just not move. I was afraid to take risks, to get out of my comfort zone for fear of making a mistake. I took the beauty of grace and turned into something that made sense with my need to be perfect.
After several months of this refusal to budge and being bound by a new fear, God let me in on a little secret. I was never going to be perfect and that was perfectly fine with Him. In fact, if I could attain perfection, I would have no need for Him. That was my wow moment. God not only expects me to be imperfect and make mistakes, He is there to make my imperfection work for His glory!