"It’s okay if you don’t want to go, but Steven and Stephanie are expecting you,” he said to me with excusing eyes and tone.
“Did you do this?”
“No,” I replied, my blank stare met with disappointed eyes.
I am welcomed with smiling laughing faces because of the clothes I wear or my new hair colour.
My six year old says, “Mom, you NEVER let us… fill in the blank." My ten year old tells me everyone is going away for the winter break.
Facebook tells me that my pictures aren’t happy enough, my kids aren’t smart enough, I’m not busy enough, or I look at my phone too much. My computer accuses me that I am not feeding my kids organics, as my kids pass by with chips and ice cream. “Jillian” tells me I have too many rolls, and I eat too much junk.
I tell myself that my house needs to look like the ones on Pinterest, I need to clean my sheets once a week or else I am an utter failure as a mom. My van parks there – accusing me because it constantly looks dirty even after a wash.
And because I am a “good” Christian girl, I started my bible reading plan on January 1 and starting right in Matthew the bible accuses, “Be perfect as I am perfect.” Now how about that. I can’t even live by other people's standards, my own standards, and now God’s perfect standards.
A thousand different messages, accusations, standards, laws screaming at me that I am not measuring up. I try, try, and try, but I ALWAYS come up short. I have always disappointed someone or disappointed myself and most likely disappointed God.
How does someone stand up under the weight of the pressure of the constant reminder of how they are measuring short in all areas? Maybe the answer is that I don’t stand at all. God is breaking me at my knees, showing me areas of my heart where I think I can make it on my own with the illusion of an A+ and exposing the failing grade. Not truly believing the Gospel in all areas of my life. That Jesus my Once and For All gave me that passing grade without ever trying or doing a thing. He sees my grade as perfect. He GIVES me an A+, so the constant striving for perfection can be put to death. The constant striving to be the best wife, best mom, best friend, best pastor's wife, best sister, best house cleaner, best organizer, best Christian, best daughter, can be put to rest. Because in Christ I am all those things – but not of anything that I have done, but everything that HE did.
When Jesus cried, “IT is finished” between two thieves on the cross, He was saying that my constant trying to reach perfection is over, because He attained it for me. HE actually more than attained it, He nailed it out of the park. How could I ever move passed the Gospel? How could I ever move passed this living, saving message? It is my air, it’s my oxygen that fills the lungs of my should. In Jesus, all my striving is over. How could I ever read the Bible reading as a to-do list? The law in the Bible actually just exposes my desperate need for grace.
“Be perfect as I am perfect.” I can’t be perfect, but Jesus was perfect for me.