Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Perfect Life

Last week I started a new online Bible study (OBS) through the Proverbs 31 ministries. It is over the book "Let. It. Go." by Karen Ehman. In this week's study she says "When we accept our lot in life, welcoming all that God is trying to teach us through it, we lose the drive to overcontrol, to micromanage in an all-out attempt to appear perfect and ensure everything is 'just so'." I've always been a smile and nod and tell everybody that everything is ok kind of gal. In college I was a Christian leader on campus and I started to feel then that as a Christian I was expected to know all the answers, have complete trust in God and not worry about anything. Then along came nursing school. I felt like I was walking a tightrope in the dark...alone. I felt that at any moment I could make a tiny little slip and I'd fail out and it would be all over. I think that is when my desire for control started. Until I read this book I never realized all the ways I exerted control. Many of them subtle and subconscious.  One of the ways we as women control is trying to make things look perfect from the outside. Sometimes I think we put pressure on ourselves that people are watching. If we are Christians aren't we supposed to have it all under control? Isn't trust in God supposed to be second nature? But then things happen. We lose loved ones. The car breaks down and our savings are gone. The kids get sick. Life happens and life is sometimes not perfect. Sometimes life is downright dirty and ugly...far from perfect. So we, I, try to manipulate and control it so it looks perfect. As a child of God my job is not to make it look perfect. Not to manipulate the ugly out of life but to ask God "what are You trying to teach me in this situation?" "How can I give you the glory through this time in my life?" This is not an easy task. Almost 5 years ago I found out quite unexpectedly that I was pregnant. I had a 15 month old daughter and was just finishing my master's in nursing. I was tired. A few weeks later we lost that baby to miscarriage. That loss was followed by another pregnancy just a few months later and again a miscarriage. Two lost babies in 6 months. Talk about out of control and life looking ugly. I began to ask God what He wanted me to learn from this situation because I did not think I could survive a 3rd loss so I was willing to learn whatever He was teaching and I wanted to learn it FAST. I don't know that I learned the lesson completely. He has however stirred my desire to help children who have no parents to love them. He has also given me the opportunity to share His love with other hurting women. I have since been blessed with a happy baby boy almost 3 years ago. He is my miracle and I give glory to God for giving him to me. I am sometimes, however, a slow learner. I still try to make things look perfect when they are not. Do you struggle to make life look perfect instead of resting in the life you have and asking God what He wants you to learn?

This life I live is not perfect. But it is the life God has given me and I love it!

7 comments:

  1. Great post, Lacey! Thanks for sharing your story.

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  2. Lacey, I love this. Your honesty in your struggles really help us relate to you! Thanks for reinforcing the fact that we don't need to struggle to make life look perfect but just rest in who we are and the life we have!

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    1. Thank you, I had a friend tell me one day that my posts on facebook were so real it made her realize that even though my husband is a minister we have the same struggles as everybody else.

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing! Your story is touching and I'm thankful to see the way God had worked in your life. Like you, I spent a few years leading women's bible study and "pretending" to be perfect. I wanted to be in control, have all the answers, and be God's superstar Christian. That's what everyone wants and needs, right? Well, pretending to stand out meant I had to stand alone. I finally see why the other women only reached out to me when they needed something...what else would they ask of a girl who was perfect and had all the answers?

    Well, no one can be perfect aside from God, and those of us who succeed at appearing to be perfect end up pushing others away. So, we are made perfect in weakness, because when we are weak, we are strong. God doesn't care how we appear, just how effective we can be for Him. And I have to say, being a Christian almost guarantees a messy life. Just look at the Christians in the Bible! So take heart, God uses imperfections to perfect us.

    I recommend the book, "Grace for the Good Girl, Letting Go of the Try Hard Life", by Emily Freeman. God bless!

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    1. I'll have to check that book out. Thanks.

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  4. I could really related to the idea of having to keep it all together and not let others see the hurt and the ugly in our lives. Sometimes, I think that is the worst kind of control, as it keeps us from experiencing the grace and comfort that those around us would be willing to share, if we would only let them see our need.
    Thank you for being so real!

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