I found myself reading through Exodus recently and got excited about Moses leading the Israelites out of bondage. I love that story! I always want to identify with Moses. I want to be the guide showing people the way to freedom! I prayed and asked the Lord to show me who was in bondage saying “Here I am Lord, send me.”
The LORD said to me, “Well, that’s nice, but you are like Pharaoh.”
And I was like, “whaaaaattt?”
“You are like Pharaoh.” He didn’t hesitate. No, He was totally calling me out.
He said, “I have been asking you to let go of perfectionism but you keep refusing.”
It was true.
You’d think that I would have repented from my sin and turned from my wicked ways after this conversation, but I did not. I told the LORD that I would think about it. That is a classic Pharaoh move right there.
Brene Brown says, “When perfectionism is driving, shame is riding shotgun.” I thought perfectionism might let go of the wheel when I sent shame packing but she has been driving for too long. And the thing is, perfectionism is actually a pretty good driver – she always knows where she is going and never has to ask for directions.
What finally got my attention was the study notes in my Bible. I am reading The Voice Bible right now and in the notes for Exodus 11 it says: Perhaps the best way to look at the confrontation between Moses and Pharaoh is a contest to see who truly is God. In Egypt Pharaoh is considered a god.
That was when I realized I wanted to be the god of my own life. My perfectionism was me and my bar-set-so-high standards for myself and my home and my writing and my friendships and my job and my ministry and if I didn’t meet them all then they won’t be good enough. And then I realized – the root of it all is the fear that I am not enough.
Jesus, take the wheel.
He said to me – and if you are struggling with perfectionism or you are struggling with whether or not you are enough, then He says this to you as well, “That is a lie. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are the apple of my eye. You are enough. Perfection comes to steal from your soul. I can see how exhausting it is for you. It is hindering you from fulfilling your calling. You think it is getting you somewhere but it is going in the wrong direction –
Perfection is holding you back.
Perfection is exhausting you.
Perfection is killing your soul.”
I am enough – just because Jesus says so.
You are enough – because you are a child of God.
Perfection doesn’t want me to post this. She says it isn’t good enough. She says I know better than to post a blog without a picture. She says I have to say something witty and memorable at the end to wrap it up nicely.
But I’m trying not to listen to her.