Sunday, June 27, 2010

Contradiction ~ Quoted From (In)Courage.Me

I have mentioned before how much I love the site, (in)courage.me. It is a select group of amazing women who write about their spiritual thoughts and experiences. I thought this one by Angela Nazworth was fantastic. Enjoy, and check out the excellent articles on their site.

With ♥ Bon



Posted: 14 Jun 2010 09:38 AM PDT

Shoes photo by Dan4th (flickr) "Recently, I was reminded of the awkward girl who inhibited this body of mine more than 15 years ago. Yes, I’ll admit, her body was leaner and her stomach flat. Hardly, the body I see in the mirror today. But less recognizable to me is her personality. She barely spoke above a whisper or made eye contact with others.

She walked stiffly, wore a veil of rejection, and held a basket of fears.

Perhaps that girl reminds you of someone whose reflection flashed in the mirror of your youth. I think those character traits are shared by many. And even for those of us who tightly closed the doors of the past, there are still reminders.

Not necessarily painful memories, because true healing is the best pain reliever, but more like souvenirs from a different lifetime that hint toward progress and validation. Knowing who we were then helps us better identify who we are now.

However, for as much as I have changed for the better (and I owe that change to the grace of God), a few ragged remnants remain. I long for the day when I finally throw those scraps away. What a contradiction of character that I still hold them, unable to assign them to the trash heap in which they belong. One tattered fragment that still yields power is perfectionism. Granted, that power is waning, but it’s still present.

Frankly, it’s almost silly that it hangs around. Perfectionism is nothing more than a form of pride, even though I often mistake it for “caring about others." It’s perfectionism that causes me to put on the verbal boxing gloves and berate myself for a lapse in judgment.

Truth is, I’m going to mess up. I’m going to fall short. Despite my best intentions, I’m going to mildly offend some people and enrage others. Some of the mistakes I make will be huge and marred with selfishness. Others will be small, unintentional blunders like forgetting someone’s name or speaking out of turn.

What I’m learning is that while it is absolutely necessary to accept responsibility for my mistakes…even the innocent ones and especially the ones that hurt others…it also is absolutely necessary that I not dredge up those errors as a means of self-deprecation.

In other words, I’m forgiven. I’m forgiven even if the person I grieved chooses not to forgive me. I’m forgiven even if I choose not to let go of my mistakes.

Here’s something else. I’m loved. I’m loved even if the world calls me a fool and my friends abandon me. I’m loved the same amount whether I’m volunteering in a nursing home or cussing because I stubbed my toe.

And, here’s one more…I'm understood. I’m understood even if someone looks at me like I’ve parachuted in from another planet. No, God doesn’t always agree with my thoughts and actions. But, He understands my heart. He made it. He speaks to it. He pieces it back together after it’s been wounded.

He holds it.

He owns it.

He has made it whole.


“But when full understanding comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” -- I Cor. 13: 10-12 (NLT)

by Angela Nazworth, Becoming Me

2 comments:

Marie said...

Beautiful post Bonnie. I was thinking along the same lines just the other evening. I am not the same person that I was 11 years ago when I joined this church. The Gospel has given me confidence that I never knew I had. It truly does enable us to be the best that we can be. I am so grateful for that! Love and hugs. xxoo

Sister Susie said...

Being a kindergarten teacher, I can see so much of this "perfectionism" in some children as young as five. If one little thing is done incorrectly, it's like the rest of the day is of no use unless they can do it all over again to make it perfect.
Of course, you have those that go in the opposite direction as well, no concern for anything whether right or wrong. Helping them to find a "happy" medium is really hard for some, but what a reward it is when others see the truth of doing the best they can and realizing in this life, "mistakes" happen. What a joy it will be when we come into the Holy Presence of God's Perfection and we will be as Christ is forever!
Blessings to you and yours,
Susie