When I Wish it was Perfect…

I didn’t have to be there to know the details.

And maybe that’s what makes it harder to hear.

Because when the pieces have been broken and a mama begins to feel hopeless – hopeless that anything will ever fix those shattered places,

I don’t have to be there to know exactly how it all went down.

Because she was knit together, in fearful and wonderful ways, just there, in those hidden places underneath my heart.

She heard me sing in the car down the I-5 before I even knew she was there.

Her first breath took mine away and when I hear of her struggling to breathe, when I hear of her panic over her inability to create perfection, when I go over in my mind everything that broke to make her so broken,

I feel lost.

I don’t want to feel lost.

I want to have the answers and the assurance in my words to convince her that change is actually a beautiful thing. For my words to somehow sink deep down and wrap around her soul that is so afraid of failure and remind her that trying to be perfect will shrivel up hope, will wither her spirit and that desire for the perfect is really an unquenchable desire for God.

That desiring Him will release her,

that chasing after Him will fulfill her,

that bowing before Him will soften her heart to a perfection that only He can attain this side of heaven.

And in the quiet moments after a day filled with an emotional good-bye and the tenth day in a row of a certain little boy who keeps messing his pants and the beginning stages of putting our house on the market and that light bulb burning out again while the smallest one screams restless with yet another tooth trying to poke through…

I don’t know if my voice can carry the conviction that will slip past the anxiety that has wrapped like a vice around her very life.

I can begin to wish for my own version of perfection and my hope begins to curl around the edges, threatening to shrivel up and choke on unmet and impossible expectations.

There is a sister of his who drove out for my birthday and surprised me with a book that I had been praying about getting.

I have tried to read it slowly,

but these pages steeped in Gospel and Grace and God have held my attention and left me wanting for more.

I don’t know if someday she’ll read these words – or if I just need them in a space that I can keep coming back to, because hearts and lives are complicated and the messes and mess-ups are many in my life.  So I’ll type these words out for her, and for me – to keep my eyes focused on Jesus and what all He has and can do

When you are cynical that God will never change this or that
about you, or you surmise that so-and-so might be a lost cause,
your unbelief is rooted in one or both of these lies: 1. God is not
able to free sinners from their sin; and 2. God is not willing to free 
sinners from their sin.

But God is able. The power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead
is the same power that works in the hearts of those who believe
And God is willing. The desire that compelled the Father to will-
ingly give His Son for us all is the same desire that motivates Him
to finish what He’s begun (Rom. 8:28-32).
Furthermore God’s commitment to save those who believe on Him is to the praise of His glory. Consider the great lengths to which the Lordhas gone to secure you in Him. “In Him you also, when you heard
the Word of Truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in
Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, Who is the guar-
antee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the
praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:13-14). The holy Trinity is working on 
your behalf for your salvation and for the glory of God!

My words alone can’t fix the broken places deep in herself, or in my very own heart – but my willingness to lay down my own wish-list of perfection, to lay down my very own life so that it is His pursuit she feels,

Maybe it will be in those little and small deaths that change, 


His freedom will begin.

Because He is able,

and He is willing,

and He can use even the most broken places of our lives for His glory and praise.

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