Lelia at Write from the Heart is hosting a blog study of Lisa Whittle’s book, Behind Those Eyes, and this week we are looking at Ms. Perfection. She’s somebody many of us know and the girl most of us have tried to be.
Lisa begins the chapter talking about the Great Sunday Morning Fakeout, and I’m sorry to say, “been there, done that!” I still remember the Sunday we announced we were expecting our 3rd child – the time leading up to our departure for church had been chaotic! J.D., 3 at the time was whining about his shoes, Joy, 18 months, was her strong willed self already demanding her way, I’m sure something had been spilt, someone’s clothes didn’t fit…and as we walked out the door, I recall telling Job, “What will people think when we are adding to this?” My worries only grew as Joy had a fit going into church, but still the church family rejoiced at our news. Though they did, I’m ashamed to think how often we’ve tried to play the game and pretend we have it all together. In one way or another, one of the kids always can find a way to keep us honest though, which really is a blessing. (Not just for us but others as well – makes me think of the Casting Crowns song – Stained Glass Masquerade.)
This chapter has really made me think and reflect – I especially like the closing story about Tiffany. I could relate with her desire to please everyone, especially my parents. On the outside it seemed things were all right for me – I had friends, good grades, was a varsity athlete, stayed out of trouble; but on the inside things were different. I struggled. It was a difficult task to be who everyone else thought I was and I made it more of a challenge when I told myself I had to play that role perfectly.
I battled depression my last 2 years of high school, during college and into my teaching career. Though I was hurt, my fear of letting others down kept me struggling in silence. It wasn’t until I reached the point of considering taking my life that I took the mask off and shared my pain.
This difficult moment not only revealed a bit of myself to a few select people, but was also a time when God revealed Himself to me. For 23 years I lived thinking my perfection would bring peace, but it wasn’t until that concept came crashing down did I realize that real peace is a result of His perfection. It has nothing to do with me and the things I do, but everything to do with Christ and what He did.
That was an amazing time and the 9 years since then have been no different. God continues to reveal Himself to me and as He does that, He is constantly changing me. As an individual who’s always been private and more prone to listen than talk, He is calling me out of my comfort zone and asking me to be real.
I’m thankful that I can look back and see that very thing has happened amongst my circle of friends. My friendships have grown because of the transparency and I’ve been blessed to grow closer to some wonderful girls. But yet I know His work is not yet finished because there are still times I play the game, put on the mask and pretend to be who I was. Why?
Because at times it’s easier. Sometimes it’s safer. And others I’m just afraid because I still want to please others and I know not everyone agrees with my faith, so they might not like who I’ve become. But like Tiffany, God has me at a place where I know, “Peace does not come from pleasing others, but from obeying God.”
As I continue on this journey that’s a thought I want to hold onto while I leave the Ms. Perfection costume behind because I know the only way Perfection equals peace is when it is His!