I spent time looking for a gluten-free, paleo, low-cal, vegan breakfast cake last night and this morning. The sad thing is that it actually exists and I made it this morning. I was so excited that I found something fun to make that would still help me have full control over my health. As I was mixing the ingredients, I realized something… not only am I a control freak, mixed with a health nut, with a dash of paranoid—I am a perfectionist. Now, I have known that just about my whole life, but it really struck me while baking how much my perfectionism has caused me to live in fear of failure. When I put the cake in the oven, I had the expectation of this just being a trial run. In my mind, I had already failed at baking; in my mind, I had already failed at life because I wouldn’t be able to cater to my future family’s sugary needs. Sure, my thoughts can be a little more that just a “dash of paranoid”… My train of thoughts become exhausting, dear readers, and I fear that some of you feel the exact same way. I fear that some of my readers are parents, spouses, friends, employees, and employers who are so scared of falling short that they choose to skip some of life’s greatest blessings. That’s me, I am right there with you. Precious readers, we cannot live in fear of failure and live in great victory. We will fall, even the Bible tells us that we will fall and we will fall short (Romans 3:23), but that is the glorious place where grace steps in.
Failure is not the end
The more we are looking to be perfect, we lose the richness of one of God’s greatest blessings—grace. You see, when we fall, whether it be into sin or daily mistakes, we have the choice to either choose pride and to try to rise on our own, or we can humble ourselves under His mighty hand and allow Him to raise us up once again. Failure makes us human and reveals to us how much we need our Savior. I love the way Paul phrased it in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Choosing God’s grace
Weakness and failure are a constant reminder that we were never meant to do everything on our own. So often, we look inwardly or we look around us to try to fix and fill everything in our lives, but the Lord says it so simply, “My grace is sufficient.” He is willing to give us what we do not deserve because of His extreme love! All He asks us to do is to humble ourselves and to trust that His strength is enough. To be completely transparent, as I spend an hour trying to find a recipe that is perfect, and sought to make the cake perfect, I realized how far I have slipped away. I have allowed perfectionism to take me in its landslide and it’s starting to reveal itself in my every day life. I am so worn from trying to make everything perfect and to do everything on my own. All I have to do is to surrender and to accept my failures and to look up to the Father.
Glorying in HIS strength
Paul takes it a little further and he said that he would rather GLORY in his infirmities that God’s power would be more present in his life. If you want to see how humble you are, try to do what Paul did. Glory in your failures and in your pain and in your inability to do it all on your own. In order to live a life of freedom and of joy, all we are called to do is to surrender to His way and to trust His control on our lives. Oh how I want to practice this, dear readers. There is no easy fix to perfectionism and to wanting all control, but I want to make the effort and pray that you join me in that as well.
Let me leave you with this, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6,7) Humble yourself, cast your cares, and live in the glory of His unfailing grace!
Failure is not the end, it is a fresh start. Failure only reveals that we cannot do it, but He can.