Perfect wife, perfect Christian, perfect person.
In this world, we can be sure of one thing-only Jesus was perfect.
You'd think I would have realized that by now, but somewhere I got it in my head that Perfect Mother Tammy existed. That I was continually being measured against her standard of perfection and that at some point I would eventually "arrive". No longer would I be bothered with impatience, but would handle all tantrums with serene angelic peace. I would find loving, non-sarcastic ways to speak motivation into my children, showing them the rewards of obedience. The threatening and nagging would be a dim scratch on the surface of my new glowing approach to motherhood. My children would blossom into compliant, well-behaved members of society. They would no longer talk back to me, they would eat whatever was served to them instead of using such gems as "eew" or "I don't like it" or "That smells bad". (Who knew kids wouldn't want to eat hearty oatmeal with apples, cranberries and almonds in the packet at Grandma's house? They prefer plain oatmeal with milk and a little brown sugar.)
Truth be told, I've had a problem with perfectionism for most of my life. My first name, Tammy, is a Hebrew name that means "perfection". I can still remember the day I received a 99% on a spelling test in third grade and burst into tears. I still remember misspelling the word "bulldozer" (forgot an "L") in the fifth grade spelling bee.
Achievement seems to be something I strive toward. I want my performance for God to earn His approval and admiration. "Well done, Good and Faithful Servant." (that is Biblical) "I am impressed how you crammed an 80 hour work week into 60 hours faithfully. I'm keeping track of all those deeds you're doing for me. You're busy for me. Way to go!" (not Biblical but very indicative of our culture)
If we don't have something to show for our efforts, we cannot receive applause. My sweet husband gets to hear me tell him excitedly when I've completed some deep cleaning task that might otherwise go unnoticed (which is why it is an event in our house). There is a hole in our heart, our very soul that cries out, "Notice me!" "Tell me I'm doing a good job!" "Let me know that I matter!"
It's a needy, selfish soul we have, but our Creator made us that way. He and He alone can fill that need. This is my current prayer, that He would tear the veil of self that I'm hiding behind and take me to the cross. That I'll face the gods of self-esteem, self-awareness, self-confidence, to name a few, and kick them to the curb that He in His glory would reign on the throne of my heart.
Ephesians 2:8-9 Good News Translation (GNT)
He has been STRONGLY making me aware of my need for His help for the last year and a half. But now, I'm starting to get it.
:) Thanks, Lord. Your infinite patience is greatly appreciated.