I don’t even know how to describe the last two months. It has been the hardest two months of my life, and I am not proud of the way I have handled it. I am not proud of the way that I have doubted God. I am not proud of the way that I finally landed at His feet. All I can say is how thankful I am for finally realizing something very important.
I really hate admitting my faults. I don’t think it is probably easy for anyone, but a lot of the time I don’t like to admit them to other people. What you probably don’t know, is that I internalize every mistake I make and then yell at myself inwardly for days, sometimes weeks, at a time. It doesn’t matter how big the mistake is, whether or not I’ve been forgiven, or even if it wasn’t my fault. I take everything personally and bottle everything up until I explode.
For the last two months, my schedule has looked like this:
Sunday: Church 8:00 AM (if on Worship Band, make that 7:00 AM). Homework. Rest.
Monday: Biology 105 9:00-11:30. Homeschool 12:00-2:00. Dance 5:00-7:00.
Tuesday: Homeschool 9:00-1:00. Study/Homework for Biology. Work until 9:00 or so.
Wednesday: Biology 105 9:00-11:30. Homeschool 12:00-2:00. Church 6:00. (Worship band until 9:30)
Thursday: Homeschool 9:00-1:00. Lab Report for Biology. Dance 4:00-6:00. Family time.
Friday: Homeschool 9:00-12:00. Lunch with Grandma/Grandpa. Work until about 10:00.
Saturday: Work most of day.
It is an understatement to say that I have been busy. I’ve told my parents that sometimes I feel like I have been so busy, I can’t do anything well. It bothers me to not have time to encourage my friends, play with my siblings, or even walk my dog. It bothers me that I often cut my quiet time short to sleep for five more minutes. None of these things are right, and I have let them slide because of everything else that I have to do.
I’ve made some pretty silly mistakes in the past couple of months, and I think I have blamed a lot of them on a lack of sleep. While something can be said for being a little stressed, it is not right for me to be taking out my stress level on my family. It’s not right that I cry myself to sleep just at the thought of everything that I have to do the next day.
Through all of this stress, I have also had to take the ACT and study for my upcoming SAT, prepare a 10 minute long presentation for Biology, and take three Biology tests, study for one more and a final. I came home bawling on Saturday because I was not happy with the way the ACT went. I don’t even have my scores yet, and I am already convinced that I have failed. Never before have I struggled with a standardized test, but now I feel like a stupid failure for running out of time during the math section, even though math happens to be my best subject.
Every comment from someone telling me that I need to do better, every mistake in something I do at work, every marked down lab report or exam from Biology translates into a failure in my mind. Why is it so hard for me to keep going? Why is it so hard for me to be able to let a past mistake go?
My mama figured it out. I have spent many nights lately crying and complaining to her. About a week ago, she said something that helped me find my way back to trusting God.
“Honey, you don’t have to be perfect!” my mom said.
I don’t have to be perfect – in fact I never will be! There is no way on earth that I will be able to be perfect, and all God asks is that I do my best and follow Him! He is not asking me to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders, but to give my burden to Him, to trust HIM with my troubles.
Isn’t it interesting that Satan is attacking and wearing me down with perfection? Isn’t it interesting how my need to be perfect has only made me less than before?
My cry tonight as I once more turn over my burden to God is the following:
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint!” Isaiah 40:28-31.
When I am weary Lord, take my burden and keep me from falling. I will not grow weary, for you are with me.
“’Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Psalm 46:10-11
You are God, not me. Let me hear your whisper in the breeze, and not get caught up in the clamor of the world.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.
Here is my burden, Lord. Take it from me and give me the sweet rest that my soul is craving!
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, O Jacob, O little Israel for I myself will help you, declares the Lord, your Redeemer the holy one of Israel.” Isaiah 41:10.
I remember when my parents used to read this verse to me when I was afraid of the dark, Lord. I remember when that was all I ever had to fear. My troubles may be a little bigger now, but God you are still big enough to take care of them!
“O Lord God of heaven the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel.” Nehemiah 1:5-6.
My prayer reaches your ears, God, and I know you have heard my cry. Thank you for always being attentive to me.
“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11.
God, you are watering me and bringing me to life again. Thank you for reviving me with your loving kindness.
“If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people) why was there still need for another priest to come – one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?” Hebrews 7:11.
Jesus, I don’t need to be perfect because you are. I will strive to be all that I can be, but I will not take the weight of the world alone. I will bring it to you through prayer and allow you to carry me through this life.
I don’t need to be perfect. God has it covered. I will be okay, and will learn more than I ever imagined through this. God is with me, and all I have to do is my best – nothing more, nothing less.
I cannot be perfect by my own power. Only by His power will I be able to trust. Only by His love will I be able to continue.
I’m not perfect.
But God is.
2 years ago