Recovering: How I Learned to Relax a Little

July 1, 2017

 

I am a perfectionist. And not the What’s your greatest weakness? on a job interview kind. I’m the over-commit, push myself into panic attacks, obsess over what people think of me, cheat on a test so you don’t get a “B” (I ended up with a C, because thankfully I got caught), silver is never good enough sort of perfectionist. Yeah, the worst. 

 

And for more than 2/3s of my life, I let this ridiculous idea that “I could/should be the very best at everything” drive me into an anxiety-ridden mess. On the surface, everything looked pretty good and on the inside I was a stressed-out wreck.

 

But God had different plans. He knew I couldn’t handle that life—that it would crush me. So He mercifully put me in a situation where I could never measure up to the lofty expectations of the people around me—and let me burn myself out—until all I could do was trust Him.

 

I had to take about six months off from full-time work to decompress and come to terms with who I was: A normal, average person. A finite creature. No one special. Someone who could only do so much, made mistakes, and desperately and only needed the affirmation.

 

Then He picked me up and started me on the slow journey to honesty, humility and real community. And that’s where I am today—becoming a little better every day at letting God carry the load and shunning other people’s expectations of who I need to be.

 

I’m not there yet. But I can see progress. And I’m a whole lot freer than I used to be.

 

Through this process, I have learned to embrace the beautiful rhythms of simple life—trips to the library, sitting on the patio of my favorite coffee shop, cooking with my husband and son and sharing warm nights around the table with the dearest of friends.

 

 

I’ve realized that I am made for minimal—for less. I’m supposed to live and work and serve to the glory of God—but I’m not called to save the entire world (and I definitely don’t need to perform for it).

 

So I embrace the simple things—resting in His peace a little more every day. Why don’t you drop that ridiculously heavy weight over there, and let’s talk about how we can take steps toward a healthy, simple life and delight in who He’s created us to be.

 

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” — Matthew 11:28-29

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