By: Chloe Grabeman
On Saturday, I graduated from Lee University. I got my diploma, shook the president’s hand, turned my tassel, and successfully crossed the stage without falling! College was absolutely incredible for me, but amongst the abundance of things I learned, I also came face to face with a deep weakness.
My fall to perfectionism.
I wish I could present this in a more comfortable or witty way like I usually try to, but I find myself falling into its clutches even now as I try to write to you. So, I thought I’d give you a glimpse of my journey.
There’s no 10 Step Guide from someone on the other side. I’m not there yet – I’ve found no practical remedy.
But I’ve found hope within the battle and I hope you do as well.
The past four years, I’ve spent so much time drowning in intimidation. But instead of finding inspiration I chose competition, trying to be the best at everything. The best student, requiring nothing less than excellence in my studies resulting in the praise and admiration of my professors. The best Christian and friend, the person that people seek out for counsel and inspiration. All because I was afraid someone would look at me and see a fraud.
And since everything else seemed to have an entry fee of perfection, I began to think God did too.
That I had to have the perfect amount of adoration in order for His great love to exist. But I knew God didn’t really need me and I subconsciously came to believe His want for me couldn’t be that massive. So, I graded myself with the constant approval of others.
Constantly grading ourselves leaves no room for grace.
John 15 paints a different picture. God doesn’t need us, but still desperately wants to be with us. “Abide in me, and I in you,” is a promise that He will abide in you. It’s not “if you abide in me and do it perfectly I’ll mosey on over and abide in you…maybe.” No. There are no prerequisites.
A song by Ryan Kirkland puts it like this:
Breath me in
Open up your lungs and let me speak and fill you up
Let me be enough for you
Let me be enough for you. Can you hear the kindness in His voice? He so deeply wants to give you rest and set you free.
You weren’t made for a life of stress, comparisons, and perfection. You can’t bear fruit abiding in yourself or others. But in Him you can finally breathe, you can just be, with no prior requirements.
If you’re like me this won’t be the only time this lesson is learned. But as He continues to prune the fruitless parts of you, take heart that He is enough for you. That He delights in you, chose you, and appointed you that you should bear fruit and your fruit should abide.
You are His.
Abide (Breath Me In) – Ryan Kirkland
Satisfy – Worshipmob
Endless Years – Will Reagan and United Pursuit
I Breathe You in God – The Anchor Fellowship
Honey – King’s Choir
Listen here at the Real and True Playlist on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/128815512/playlist/3YfqgeMjEUj7ZB8ydKd5qL
Check out Chloe and Linda Grabeman’s book Real and True: Hope for the Restless Heart at www.realandtruehope.com