Like Eva in Bring Her Home, I want people to think I have it all together. That I’m strong, and confident, and unshakeable every hour of every day, no matter what life throws at me. Part of that comes from fear that they’d walk away if they knew the truth, part comes from pride and not wanting to appear ‘weak’, but honestly? The biggest part of that wanting has nothing to do with other people or what they think, and everything to do with me. The thought that if I can make everyone around me believe that I’m okay—thriving even—then maybe I really am.
But deep inside, I know I’m not. I might be holding it all together for the moment, but it’s not comfortable. It’s not safe. My hands are tired. My fingers sore. The pieces I’m clinging to are sharp and cutting me. Any second, they’re going to rip away and I’ll be left with nothing but bleeding hands, tear-blotched cheeks, and a broken heart. I’m shattering.
It was one of those mornings gearing up for another day of holding it all together, going through my ‘you can do this, just one step at a time’ self-motivational speeches when I opened my Bible and found this verse:
For the source of your pleasure is not in my performance
or the sacrifices I might offer to you.
The fountain of your pleasure is found
in the sacrifice of my shattered heart before you.
(Psalm 51:16-17 TPT)
And suddenly it hit me: I don’t have to be perfect. Me breaking myself to hold it all together (“No, no, I can do it. I’ve got this. Just give me a second. I’m fine…”) isn’t what God wants of me.
He’s not asking me to sacrifice myself to be perfect, but to sacrifice perfection to be myself.
To just come.
Messy. Broken. Shattered even. Because that’s when he takes the pieces and—like a master craftsman creating a stained-glass window—puts them back together to make something beautiful. Not only in my life, but in those around me. He shines his light through the broken pieces, and brings hope to those touched by them. Color, beauty, maybe even renewed faith. All because I surrendered my pride and need to be perfect, and brought him the shattered pieces.
Do I still want people to think I have it all together? Ha. Yes. It’s likely something I’ll struggle with all my life. But I’m also getting better at remembering that broken doesn’t mean bad, and imperfection doesn’t equal failure. It’s just another chance for God to do something beautiful. If I’m brave enough to bring him the pieces and come broken.
Do you struggle with a need to come across to others as perfect?
What things have you seen in your life that are all the more beautiful because of their imperfections?
What is one thing you can do today to encourage those around you?
God, I hate the fact that I’m not perfect, but I hate even more that I feel like I have to be. Thank you that the source of your pleasure isn’t found in my performance, but rather the sacrifice of my shattered heart before you. Help me to remember on the days when I feel like everything is falling apart, that you are there, making something beautiful from the pieces. Thank you that, with you, all I have to be is me.