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
Hi. My name is Sheila and I am a Slowly-Recovering- Perfectionist. :) I am MUCH better than I once was. I really am. I always knew I was a perfectionist-type, but I tried to focus on the positives and ignore all the negatives of the issue. At least until God gave me a mind blowing lesson dealing with my Perfectionism!
Everything changed about 4 years ago. I became very ill, literally overnight. I was very sick. No doctors could tell me what was going on, the why, or how to fix it. (I will do a post on this whole story one day.) I woke up one morning and felt someone had siphoned every form of the energy from my body. I went straight back to bed and slept the next 21 hours. I did the same for the rest of the weekend, and the majority of the next 5 months. It took more energy than I had at times to get to the bathroom. My head felt too heavy to carry. My body was depleted of every ounce of energy. No amount of rest helped. NOTHING helped. This is what I refer to as my 'body shutdown'. It was one of the hardest times of my life.
As an active perfectionist at that time, this body shutdown indescribably hard for me. I was not capable of my normal daily function. I fought hard to hide it from others, but my family saw me fall flat.
I cried out to God for healing, yet it lingered. I asked Him to show me what I was to see. What I was to learn. He had my full attention and I learned something life changing.
The #1 mind blowing lesson God taught me about my Perfectionism was THIS:
MY EFFORTS ALONE do not keep the world spinning! The world will not stop...with or without me! Not even my little world! Eye opening lesson.
IT WAS A WAKE UP CALL! Being that I was not able to do anything, I eventually realized that even if the toilet bowl isn't cleaned every single Saturday morning, it will be okay. It wasn't cleaned for several Saturdays....even grew a moldy, black ring in it.
BUT YOU KNOW WHAT?? After my awesome hubby cleaned it, the shine was as bright as if he cleaned it every Saturday (before mold began to grow)!
Who knew moldy, slime ring could hold a spiritual lesson with such significance, right?!
God used this time when my body and mind were broken. I was unable to keep up with the plan. Things that I once thought I controlled and took complete care of were going right on along...without me.
God used this body shutdown, or DOWNTIME, to show me things I never could have realized before.
My life perspective changed after that sickness . I was finally seeing the constant doing, the insanely long to-do lists, the satisfaction of looking at what I accomplished, was not most important for me anymore. I realized my health, and enjoying time with people I love are much more valuable than my need to accomplish. I was able to begin accepting that spending time doing things I enjoy or just flopping on the couch to read or relax (when the bathroom may be trying to grow that ring back again) is not wrong! I learned to see the importance of the little things that bring joy to this life.
I will confess. I liked being the perfectionist most of the time. I was getting it all done. I was being applauded at times. Being productive. Keeping it all together. The productivity brought me happiness for moments, until the next task jumped up to take it from me. It never lasted long, there was always so much more to do.
God wants life's best for us.. He wants Joy for us even when we can't keep it all together. God wants us to be able to sit, chat and enjoy rest without guilt. He wants us to see that time spent with Him is anything but unproductive! I get that now!! I started to realize taking time to enjoy life is a gift from above and some of us have to learn how to accept this gift.
We can work to control every detail of life and stay exhausted and worried OR we can choose to let God lead our life and efforts, bringing us joy in them.
God wants life's BEST for us.
As any true perfectionist will tell you, this is a heart weed that is hard to kill. Unfortunately, this weed will not die overnight. When it grows big and tall, waving all over the place, it's easy to spot and make corrections. ONCE we decide the NEED for changes that is. It is hardly ever that evident. It masquerades as something 'good' more of the time.
If you are the Miss Perfectionist reading this, I wish I could hug you right now. I'd beg you to just sit with me while we eat chocolate chip cookies and sip coffee for a while. There is so much I want to tell you. So much I want to tell you to be looking for. SO many beautiful things all around that you miss when you stay too busy.
We may not be able to sit & chat right now, but you and Jesus can! Sit down, breathe deep 5 times and try to relax. Go outside where you can't see the mess in the kitchen. Go sit in the sunshine and go to Your Best Friend, Jesus. Let Him show you what it is HE wants to fill your time with. Let Him tell you where you can be busy with Him doing amazing things! Just sit and listen to what His voice sounds like. Let His voice bring rest.
He loves you. He wants your life to be abundant and full. Not busy about nothing & exhausting. Take a break to sit with Jesus today and I PROMISE it will not be wasted time!
I love you ladies! You really have no idea how you encourage me with your sweet notes!