"Your weakness becomes a backdrop for the glory of Jesus Christ. Embrace your weakness as the ground of Christ's power and glory... This kind of weakness acknowledges our flesh and puts on humanity... Your weakness is the channel for God's strength. God chooses to use us in the place of our greatest dependency. Get rid of this perfectionism."
Dr. Laurie Norris mentioned it in chapel this morning. A counselor reassured me of it on Monday. Both Mrs. Kane and my resident supervisor challenged me with it on Tuesday. My boyfriend seems to console me with it every day.
The simple truth that I am human.
It may seem silly, but for most of my life I have had a hard time believing that I am human; or, at least, I have tried to be more than human because I believed that I had to be. Good? No, the best. Well done? No, perfectly done. My expectations of myself are often higher than those that others have of me. The standards I set for myself are often so high even God's grace can't meet me when I fail to meet them; or, at least, that's what I often live my life believing.
The truth is, there's something I've been hiding, covering up, concealing; or, at least, trying to. And that is the simple truth that I am human. I know I haven't actually been hiding this; I've just tried to, for almost all of my life. And that is why first of all, I need to confess... I am human. Second of all, I need to apologize... to each and every one of you who I have refused to be vulnerable with, who I have put walls up with, who I have acted composed and put together in front of when really, inside, I have always just been a big sinful mess. The truth is, I'm scared. I've always been scared that others will see my imperfections, my struggles, and my sins and see that I am human.
If there's something the Lord has been trying to pound into my head and drill into my heart this semester, it is the simple truth that I am human. It may seem silly, but for a perfectionist like me it is really one of the most profound and powerful truths He has taught me so far in this life. Apparently, I am a human who is capable of missing a class, missing a quiz, sleeping through a work shift, turning a paper in late, forgetting about a meeting, needing to postpone or cancel meetings, stuttering in class because I have nothing smart to say, saying hurtful things to those I love, being selfish and prideful, being fearful and anxious and down, crying, doubting, and committing the same sins over and over again.
Grace. I have never been more thankful for Grace than in this time of my life because His Grace has never been more real to me than now. Perhaps this is because I am only now realizing how much I desperately need it. The Grace of Jesus Christ, my Savior, who was wounded for me so that I could be made whole (Isaiah 53:5). The Grace of God my Father who continually forgives me (1 John 1:9), draws me near to Himself (James 4:8), and assures me that it is when I am weak that I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10) and that His Grace is sufficient for me (2 Corinthians 12:9). And I am thankful for the Grace that God gives me through those in my life - the girls on my floor, my boyfriend, my friends, my mom, my dad, my brother, my sister, my bosses, and my professors. Thank you to all of you who have shown me grace when I least deserve it; you may never quite know or understand how much this has meant, and continues to mean, to me.
I do not share these things for attention or for my own glory. No, I share my weaknesses because I am finally finding the freedom to admit that I am human. Because I am finally finding the freedom to be human. Because God has given me this freedom. Because through my weaknesses God's glory can most clearly be seen. Because "sufficient enough" is His Grace for me (2 Corinthians 12:9). Because, hopefully, you can be encouraged as well and therefore, God be glorified.
"Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me" (2 Corinthians 12:9). I pray that I will reach this point. I pray that, with Paul, I will be able to allow myself to be so human that the Divine's power and glory can be clearly seen in me. When I pretend to be "perfect," I make it all about me and my own glory; when I allow myself to live in the freedom God has given me to be weak, to be frail and finite, I make it all about God and His glory and strength in me.
I am in no way justifying sin, because my sin is against my Father and is deserving of death (Romans 6:23). I am only confessing that I do sin and that I am simply human. To pretend that I am perfect when I am weak is to diminish the visibility of His Glory in my life. It is to replace the Glory that is rightfully His in order to bring glory to myself.
"When I am weak, then I am strong." Yes, Father. Make me weak so that Your strength and glory can be clearly seen in my life. Sufficient enough is Your Grace for me. Help me to live in this Truth.