I get so absorbed in my college studies that I can’t focus on accomplishing much else. Please forgive my short absences! The truth is I feel that absences are necessary because they force me to patiently listen to hear the voice of God give me a message to share with you.
College is my main responsibility, right along with my commitment to my Candy Cane Kids Ministry. Obviously I have other obligations, but those two supersede the rest. There are others, though, like ordering medical supplies, calling in prescriptions, and working with different people in the healthcare system. Then more “normal” duties like ordering milk (which I drink A LOT of) and groceries to prepare meals. Candy Cane Kids doesn’t really get insanely busy until September and finishes late December. I juggle school and ministry during that time, and the rest of the year I dedicate myself primarily to my schoolwork. I hold two Associate degrees and am only four classes shy of having two Bachelor’s degrees. I am a very driven individual; when I set out to accomplish something I tackle it head-on. No stopping, no excuses. My philosophy is “if you’re going to do something, do it right.” I am a perfectionist in every sense of the word. Looks, work, ministry… Everything I do must be on point or it’s unacceptable. I put my entire being into everything I do. This can sometimes be more of a curse than a blessing.
I remember this past Christmas I had multiple meltdowns. I was way more stressed than I should have been about this simple ministry of giving gifts to needy children. But it just wasn’t good enough. I wanted perfection. I wanted to spoil 700 kids with the love of God, but I didn’t have enough toys for that. When my spreadsheet says I have only 150 cumulative gifts, panic will undoubtedly commence. Because it’s not perfect. 150 is still a lot, right? No. It’s an offering to God, so what does it matter? It matters a lot to me. I want everything I do in life to make Him proud, and when life throws a curve ball, I fear I’ve failed Him. Anxiety overcomes me and I shut down, unsure of how to pull myself together. I’m the same way about school. Why do I have this need to make everything so perfect? Because God has been so good to me that the very least I can do is give Him my very best. But there is another side to that – especially in regards to school – that is a bit more selfish, if I’m being honest. I can’t take care of myself, so I want control over everything else. I refuse to be the “vegetable” that so many others with my diagnosis are. I want to be one in a million, literally. I want to impress people with how far God has brought me. I want it to look like I have it all together, even when I don’t. I strive for perfection.
But perfection doesn’t exist in this fallen world.
Look at me. In the world’s standards I am the opposite of perfect. I can’t walk, can’t breathe unassisted, can’t feed myself, can’t even move anything but a few fingers. I miss deadlines, I overspend, I stay up all night long doing my homework, sometimes my caregivers can’t get my makeup flawless, sometimes SMA makes me do not-so-pretty things (like slobber and need suctioned).
I’m not perfect.
But my Jesus is. And that’s enough for me.
God knows I can never be perfect. My righteousness is as filthy rags in comparison to His (Isaiah 64:6). He doesn’t expect perfection, He expects me to give my all… And the amazing thing is, when my all isn’t enough, His is. And last year? Made it to 700 presents. And I’m making my way through classes, working to graduate with Honors.
I’m not, nor will I ever be perfect. But the God of the universe died for ME. He thinks I’m pretty great for some reason. I will probably always struggle with perfectionism, and that’s OK. My perfectionism shows that God can make beauty of the most broken messes, if we let Him piece us back together, making us even more beautiful than before we broke.