For so long, I believed that to be able minister to other women effectively I had to portray that I had a perfect life; the perfect marriage, the perfect children…and so on…I believed that if I didn’t act like I had it all together (even when I was falling apart) that I would cause discouragement in others. I was afraid that they would see my struggles and wonder “well, why would I want this Jesus she’s talking about when her life is so messy?” …. And so I hid behind the mask- The mask of perfection.
This mask of perfection can only cover so much for so long….
This mask caused me to become exhausted and discouraged. I reached my breaking point a few years ago. I was in leadership for a season. I’d had it imprinted upon my mind that as a leader, others were watching me and I was to ‘set the example’ of being a follower of Christ. I fell into the trap of believing that I was supposed to look like a christian woman who had it all together. I’d been deceived, believing that I was not to be vulnerable or real with others because it seem to others that I wasn’t Christ like. I was always striving to minister to others and pray for others, give godly advice to others, be aware of what others needed and how to help when others were struggling.
It was one of the most challenging times in my life. My husband and I were away from our family. We had just had our second child. My husband was going through a season of tremendous trial and I couldn’t fix it. I couldn’t hide behind my mask any longer. I broke. And I’d felt that I’d failed. Failed my friends, failed my family, failed my Pastor and his wife. I even believed that I’d failed God. At that time I cried out to God, “I’m so sorry that I couldn’t do this for You. I was never meant to be in leadership. What a horrible example I’ve set for others.” I then started to believe that I’d never been good enough, smart enough, or wise enough….
Little did I know, that God would not let that season of my life go to waste…it was the beginning of my journey of moving towards becoming transparent and real before others. I had believed a lie. I believed that even if I didn’t have my life all together, I needed to act like as though I did have it all together. What a lie! ….but oh when I became honest with myself, God and others, God’s grace took over and continues to fill me and sustain me.
And THAT brings me to why I’ve started this blog and doing videos. As uncomfortable as I am at times speaking about what I struggle with and revealing to all of you the things that make me so imperfect, it is brings freedom and healing and to my soul. Now, granted, there are things that I don’t write about or talk about. I don’t believe the whole world needs to know every tiny detail of my life (or yours) and I do believe that for certain struggles, there are particular people that God wants me to share with and certain people that I’m not to share with. That being said, don’t feel that you need to run around town telling everyone every detail of your life…but be open to being real with the women in your life. It is absolutely refreshing and takes the weight off your shoulders!
There are some things that I’m learning as I continue to take off and keep off my mask of perfection.
*First thing- As women, most of us don’t want to open up or share our struggles with someone who seems to be perfect in every area of life. As women, we desire to share our struggles with someone who can relate to us…and if our lives are ‘messy’ we want to know that we’re not alone. I for one, can tell you that my life is messy. (2 Corinthians 1:4 ~ He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.)