Finding Peace with Imperfection

Anyone who knows me well knows I’m a little, uh, quirky. My sense of humor is one that few truly understand, I am introverted, am perfectly happy not leaving the house for a couple of weeks at a time, and looking fashionable has always taken way too much effort. Most of the time you’ll find me leaving the house in ratty jeans, a worn t-shirt with some sarcastic joke on it, slip on tennis shoes or flip-flops, and a belt that may or may not match the rest of the ensemble. Here’s an example of the multitude of goofy tees I live in:

“Haikus are easy,
But sometimes they don’t make sense.
Refrigerator.” (Wearing that one now!)

Another:

“Hyperbole is the best thing ever!

In recent years, I’ve pushed myself to be more social, grow-up my wardrobe a bit, and otherwise make my personality more palatable to those who may not “get” someone like me (since that is most people). Yet over and over, I find myself reaching for hole-ridden t-shirts and finding excuses to stay home.

I wish I was a social butterfly. I wish it came naturally for me to present myself more professionally. I wish I wasn’t so awkward sometimes.

As I’ve finished my book and started on the accompanying reader’s guide, my agent’s and publisher’s enthusiasm are starting to infect me. I wonder how life might be different a couple of years from today. I wonder who I’ll meet and where I’ll go. I wonder how many people God will use me to encourage, and how I’ll grow in the process. Thrilling stuff.

But, I’m ashamed to say, the thought that comes to mind most often is this:

“Someday, if I’m a successful writer and speaker, no one will care how quirky I am. In fact, they may excuse it as eccentricity, because obviously it is working for me.”

Let me translate that for you: “Maybe one day I’ll be so successful that I can be myself and be happy with it. Maybe then I can stop trying to be someone else.”

This very thought flitted through my mind the other day. For the first time, I grabbed it and really examined it. Really? Do I really think success would bring me peace? Bring me contentedness? Shoo away my insecurities? On the contrary, success would place my life under even more public scrutiny. Either I am at ease with who I am, or I am not. That comes from inside. Life circumstances will only magnify what I already feel about myself.

Because “success” is a new idea to me, it’s easy to idolize it… to believe it has the power to change my life for the better. But I know success is like money. It is a great servant, but a tyrannical master. I need to decide (let God tell me) who I am and where I’m going instead of letting life decide for me.

I’ve stood astounded over the past few years at the ways God has used me; awkward, introverted, fashion-challenged me, to speak encouragement. God favors the underdogs. The lowly. The ones who know they don’t have it all together. People like me.

So maybe I should learn now to love the quirks that make me me. Maybe I shouldn’t wait to get the world’s stamp of approval. After all, I may not ever get it (or realize that I’ve gotten it).

I have faith that, as I get closer to Jesus, I will be transformed… who can stay the same in His presence? But on this earth, I will never be completely free of flaws, weaknesses, shortcomings.

Despite that, maybe I can find peace, even here. After all, “here” is the only place I’ll ever be.

God did not promise His peace and joy and life only to the successful, the wealthy, the famous, the well-rounded. His promises are for me; for you. You with your imperfect self in your imperfect life. You. Don’t wait to accept what He offers. You will never be good enough to deserve it, and that’s how it should be.

 

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