I haven’t found my niche yet. I haven’t found the space where my fingers bleed more than they write. I wander, sometimes aimlessly, many times lost, listening to an ever-persistent whisper from the lips of perfection.
Perfection has always run rampant throughout my life. Control and perfection, contentment and security, all wrapped up in a tight little bundle I've deemed fit to label "identity" which threatens and looms over the whispers from the Father, whose gentle voice does not threaten or loom, does not clamber and only shouts in sovereignty. Perfection itself is a whisper that threatens to quench the fire burning within my heart, the fire spreading through my veins and into my fingertips, the fire that brings blood onto the page, realness.
And I'm not perfect. Somewhere, embedded in the very core of me, is the constant tension between who I am and who I am becoming. Deep in my bones, I know that I have been made new and yet that identity is forever challenged by the fact that I also know that I am in the process of being made new, that I will never be truly perfect until I am resurrected with Him. I am desperate to resist the old me while trying to reconcile my unavoidable imperfection.
Like Jacob, in my wrestling with God my hip has been touched and my name has been changed. And also like Jacob, He sees the new me yet sometimes I believe He chooses to call me by my old name to remind me that He is the God of both. He is the God of who I am. He is the God of who I am becoming. And He is the God of my process. He reminds me that there is no shame in that process.
So, this morning, I have decided to wrench my head in a different direction. I will listen, not to the whisper of perfection, but to the whisper of grace. Because in Him, I find the grace to be human. In Him, I will find the grace to dance a little and to stumble often. I find the grace to be somewhere in the middle of being made new and new, messy and a little bit awkward. I find the grace to be myself. I find the grace to tread water in the middle of the sea, having jumped ship without the shore in sight quite yet, the grace to be in transition, to be crafted by transition. I find the grace to build on that strange tension with passion, with strength and discipline growing in my shoulders with every stroke, knowing that when I am carried to shore, when I wash up with the waves, I will roll the tension out of my shoulders and leave room for only the passion, strength and discipline built up during those past times of deep insecurity.
This morning, I’m not sitting down with perfection. In fact, I’m showing perfection up. I’m choosing to spend my day with contentment instead. I’m choosing to walk through the rain and enjoy it anyway. So no, perfection, you can’t steal my joy. It’s not yours and it never was.
I've been finding that sometimes this means that I look in the mirror and I don’t recognize the stranger I see there. But I am learning that it’s okay to not completely know myself. Because living in the tension of who I am and who I am becoming is a process and as I grow, I change. I am becoming who I was made to be. And while it once terrified me, I’ve decided that it really isn’t all that scary in its uncertainty. It’s actually a tender and beautiful thing because I have found that I can and will trust the Author of my story.
So I continue to hold my life out to Him with open palms and continue to flip to the end of my story, taking little peaks at the last chapter of the last page to remind myself that He is indeed making all things new.