Jen Ferguson has become a real live friend…our friendship has gone so beyond “virtual”. She is one of the sweetest kindest women that I know. Her writing always makes me want to know two people better; her, of course and Jesus. The relationship she has with Him is tangible, and she makes me hungry to pursue Him more…and that is the greatest gift I could find in a relationship.
Jen has a wonderful and caring community called Soli Deo Gloria. They meet on Tuesdays over at her place, Finding Heaven. It is the first linkup community I ever participated in, and I had no idea what I was doing, Jen walked me through. Please make sure to visit her place, you will so much be the better for it.
As I perused the pictures, I focused not on the fact that countenance of my face revealed that although most of the miles proved hard, they were not impossible. I focused not on the fact that there were thousands of people running and thousands of people cheering. I focused not on the fact that the victory picture of me crossing the finish line showed that I not only finished, but I finished strong.
I focused on none of this. Instead, I had a breakdown about the size and shape of my thighs. Yes, those same legs that carried me through 26.2 miles, I now looked upon with disdain.
Not good enough.
No matter how hard I try…
Why in the world would I buy the pictures that show nothing of my hard work?
This is not the first time that instead of being grateful, I have become a babbling torrent of negativity. Instead of being thankful that my husband has a job, I complain that he has to work late. Instead of being grateful that I’ve sold eight pieces of art, I grumble that business doesn’t seem as busy as it used to be. Instead of building myself up with the truth of God’s word, I let the self-inflicted, injurious barbs shred my perspective, and ultimately, my heart.
With many things, I have been satisfied only when a certain level of perfection is met. If it is imperfect, even mildly, such as a stray line on a drawing, improper grammar in a belabored sentence, dust in a deep crevice, I have difficulty finding joy in the finished work. I am compelled to erase, rework, dig deeper, train harder, even if I have been mildly rebuked to simply let it go.
God has been working in me to find the beauty and joy in these imperfections, though. He teaches me, slowly but surely, how to move on after He has forgiven me of my sin. He teaches me that the blue painted mug with a few errant strokes of paint that I created still has the capacity to hold my hot tea and that the blemishes hold no baring on its purpose.
Can He teach me the same about my imperfect body? My legs have parts that are too fleshy. They like to store fat in places I really wish they would not. Cellulite, yes, they have allowed it to reside in that place just below the skin, and right on the front of my thighs for everyone else to see. The beginnings of spider veins begin to spread their tentacles over my muscular calves. They do their job, they go above the call, but is this enough for me?
When I search my heart, looking for God’s perspective and not society’s, not my own, I come to this conclusion: Although they are far from perfect, I cannot reject them.
And this gives me hope. If I, of all people, can learn to love something like my cellulite-ridden legs, God can love me despite my own character flaws. Because although I am far from perfect, He has promised not to reject me. He does not stand by and scoff at my short-comings, but rather He fills me with His grace and makes perfect my weakness. He knows that I am surrendered to Him, that my allegiance is with Him alone. He knows I have been tried. I have been tested. I am fighting the good fight and together, we will win the race.
If this is your first time here, let me explain what we are all about. We are a community started by Emily Wierenga. It was called Imperfect Prose. She is on a bit of a vacation as she has some extra responsibilities at the moment.
If you are new, please check out Emily’s blog. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and you need to be acquainted with the woman who made all of this happen!