I just wanted to be loved.
Looking back, that’s all I wanted in high school. From church to choir, I always did what was expected of me, and if I made a mistake or said the wrong thing, I would analyze it forever, worrying that my failures would cause me to be rejected and despised. Because of my dysfunctional childhood, perfectionism was deeply rooted in my soul. Even after getting married, I would have moments of feeling utterly inadequate, and more than once I tearfully googled “how to be the perfect woman.”
Society expects so much of us. We’re supposed to look gorgeous all the time, sporting an intricate manicure while somehow maintaining a sparkling clean and Pinteresting home. We’re also supposed to rise to the top in our career while raising 2.5 well-behaved and Einstein-esque children. Oh, and did I mention that we’re supposed to be filled with blissful joy about it all?!
And so I’d google, trying desperately to find THE LIST. The holy grail for women everywhere, the to-do list I could work through every day to become perfect and acceptable.
I can’t possibly be alone in this.
The world puts far too much pressure on us, and the church piles tons more right on top.
Let’s stop the madness. Let’s stop letting people tell us how to be accepted.
No matter how hard we try or how great that to-do list is, we’ll NEVER be perfect. It’s hard for me to accept, but it’s true- because we’re all sinful, and quite frankly, I’m a complete mess when left to my own defenses.
When we’re constantly trying to please everyone, failure and despair are the only results
It’s time to change everything we think about ourselves.
Instead of approaching life and asking it how to be acceptable, let’s approach GOD and ask Him first.
If we focused our hearts and minds on falling more deeply in love with our Father, we’d stop trying to please people and start desperately trying to get as close to Him as we can. And the closer we get to Jesus, the more we realize how clueless and helpless we really are without Him.
Stop examining yourself against the world, and start examining God’s Word.
Let Him transform you in ways a to-do list can’t even begin to change. You’ll find that instead of worrying about outward appearances, your heart and character will literally begin to imitate Christ.
And in the end, you might not have the perfect home. You might not lose those extra pounds. And you’ll always have moments where you say the wrong thing. But instead of living to improve yourself, you’ll be living to shine Jesus brightly in the dark- and I can’t think of a more perfect way to live.
After a year of blogging, I’m excited to relaunch Authentic Womanhood this Saturday with a brand new layout and brand new content! You’ll see lots more blog posts each week and also have the chance to share YOUR story! :) Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@clarissasidhom) and Instagram (@clarissasidhom) to be the first to see it! :) Thank you SO much to everyone who has already shared Authentic Womanhood with friends- I can’t wait to see what the future holds!
photo via Jerine Lay