Have you ever met someone so kind, so gentle, that the minute you see her sweet smile you just feel safe? Accepted? That’s how I felt when I met Michele O’Leary. She and I became online friends this summer, just before she took the brave step to start a blog. A few months later we connected face-to-face at a writer’s conference. Her beautiful spirit reminds me that we are all on a journey… and we are all absolutely perfect in our imperfections. I want to share her words with you today in a guest post. I hope it brings encouragement in the midst of your own messy meltdowns!
Messy Meltdown by Michele O’Leary
As I looked up, I saw the horror in my son’s eyes. His eyes read, “My mom has finally lost her marbles.” He didn’t know if he should laugh or leave. He had just witnessed the “murder of the Christmas pumpkin log.” Just second’s before, my fists were raging like a prize fighter in the boxing ring. Beating up the contender of dessert. Messy goo splattered everywhere, evidence of my messy meltdown dripping from my hands. The making of the delightful dessert for Christmas Day was turned into a messy, emotional tantrum.
Not only were my fists flying, so were the unspoken words that a “good Christian” mother never says. You know, the naughty ones. I was a bull in the arena, steam puffing out of my nostrils, horns pointing down, ready to charge towards the red flag waving in front of me that read, “Not Perfect.”
You see, with determination, I tried three times to make that tasty treat. Each time I failed. Each time I felt like a loser. Each time reminded me that I was not perfect. The familiar, but unwanted emotions roared up their nasty heads. For a person who dwells in perfection, these emotions fueled the fire of: You. Are. Not. Good. Enough.
Maybe you have had a time or two or three in the battle of perfection. It is a lifetime battle for me. It is exhausting to strive to be perfect. It is consuming. It is crushing. It steals the joy and God’s calling in my life. Perfection actually makes me messy.
Jesus reminds us to come to Him and lay down our burdens and He will give us rest. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
I have found this verse is hard to do at times…to rest in my Savior. I struggle to hand over my messy, emotional perfectionist self. It is not easy, but it is freeing.
I thank my Lord, the Shepherd of my life; that I can come to Him. I can lean into Him as He holds me and gives me rest. He reminds me that through the shedding of His blood, I am already made perfect. Not by my works, but by His grace. He sets me free and loves me regardless of my messy meltdowns!
The story of the “murder of the Christmas pumpkin log” I am sure will be told at my memorial service one day by my son. It is one of “those” stories that will pass down from generation to generation. I laugh out loud; the comical story puts a smile on my face.
You may be wondering if I ever tried making that tasty treat again…that is a big fat NO!
Connect with Michele on her website and be sure to sign up for her emails at casualconversations.net.