Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Perfect Village

I love in a small bedroom community that is sometimes referred to as "Perfect Village".
There are lovely tree lined streets, manicured lawns and some very affluent people.
Who by the looks of things have it all together and are 'perfect'.
Now, before you go thinking I live some kind of idyllic lifestyle, you should know we bought our home because it backs up to our children's school -saving us MUCH precious time and gas money. Also, it's a 'fixer upper'.
God graciously allowed us to purchase our lovely home and we are so thankful for it-just not the 80's wallpaper the previous owner left behind.
I'll never forget the first time I met one of our new neighbors. I'd been removing wallpaper all day - with VINEGAR -can you say STINK?? I was in old sweat pants and paint covered sweat shirt. I hadn't showered yet for the day and had flakes of the wallpaper stuck all over me. Our doorbell rang and I heard the Hubs chatting and then he said those dreaded words 'Let me get my wife so you can meet her.'
I wanted the ground to swallow me whole-but it didn't-and I stepped to the front the door meeting our very cute, skinny, sweet neighbor, in her very high end outfit with her equally styled children.
The only thing I could think of to say was," Sorry I stink."

The desire to be 'perfect' or at least appear that I am has plagued me for years. Led to some ridiculously self destructive, sometimes even sinful behavior.

As I have gotten older and come to see myself as Christ sees me, I can gladly and every so thankfully say that it's gotten better.

But, I will also say that this is by far and away one of the most (if not THE most) struggles I hear from women, on almost a weekly basis.
And, sadly it seems it's the worst in our churches.

It seems if our children aren't A+, captain of the football team type kids, we feel somehow ashamed.
One women confided in me that they hadn't been in Sunday School for almost a year because her son was struggling with reading and he didn't want anyone to know.
Another woman, who's 20 something son has been in and out of rehab for the past year, confided that the pressure to appear like nothing was wrong was felt the most at church.
Another who was miserable in her marriage confided they 'could never go to counseling, because then 'everyone would know we don't have it all together.'

The world can be a harsh and cold place, yet instead of 'the church' being a warm shelter from the cold, to often it's filled with plastic people afraid to let their guard down, lest anyone see the realness of their lives.
(by the way, these stories aren't from just one church, and can be repeated again and again across denominational lines)

It's so maddening and sad all at the same time.

Girls, we have GOT to STOP acting like the house is always clean, the bank account is always full, we've never had a cross word with our spouse and our little darlings are practically perfect in every way. (If any guys have struggled through this far-thanks - and, quit acting like you've got it all together too!)
We do NOTHING but make others-and ourselves feel less than and that there is perhaps no room for their crazy mixed up family in our perfect village.

When I look at the cast of rag tag characters in the Bible God choose -sought out- picked- BECAUSE of their flaws-not in spite of them, I've got to wonder, why WHY do we try and pretend perfection?
There was only one perfect person since the dawn of time. And you aren't it. Neither am I. And that is exactly how God wants it. Everyday he chooses to use broken, wounded, unskilled people to accomplish His will. That way, whatever good we might do can all be laid directly at His feet with all the praise and glory going to Him.

I've got children who struggle with health issues, another who has a learning issue, and I need to lose weight, I sometimes lose my temper and watch way to much tv.

But, I have chosen to believe. Believe it all. Believe that when God says he knew me before the foundation of the world, that he knows my inmost thoughts and even still thinks I am wonderfully made. I'm going to believe that.

So, if you are feeling like the odd girl out in whatever perfect village you think you're surrounded by, know that in God's kingdom, we are all flawed and broken and loved just the same.
And you can be part of my crazy village anytime!


Hillbilly Handiworks said...

I really enjoyed this post...and it made me think a bit. Thanks!

Angie said...

Thanks for reading!

Dolly said...

I love this one. Thanks for the eye opener!

Angie said...

Thanks Dolly - don't think the words weren't for me too! It's a daily struggle sometimes to accept who I am and believe I am enough in Christ.

Mikayla said...

Love your blog and I really like this post- I read it twice. Thanks for your encouragement.

Jane said...

Hi Angie, I can totally relat to this post. Many times, when I have attempted to plug into a small group, church, play groups, etc. I would end up being very quiet because I felt like I did not measure up to the standards of everyone else there. To handle it, I would never come back as my self esteem would be so low that I felt I had nother to contribute and I certainly didn't want to appear to be the one with struggles. Thanks for putting this out there, Angie!

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