Day 12: A Recovering Perfectionist

I am definitely a recovering perfectionist. In high school, I would stay up super late the night before any project was due to make sure everything on my tri-fold poster was just right. I had a “goody two-shoes” social life, as well. At school and even when I walked into church, I felt the pressure to keep up the perfect appearance.  I went into college thinking I could maintain this charade of a lifestyle—no mistakes, always be the best, no grace needed here. No surprise, I couldn’t keep that up for long, and each time I failed, it hit me hard. Until finally in my brokenness, I started to realize that the grace I was so quick to tell others about, the grace that God so freely offered through his Son, was available to me, too. Why is it so hard for us as Christians to live in this truth?

I think it is because it acknowledges our weakness, which isn’t very popular these days. It’s okay when someone else is weak, but when we look in the mirror, we don’t like to admit it about ourselves. The good news is that’s exactly where God wants us: in the intersection of where our abilities and talents run out and where the power of the God that created the universe meet. When we’re weak and need Him, He gets the glory, not us.

Like I said, I’m recovering. I’m in progress. Some weeks I feel like God and I are in step. I give it all I’ve got and trust Him with the rest. Other weeks I try to do it alone and get caught up in the toxic trap of comparison only to find myself exhausted and grateful for the reminder that, in God’s economy, it doesn’t have to be that way.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” -2 Corinthians 12:9

Written by Alicia Marshall ’13

Alicia graduated with a degree in Biblical Studies and Child & Youth Development. In 2013, she married her husband, Kyle, and interned at Bread Coffeehouse, a campus ministry at Emory University. She continues to serve there now as the Team Leader and loves getting the chance to share the love and hope of Jesus through hospitality and building relationships with students on campus.