Perfection is the Illusion

I spend my life, almost every waking hour trying to look good. Many of us do, even subconsciously. Facebook is a breeding ground for this, always striving to put our best face forward. I’m a poster child for the “I’m Perfect” campaign. I can’t just be an A student, I have to look like the A student. I can’t just drink tea, I have to blog about drinking my tea. Seriously, my Instagram is rampant with perfection (or my idea of) and it can be exhausting. I’d never tell the other girls in my hall that I sneak Raman or that I pick my nose (just fess up ladies, you know it happens).

I am constantly checking over my shoulder and evaluating, comparing, and dying a little. But today, Jesus brought the reality and I’m still struggling with it. I guess my coping mechanism is this blog post. I have recently become very sick, probably the worst head cold in the history of all head colds and it just won’t leave. Seriously, it’s like a bad middle school break up, he just keeps coming. I’ve missed classes (something I try very hard never to do in fear of missing material,or, cough cough, looking like a total loser student…), missed my work study (which I showed up sick too, just to show the boss I was actually sick, in fear that he might think I was blowing him off), and finally, in my image-obsessed life struggle, I have hid out in my room in fear that people might look at my face or hear me blow my nose. I look sick because I am sick, but heaven forbid I should let anyone else know that.

Finally, in total desperation I headed to the store to pick up some meds and tissues. I was hoping to be in and out, nose (which has completely scaled over) hidden and swallowing my painful coughs, I grabbed all my meds and scurried out, avoiding eye-contact. As I’m driving away, I started to cough and basically spewed (is that even a word?) mucus everywhere just as some dude drove past, in a BMW, making eye contact. I banged my fists (after he was past me) on the steering wheel and yelled something unintelligible. No matter how hard I tried to hide, I just couldn’t. So what does this have to do with reality and Jesus? Well, I needed a moment when life just wouldn’t let me be ‘perfect’. Where someone had to see that I was ugly and sick, and totally out of control of it all. I needed a reminder that I’m trying for all the wrong things in life. If I put even have the devotion into my devotions, or my prayer times, or my evangelism, I’d probably be pretty good. But instead, I waste all my energy on trying to look ‘perfect’ for people who don’t even care. What a waste.

So here is my public declaration of attempted change. I, Laurel, shall enjoy the small things in life, I shall try to not care about looking ‘perfect’ or coming off as ‘perfect’, but I will siphon some of that energy into my relationship with Christ. The one who sees through my facade and still loves me beyond explanation.

So girls, guys, stop exhausting yourselves, its futile, and the energy is better spent elsewhere. Now excuse me, I have to go to class, snot and all.

6 thoughts on “Perfection is the Illusion

  1. Melissa Johnson says:

    Laurel, dear…anyone who loves you will tell you that they know you are not perfect. And obviously, the Lord knows you are not – He died for your sins, after all. Don’t try so hard to be perfect…be authentic. Be genuine (like you are in your blog post) – be REAL. Be kind, compassionate, loving, truth-telling, and Christlike. You can’t do those in your own strength, only in Christ’s. Focusing on growing more like Him will leave little room for wasting energy on trying to achieve your version of perfection. God’s version is VERY different from ours. Discovering what that is and how to achieve it (it’s called “sanctification,” dear girl, and is a lifetime job. It won’t end until we get to heaven!) “Be ye holy, as He is holy” – that’s enough of a goal for any believer! 🙂 Hope your cold finally lets go! And those of us who love you, who know how imperfect you are? We love you in spite of (& sometimes because of) those very imperfections, dearie-o!

  2. Melissa Johnson says:

    Hey, that is a perk that comes with age (goodness knows, some days that can seem to be one of the ONLY perks that comes with growing older!) 😉 I konw you aren’t perfect – none of us is – but I DO happen to think you’re pretty darn nifty! And am always honored that I, who am not an actual “blood” family member, have been grafted in as a special auntie. It’s a privilege I don’t take lightly (and neither does Uncle Dave!) You know we love you guys bunches!

  3. Jenna says:

    As I laid in my bed tonight reading this everything you talked about was me. I hide everything from everyone, very few people ever see the real me. I have always struggled with wanting to appear as perfect and that I have it all together. Time after time again God has to shake me up to let me know that I am messed up and there are things that I just can’t control, things that make me imperfect. I’m the girl that is so stubborn that I have to be physically hurt or emotionally broken to sometimes turn back to God. So stubborn that it may even take a 2 1/2 relationship to come tumbling down for me to realize that I can’t always appear to be perfect. Despite my efforts of trying to come off as perfect, I never will be. Reading this was such an encouragement to me to also live life not striving to be perfect but to enjoy all that I do have.

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