Today’s prompt: What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

Myself rock climbing in Red River Gorge

I’ve had to let go of a lot this year. I’m not complaining of course because I’ve seen God’s goodness and sovereignty through all of it. And by comparison, what I’ve let go probably pales by your standards.

I’ve had to let go of perfection this year. I’m a perfectionist. I’ve discovered my perfectionism quite often manifests itself in this way: I have a picture of what life should look like; I get the slightest hint that what I am about to do won’t line up with how I picture it; I freak out and avoid doing whatever it is I should do for fear that it won’t go perfectly. When I dwell on my ideal world and hold back because of fear, it keeps me from trusting God.

I loved my job at Staples because I could hide behind my perfectionism. Working in the Copy Centre, there was a high expectation to produce documents perfectly. It was easy for me to hide in the perfection required by my job. It even carried over into the rest of my life.

Really, perfectionism consumes my life. It keeps me from living life to its fullest, and I’ve learned that a lot this year. For some reason I’ve been placed in many situations this year where I have been forced to let go of my longing to be perfect. Maybe God has finally gotten my attention.

I got engaged and married. Now that I take my husband’s life into consideration as well, it’s more of a challenge for me to live in my little “perfect” world.

I left my job that had a guaranteed income to join my husband as a missionary. Income isn’t guaranteed as a missionary. We have to raise financial support – we have to rely on the faithfulness of God and the generosity of our partners in ministry. It’s been a challenge for me to let go of my desire to be perfect in this area especially because I never know how meeting with a partner or potential partner will go. Well, I never know how ministry will go in general! It’s just as unpredictable as the weather.

I’ve left my home, friends, country, to join my husband in ministry here in England. Living in the US allowed for me to hide from my imperfections because I had become comfortable with where I was. Since moving to England, I’ve been completely out of my comfort zone. I can’t hide behind my perfection because I’m forced (in a good way) to do things that are indeed uncomfortable to me with being in a new culture, establishing life here, and making new friends.

Letting go of my perfectionism reminds me a lot of rock climbing. A lot of trust goes into it – trusting the person on belay as well as how my rope will hold up. It won’t be perfect, and I certainly can’t plan ahead too far. Sometimes I have to take the risk to go anyway even though I don’t know how it will turn out.

Through it all, I’ve learned trust. Trust in my own abilities – my self-confidence has risen by leaps and bounds. Trust in the Lord – I can’t lean on my own understanding of things because I won’t get very far on my own. Even trust in my husband and others around me – they can all help because with help from others, I don’t have as much control over being perfect; I have to trust them to be true to their words. Praise God that He is sovereign and faithful even though my life may not go how I perfectly planned it!