By now, it should be no surprise for me to admit I am a recovering perfectionist. RECOVERING is the key word, because it’s something I will struggle with the rest of my life.
The funny thing about perfectionists is we try to sweep our own mistakes under the rug, or dismiss them as small quirks of our personalities. The sad part about me is not only am I a perfectionist, but it comes with a side portion of judgmentalism. This means I like things to be “right” (based on my own perfectionist definition of “right”) and then I get all judgy when others don’t achieve “right.” It’s terrible.
Oh, but don’t you know God is sanding off the splintery edges of my judgmental perfectionism? He’s good like that, because He wants to show me MY way isn’t the “only” way. (Or even the “right” way, you know… *Heh, heh.*)
On a weekly basis (sometimes more than that), I’m reminded of my faults and imperfections simply by getting behind the wheel of my car because for someone who thinks she’s “right” all the time, I sure do a LOT of U-turns. Boy, howdy! I’m constantly turning around because I went the wrong way or took a left when I should have turned right. It happens often enough that my kids expect it when we get in the car now.
Long ago, this would have driven me slightly crazy. I would have condemned myself, probably muttered, “Idiot!” at myself under my breath, and gotten annoyed at how I. Am. Wasting. Time. But these days, God has shown me that condemnation is pretty disgusting and helped me replace it with grace. And just to make sure I get the point, He lets me have LOTS of practice with it.
Today, I was driving while on the phone with Dan. I realized I turned right on Highway K instead of turning left and blurted out to him, “I went the wrong way on Highway K! Aaack! I swear, my life is one big U-turn!” No sooner were the words out of my mouth than I realized my life IS ONE BIG U-TURN, and thank-you-Jesus that it is!
Because not only have I gotten lost on the city streets, but I’ve gotten lost on my Road Trip Home. In the journey of Life, I have taken the wrong road so many times and ignored the map directions God has laid out for me. He’s put up road blocks to keep me away from unpaved roads, but I defiantly decided to go off-roading plenty of times. Thank goodness He gives me off ramps and stop signs so I can collect my thoughts and decide to go His way instead. And the best news of all is that God’s Kingdom doesn’t have one of these signs:
I’m no longer surprised by my need for U-turns. Maybe if I start expecting them and seeing them as blessings (because, as a Daughter of the King, I get a lifetime supply of do-overs), then my inner judgmental perfectionist can just hush up and enjoy the ride.