Striving for the Unattainable, part 2

So now a look at how my perfectionism can spill over to my relationship with God.

The other day I was reminiscing about my past spiritual growth. And I was a little disappointed (there's that word again!) that I didn't have the same situation as I did, say, in college.

Sometimes looking back I only remember the positives, as Steve would tell me. I do also realize that I had tons of time in college compared to now and I had a lot of introspection about who I wanted to be and where I wanted to head in life. Lots of alone time to spend with God and figure things out. And that was good and that's what I needed at that time.

But then comes people added to my life: a husband, ministries at different churches, a kid. No longer alone now! So how I relate to God now is different than the solitary worship time I had back in the day. It really is good. I once viewed me and God as a one-on-one type of deal, but the past 10 years have shown me that my relationship with Him is a community type of deal -- with me relying on others and others relying on me. Worshiping Him comes now through serving and teaching and encouraging as well as those solitary moments I try to grab now and then!

Every once in a while I think back to my solitary time with God and feel like I must not be doing things right now since I don't worship God in the same way I once did. I then have to recall that no one said there is one certain way to worship or grow. And surely God knows that in different stages of life we will relate to Him differently.

I can compare that to earthly relationships. For instance, my relationship with Steve is different now than when we first started dating. There is a deepness now that could never be compared when we were first getting to know one another. Although the thrill of the unknown was exciting when we met, the joy of getting to spend so much time together now and having so many shared experiences to reflect on is just as great. Relationships grow and change and are supposed to!

The same way with me and God. I grow and change and so I relate to Him differently now than ever before. My problem is that I forget to change my own standards of judging my spiritual growth. (And I also need to stop comparing myself to others when how anyone else in the world relates to God will always be different from me.) When I worry that I'm not doing things perfectly, I really need a different vantage point.

So now you see a glimpse into my spiritual perfectionism qualms. To deal with this temptation of perfectionism in my God relationship as well as in all other areas of life, I have to do what I've done in this blog post: talk to myself! I have to remind me of reality and break down unrealistic standards I've set up in my own mind. To truly confess, I usually have to have other people help me out on this. I cry, whine, or dump on those I love (thanks Steve, Mom, Dad, Mandi, Sheryl, and Carol who hear me the most!), saying how horrible I think I am, all the while wanting them to say all of the things above to me that I truly know deep down inside.

This is how I release the guilt of breaking my attempted perfection. It takes a village! So thanks to all who help remind me of God's purposes for me and remind me that I won't be perfect -- at least not in EVERYTHING! :) I'm sure I'll be calling on you again soon!!
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