Monday, June 24, 2013

Imperfect Situations

I went outside this evening before dark and sat on the back steps.  I have lived in my house for 3 1/2 years and I still don't have the deck I want back there.  I decided to go outside anyway, without a beautiful deck and deck furniture to sit on.  In hindsight, I should have sat in the lawn chair, because getting up off the steps was painful!  But, I digress...

Imperfect situations.  Isn't that what has been plaguing me for years?  Waiting until I have the "perfect circumstances?" Waiting for it to warm up, cool off, quit raining, stop being so....whatever?

It's time I pushed through the imperfection that life is and just live. It will be one step at a time, as the Spirit leads, but moving forward at least.

With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I've discovered that I've been trying to "set the stage" like my life was a play. Wanting the right chair, the perfect table, a window to sit by in the kitchen for my devotional time (but the only one is over the sink, so that's not happening). Not having a real, consistent quiet time with God except sporadically for years, all because the "props" weren't right.

Yes, I just admitted that. I am not proud of it, and I have suffered much because of it. We are mostly hurting ourselves when we neglect our prayer life, as I have discovered the hard way. That's a little nugget of truth I will just throw out there for free.

Last year when I went through a major battle, I suddenly found a way to meet with God, perfect circumstances or not. Actually, I just got still; HE came to me.  Right where I was, in my recliner, as I sat and cried and poured out my heart, He met me at the very point of my need. That was a very painful, but very special time for me.  Soon I found that I had to have that time with Him, whether it was an hour on Saturday morning or merely 10 minutes before I got ready for work. It didn't seem to matter how long I was there; the point was, I was there.  Through that painful but special time, He became my very existence.  I had to have time with Him like I had to have air, water, and food. In the long run, what I found I didn't need was the approval of others. With His guidance, I slayed a huge giant that I had never been able to get around before: having to be accepted, needed, and valuable to others. It's nice to be accepted, needed, valuable, even loved, and I still enjoy it when it happens, but I don't need it like I have all my life until now. My worth is in Jesus.

So what's the problem?  It seems that perfectionism is the next giant in my path that has to fall.  I have such a list of things I "need," like

__a deck so I could comfortably sit outside
__better chairs for the deck
__a porch swing or glider for sitting on the front porch if I should choose to.

The unchecked off list, or at least, part of it. So many things are not as I would like them to be.  Yet one day fades into the next and I still don't have these things.  And life goes on.

I was recently reminded of a time a few years ago when I was so motivated to do some simple little projects around the house, but money was tight and I couldn't  really go and buy the things I thought I needed.  I prayed, and God said to work with what I have. I looked around and found I already had the ingredients  for the project. When I got the thing done with what I already had, the means to have what I thought I needed was provided eventually.

So here is where I find myself again. I don't know who needs this, but I had to blog about this. Maybe someone needs it; maybe I just needed to be obedient and share it.

This is my prayer:

"God, show me how to work with what you have already provided.  Reveal to me what is right in front of me, and show me how to proceed. Help me to slay the giant of perfectionism that looms in my path, because no matter how I try to veer away from him and go another way, I turn a corner and there he is.

Thank you, Father.  In Jesus' name,