“It’s time to give up”, God spoke to me one morning as I over-analyzed a situation I wanted to be just right.
I brushed that off because I really wanted things to be perfect. I wanted these things to be optimal and excellent, and line up just so. But, you see…. They didn’t. “Give up”, Holy Spirit began to nudge me consistently.
Easter’s eve I realized that I hadn’t really planned ahead, and hadn’t bought easter outfits for the kids like we traditionally do. I longed for the normalcy. I internally realized I really like the coordinated clothing, and the big show that comes along with Easter.
I probably need to put my story on pause for a second and let you know that I’m a recovering perfectionist. I genuinely do have a critical eye, meaning I’m great at spotting the flaws in a scenario, or pinpointing what’s wrong when nobody else can. This can be a tremendous asset to any team! However it can also keep you from enjoying your life. You see when a “critical eye” becomes perfectionism, you cannot enjoy the good in life because all you ever see are the flaws and imperfections. This is when it becomes a problem, and this brings you to a place where we know each other better.
Because God has been highlighting to me my need to stop being a perfectionist.
This Easter’s eve when I realized I hadn’t bought Easter outfits, a part of me really wanted to go out and frantically spend money (unnecessarily) just to maintain a tradition.
Then Easter morning rolled around. The plan was to let the girls wear their Easter dresses from last year, if they wanted to, and the rest of the family wore jeans, and half-heartedly attempted to somewhat coordinate our colors so that we might still get a picture of the whole family.
That Easter morning before I rolled out of the bed I laid for a while looking at the pictures that we had taken last year at Easter. And it was then that all the memories and emotions came flooding back to me. I looked at the family picture that we had taken the year before, and our outfits were all on point, I had painstakingly fixed all the kids’ hair, forced my husband to wear a shirt that matched, and we sure did look like a good and perfect ministry family….. BUT WE REALLY WERE NOT OKAY.
You see, nobody outside of our family knew it during the time this picture was taken, but one year ago, that family you see at the top was in big trouble. We weren’t doing well. Mine and Rene’s marriage was strained and rocky. In fact, shortly after this picture was taken, all hell broke loose in our lives.
I’m convinced that keeping our problems under wraps is one of the number one causes of divorce. Anyone can put on a good front and pretend like their life and their marriage is great. But the only way to actually make it through the very real problems that everyday normal people face is to just be real about it. You can’t solve a problem that you refuse to even acknowledge.
Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom for us to wake up and realize that some problems won’t go away until we are real with ourselves, with others, and with God.
That top picture has people who look the part, but were kind of falling apart. That bottom picture is not as polished and perfect as I have always loved for us to be, but we are in a really good place, in a season of healing and a season of restoration. A lot can change in a year, but sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better.
“GIVE UP”, God has been telling me.
GIVE UP TRYING TO MAINTAIN A PERFECT PICTURE, A PERFECT ILLUSION, AND A PERFECT IDEA OF THE WAY THINGS SHOULD BE.
The perfect family doesn’t exist. The perfect marriage doesn’t exist.
The only way to really heal and overcome the problems that come our way is to be real about them. You can put a smile on your face and fake joy for the world to see, but that will not heal the pain on the inside. The only thing that will begin to heal the pain you feel is for you to GIVE UP the facade. GIVE UP the perfect illusion. Be real about where you’re at. Find someone you can trust to confide in. Be real with GOD, because He already sees the good the bad, and the ugly anyways. And guess what: HE STILL LOVES YOU.
Your situation isn’t beyond what God can handle.
Give up the idea that God is stressed out about your problems.
GIVE UP control over situations and people that are beyond your responsibility. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU. Put the rest in God’s hands and GIVE UP trying to finagle the outcome. Whatever happens, God has got you. God has never failed you and never will.
I’m telling you, even if the worst case scenario comes to pass, GOD WILL BE RIGHT THERE WORKING ALL THINGS TOGETHER FOR GOOD IN YOUR LIFE. God is not the one who brings pain and destruction into your life. Sometimes it’s just LIFE, sometimes people make bad and hurtful decisions, but also sometimes the enemy tries to attack you. But here’s the deal though: GOD WILL STEP IN AND USE ALL OF IT.
So you might have to endure some things for now, but GIVE UP trying to force the situation to be different when at the moment it just is what it is because there are things outside of your control.
Just because you give up these things doesn’t mean you’re quitting for good. It means that you have enough wisdom to know what you’re in control of and what you’re not.
Give up the perfect illusion. Give up control of others. Give up worrying and stressing over things you cannot control.
And give in to trusting God, taking things one day at a time, enjoying your life for what it is, counting your blessings, and loving the people who support and care for you.
Things might get worse before they get better. But they will get better, and I promise you that one day you will be ok.One day you will be more than ok. One day you will look back on the pain you’re currently in and you will smile because you will know that it all made you stronger.
Be blissed! Amber Picota
Live Broadcast April 17 7PM CDT