instead of invincibility".
I used to be a Type A perfectionist. Everything had to be in it's place... at all times, or else I felt my world just might fall apart. And then God gave me children.
|Yes, I organized my colored pencils like this and they stayed like this for a few weeks. So pretty, so type A... so not practical for little people.|
It is amazing how the Lord refines us and grows us through our children. Trying to lead a life of perfection is exhausting and it means you are probably covering up something messy in your life that the Lord is trying to heal.
It took me years but I finally hung up the Super Woman cape when I realized I just didn't want to be "Super" anymore. It is too hard. I am okay with being "Average Woman" who depends on my Super God.
As Super Woman, I tried to do everything myself. I was in control and if something fell apart, it was all my fault, I had failed, I would own it and was determined to make it right. It was hard for me to admit that some things are just out of my control.
I have been a Type A person for as long as I can remember. Growing up I was a neat nick, everything was tidy and orderly. I obeyed the rules, was on the honor roll, and played peace maker whenever there was an argument whether it be at home or at school. I was the "go to" person when people needed advice or a pick me up however I wore a mask that said "All is well" and therefore, when my life came crashing down around me there was no one to pick up the pieces. People were used to me picking up their pieces and asking me for guidance, no one asked how I was and I did not volunteer the information for fear of showing a sign of weakness.
I grew up in a home with two parents who loved me very much but their love for each other was different. I remember the day they picked me up at a friend's house... I had just had a sleepover, and on the way home they told me that they were going to be separating. Mom was moving out. I was hurt, confused, and angry. Angry that these two people who supposedly loved each other could not stick together and sort out their differences. Angry for the sleepless nights that were filled with arguments, for the times I tried to be peace maker and it did not work out. I tried to be the perfect daughter and yet everything I did, everything I tried to be, did not matter.
I did not matter.
I watched my Mom drive out of the our driveway and I was determined to not let our family fall apart. I would be the Mom now. I would cook and clean and be there for my sister and my Dad. I could do it. Everything would be all right... I could be Super Woman.
|My prom picture... from left to right - my sister, my cousin, and me.|
And I tried. My Dad, my sister and I kept our home neat and tidy, laundry was done, dishes were washed, meals were cooked. My grades slipped a little bit but not enough for anyone to notice. Deb and I resolved to get along better... we would pull through this. And yet, no matter how nice the house looked, no matter how many A's I brought home, my Dad was still sad. I had never seen him so broken and lost. I did not know what to do or how to make it better.
It was several months before Mom moved back in. Mom and Dad had counseling, they worked through their problems and are still married to this day, 34 years and counting... and guess what? It was not dependent on me! I was not the glue that held them together... it was the Lord who brought them through.
|And they are still smiling... because they know what TRUE love is. It is perseverance, patience, and CHOOSING to love one another even on the days when the ooey gooey feelings are not there. Thanks Mom and Dad for sticking it out!|
The Lord worked on their hearts and brought them to a place of healing, not me. Looking back at my parent's marriage now and their separation, it was the best thing that happened to them because they realized just how much they DID love and need one another. I am blessed to have a close relationship with my Mom and Dad and am so thankful that we live near each other so we can be involved in each other's lives.
I wish I could say I took my mask of perfection off when I was a teenager but I chose to keep it on for several more years. It was not until I was married and later became a Momma that I finally grew tired of my mask and cape. It took going through depression (you can read about it here and here)for me to wake up to reality and see that it is okay to just be me. I desired authentic relationships with others yet I was not being authentic myself.
Once I realized that I was my own worst enemy, everything changed. I took off the mask and allowed people to see crazy, messy, insane, goofy, beautiful, and not so beautiful, me. There are some friendships that have not lasted and others that have endured, and that is okay. When you are yourself and you make yourself vulnerable you need to expect to get hurt once in a while. You end up finding who your true friends are and you value them all the more because they love you for who you are in spite of yourself and that is a beautiful thing.
"A" for "average" and "authentic".