I almost let a devil called self-expectation ruin my week, and ruin it in a bad way. Like, infests almost every area of my life kind of bad. In an effort to do the best that I can in my job, my marriage, my faith, my family, I let the pursuit of perfection bring me lower than I’ve been in a while.
I’ve heard that one should always give a job a year to learn everything about it and do it at least to an adequate level, and after that, one should be able to climb the ladder to excellence. I have not been at my job for 365 days—more like 50 days, a small fraction. While there is a level of familiarity of the tasks that I’m being asked to do, there’s still a world to learn about the finer details of my work. Some days I’m on top of things: things get done in advance; I can anticipate student requests, chefs’ needs, inventory stocks, and all the small things within my job description. This week was filled with small fires to put out, spending too much time on one project, and worrying about everything else I lost time doing.
I’ve been married for five years. In our premarital counseling, I learned that I stink at communication. I can write a decent article, a clever Facebook post, and a lovely “thinking of you” card, but when it comes to telling my husband what I need or feel, I turn into a clam. It seems that after five years, I should be an old pro at this part of our marriage and this week has been a large mirror to my heart that I am nowhere near perfect at communicating in our marriage.
My mom had a very important surgery this week, one that could be life-changing for her. The surgery went well, but there were post-surgery complications that kept her from a normal recovery. She’s in Alabama, 600+ miles away. Maybe I should’ve tried to make an effort to be with her in this struggling time, even though the entire process is out of my control. We’ve made plans for a visit in July so Mom has time to recover, but between homesickness and a weird sense of responsibility as their daughter, my heart tells me I’ve been a let-down this week.
I made the error of letting the enemy quash my joy this week, but Romans 3 reminds me that I’m not the only imperfect person on the planet. We all fail, forget things, drop balls, are short with those we love, don’t communicate clearly, and have rough days. Friends, I promise you something: as long as Christ lives in you, you have grace, redemption, and freedom to move forward. When we lay down at night, we can know that the victory over the day is won, and if we get another day, it’s victorious, too.
Father, as we struggle with inadequacy and imperfection, may we find You more than adequate, full of grace, and a source of love in hard moments. Thank you in advance for watching over us and loving us even when we’re rough around the edges. In Jesus’ name, Amen.