Tearing Down the Perfect Image

Sometime last week, I realized that I needed to post this…but the thought of how much energy this would require, made me procrastinate.

But as the days have gone by and the struggle has intensified…I realized that it’s time.

Standard Disclaimer:

I am fine. I am okay. There is no need to buzz me or my mother and ask about my emotional wellbeing. I am okay 🙂

————————————————————————————————–We live in a contradictory world. Fact. Obvious. Yes, yes…

We’re told to be ourselves…but moved to conform to a certain ‘norm’.

We’re told ‘nobody’s perfect’ but there are all these standards we’re meant to live up to?

Who is to blame? Society? The Media? The common scapegoats?

I think it’s also time we take a look in the mirror and realize that we have played a part too.

The media wouldn’t keep promoting something if it wasn’t receiving support.

Society…

Who do you think ‘society’ is? This random building filled with horrible people?

Maybe in some places but that is besides the point.

“the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community”

That is the Google definition of society.

We are society. We are the people with expectations of all sorts.

We set standards for other people and then shame them for breaking their backs, trying to live up to that standard.

I’ve been guilty of that. So guilty. I was *that* Christian girl. Uppity and high and mighty. Quick to forget what God’s Mercy did for me, eager to throw people’s mistakes in their face.

The long, ‘tough love’ statuses were all over my Facebook. You know the typical ones we women love to write about? Throwing all kinds of shade at struggling sisters all in the name of ‘Showing them the light’.

I’d give girls those side-eyes. You know the ‘I’m way better at this Christian game than you are’ kind of looks. I thought I’d made it. I was it.

Perfect.

There I was thinking I was embracing God’s grace…but I was so stingy with it. So stingy.

And when that all came tumbling down and life really humbled me and I realized that I was just as ‘weak’ as anyone else… my heart did change.

I dropped the ‘thous’ and ‘thys’ and adopted proper conversation.

I dropped the insensitive “Just pray about it!” and actually learned to listen.

I put aside the bragging and flexing my ‘spiritualness’ and just learned to be…Me.

I’d love to say that my life became a lot easier to handle…but that would be a lie.

That turning point was the start of me discovering who I really was.

Great, right? Mhm.

Thing is…the more I discovered myself…the more pretense I detected in the life I was living. The more things weren’t adding up.

Small example: Heels in church.

I love high heels. I do. They’re beautiful. Terribly, painful though. I’d wear them to church like a lot of my sisters do and there’s nothing wrong with that. But after a while, when my feet were killing me, I’d sit down or just endure the pain.

But I started to question that. While I was focusing on the pain my feet were experiencing…I wasn’t focusing on anything at all. No talking to God. My singing was hollow. All of it.

How on earth was that a good thing?

But I was too scared to wear flats to church in fear of being given the side-eye.

But one day, I almost sprained my ankle and I decided enough is enough. I can’t do it. I’m meant to be praising and connecting with God but there I was worrying about my appearance and what other people would say.

When I did try talking about my issue…I often hit a brick wall. People didn’t get it. And that’s okay. We’re humans, it’s expected.

Anyway, now I’m that girl who can rock up to Sunday Service in kicks and be unashamed. It means I can be genuine in my worship. I’m not saying don’t wear heels or fancy outfits. No.

But you need to make sure that you’re not trading your time with God for a time of shine. As long as nothing is getting in the way of that, that’s good.

Anyway, I’m not here to dictate what you should and shouldn’t do.

Not too long ago I had a meltdown. Pressure and stress got the better of me and I cracked. Badly.

My emotions were everywhere. My motivation was absent. Old habits creeping back into my life.

And I was mad because I was like, “Lord I can’tbe like this. People are watching me.”

Saying that out loud…I found the source of my trouble.

People-pleasing.

I was so focused on keeping my life together so people would be happy and could be inspired…I lost sight of the fact that…

My life actually isn’t altogether.

I’m a 22 year old lady whose life is changing everyday. Some changes are good. Some take a lot of adjusting.

But I’d rooted in my mind that “No, everything must be smooth. I can’t mess up. Chipo Biti cannot mess up.”

If I ever looked down or tried to tell people I wasn’t okay, I was often met with

“But you’ve got so many things going on! The blog! The magazine! You’re doing well!”

Achievements don’t warrant happiness or a put-together life.

I’m ever dependent on God’s grace and His Mercy. I fall down so many times..and He always picks me up and keeps me going.

That’s what we need to be doing for each other. Not tearing each other down everytime someone makes a mistake.

Christians, especially. We’re so quick to judge each other and beat each other down in the name of ‘tough love’.

We uphold this unrealistic perfect image that none of us are able to fulfill, and when we fall, we wonder why we get so much flack?

Is this life?

We can never fulfill this crazy perfection we’ve conjured up in our heads. A perfection that requires our work and effort.

Not at all.

It isn’t our duty to be ‘perfect’ or whatever.

It’s our duty to love. To help one other when we fall. To cheer one  another when we’re going through challenges.

Not throwing out insensitivity and saying ‘Thank God that isn’t me.’

I’m not perfect. I’m not some superwoman with her life together.

I cry. I make mistakes. I forget things.

But God keeps me going and He is my source. He is my strength.

It’s all Him.

I hope this helps someone.

Have a great week 🙂

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Why Are You Special?|| If I Could Repeat A Day…

If I could repeat a day?

I’d repeat today. This very day. 1st of September 2013. Why? Well…

I’ve had this niggling feeling in my mind to go to the teen service at my church and share with them. Teach them. I’d had this feeling for probably six months and today…I finally went and spoke to them. I was scared. I really was. I mean, I’m just fresh out of teenagehood and now I’m supposed to go and speak to these human beings? I know what I was like as a teenager. I saw how other teenagers responded to guidance. It was hard. Anyway, I got to the lesson and was received with listening ears and ready hearts.

I didn’t even know what I was going to talk about! I sat there and said

“God, you know what? You’ve put me here. I’ve prayed and read your Word and I’ve listened. Please let these children walk away with something.”

As I started speaking…I started telling them about myself. Where I study. What I do. The church I go to and what I do there. Then my mind made its way to a memory I hold so close to my heart.

I’m the leader of the Drama Department at my church. When I was first appointed I was scared. I wanted to run. I wanted to hide.

“Me? But I’m so young? I don’t know if I can lead!” I’d say. But God gave me His reassurance in many ways – another post for another day.

So I got to the first practice as being the leader and I began to speak to the team. I asked them to say their names, age, and what is special about them. The response I received left me wanting to cry. My dear friends struggled to say what was special about them. A couple even said “There’s nothing special about me.” I’m sitting there, looking at these amazing people. People with so much potential. People using their potential…and they had sad looks in their eyes. The sincerity in their responses touched me. I wondered why. I really did. Eventually, we all got to realize what was special about us. Some were delivered from this state of feeling inadequate. Others left confident. All in all..someone left with something.

So I tried out this exercise with the teens. The responses, once again, brought me to the verge of tears. In a good way. The first boy who was about 12/13 years old stood up proudly and said

“I’m special because God gave me the gift to play sport and run.”

Another kid stood up and said “I’m special because God gave me a spirit of generosity.”

A girl who looked like she was about 14/15 stood and said

“I’m special because God’s given me a gift to help other people and ultimately help myself through helping them.”

Their willingness and eagerness to express why they are special touched my heart. They are all gifted children and they know their source. They know where they come from. My verse for them was

Ephesians 2:10

“10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

We often forget these parts of the Bible when we go about our lives. We are God’s masterpiece. We are His Mona Lisa. His priceless work of art. And that’s what I emphasized to these teens. That we are special and we have a plan from God that has made us unique.

Their thoughtful faces and the smiles they had moved me. They may not have said much but their willingness to listen has left me feeling so happy.

So I’d like to urge you…reader…regardless of what your belief is…YOU ARE SPECIAL. Why? Well that’s for you to find out. Do it now. The moment we realize and accept and live out why we are so awesome…why we are so special…THINGS HAPPEN. Realize your potential.

Realize your purpose.

Get out there and show the world what you’re made of!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/01/daily-prompt-repetition/