flawed, free, and forever His

by Katherine

i’m still coming out of perfectionism. i’ll be shaking it more, i’m sure. how to fit words for this?

i didn’t know it until i left it. until Jesus sweetly chased me down and held my tossing head and said “breathe, loved one. in me, you are good enough. i’ve buried all of your mess and i treasure you. you are altogether lovely.”

the restlessness creeps back where it can, though.

today, it tried. i worked a self-consciously unshowered mini-shift at the grocery store, then pondered the impropriety of neon envelopes as i addressed them for the last fifty wedding invitations. then, on another unfilled stomach, i decided to run to a nook at a sunny window seat in a coffeeshop, indulge in a nutritious Naked juice and clarify my heart’s latest racings in words. i liked that picture. i usually feel more like the real Katherine when i write, and more like a real writer when i look like one.

i smeared purple polish on my nails as i rushed to look put-together with a scarf and extra rings and bangles before i left.  then, my nails became frustratingly shoddy and scratched once i got in the car. annoying. my mind began feeling unfocused and stained like my hands, and i started to obsess over fixing it, or scraping it all off, or doing what i could to clean them up with warm water and soap. then said “forget it.” hip writer image fail.

but it was there that i thought back on semi-distant days, when that was all my mind knew. it was non-stop image obsession. my days were never-ending cycles of mirror-gazing and mind-flipping through every image of appearance from every possible angle of watching eye. every speckle of “flaw” [even smudged nail polish, i’m sure] sucked me in and sucked me dry until i could  rest satisfied. i was sick with self-consciousness, fear, longing to be known and treasured. i could not settle my heart when i saw red ink on a test, because it meant something in me was not perfect. i could not forgive mistakes in myself. i was aching for peace, and nowhere could i make it last or still me deep down. Jesus had to stop my storms, and show me who i really am forever:

more than a face. more than clothes. more than perfect nails, perfect hair, perfect body, perfect recitals, and perfect grades… i am bought with Christ’s blood and known by Him. i am His delight, because He wonderfully made me to reflect goodness and glory, even in the ways i’m unlike you. i am free to risk and love, make art with life, and do beautiful things. i am free to be flawed, weak, hungry, and needy because Jesus is spotless, strong, fullness, and enough, and He loves me and you, this I know. i am free to breathe and rest, because i am His forever. 

this finding was not overnight, but over years of nights. even now, i’m just recognizing some of this mess and more of this glory. and i’m not done, so please keep listening. keep reminding me that He’s not finished, but that [oh sweet thought!] He will be. other freed ones, keep taking my hand and helping me see what i’m made for. carry me to Him when i forget that He is my need and enough.

i clung to these higher thoughts and started to write this. but the starbucks corner was chilly, the walls held no outlets and my battery has short life, the healthy sandwich turned out to be palm-size and there was no Naked. i felt the complete opposite of what i pictured – not restful, not competent, not full, and and not sure why i had sacrificed all that time and gasoline.

but [home again] i suppose i see that this is why:
today, i cried small tears, but chuckled, too. because today is different than those past, stormy ones. even when i struggle with oldness, today is new. even when i’m reminded of former chains, today is freeing.  today, i can breathe deeper, as these lungs are learning to stretch oxygen and shed light into more unseen, dusty corners of my heart. past and remaining flaws may be unearthed, shouting, but i can hear Jesus’ heart beat the truth of me louder still.

[[i hear it here, too. and i’m lulled:]]
vous etes mon coeure.