for everyone who wants to be real and kick the perfection problem

As I open Facebook, I see picture after picture of fun family times over the weekend. Football games. Outdoor adventures. School dances. Larger than life scoreboards. So many wonderful times and memories filling up its pages.

As an outsider looking in, everything looks perfectly staged and absolutely pre-planned. Almost too good to really be true.

I wonder how many of the sweet dance pictures I saw were accompanied by raised voices and harsh tones over the choice of clothing. Or, the dates chosen? Or, the curfew time for the night?

Maybe I should confess right here that our fist middle school dance was a complete debacle. I made mine go. He hated even the idea of it all. We fought over what he would wear. And, I didn’t even finish my dinner before he called me to pick him up. I don’t think I posted a picture last year, but that should have definitely been the caption if I had.

Yes, those are the things that don’t make Facebook very often. The real things.

Pinterest and Instagram are much the same. I really do love seeing friends share their lives, especially the ones I regret not being able to spend time with or see on a regular basis. Yes, there are many blessings to social media. However, there is a ‘BUT’.

I believe that ‘BUT’ is the guise of perfection that seems to accompany most posts. And, yes, then cause many to feel less than or left out.

If you look at my Facebook over the last several weeks you may think there are no struggles in my life. Maybe you think that I have lots of time on my hands that I always use to spend time in reading His word or in prayer. Maybe it seems that I have it all figured out in some way or another.

Please hear my heart, friends, I DON’T. Far from it in fact.

Most of my Facebook posts are a direct result of my searching and praying over all the imperfect issues in my life.

Yes, I am a sinner saved by grace, BUT, sweet friends, I struggle. Every. Day. I think it is fair to say most days we all do.

Just this weekend I have struggled with feelings of sadness over changes that are completely out of my control. With a need for acceptance and understanding and less judgment. I have struggled with the best way to make a lasting impression on the heart of my oldest middle school son before time passes too quickly and I have missed my chance. I often live in fear of the ‘what ifs’ or ‘how should I’s’. I carry the burden of sadness over the weight of this fallen world and all those suffering and hurting in it. And, yes, I struggle with more than I can really explain in one post.

I do pray you get the picture and hear my heart. I want to remove all those ‘BUTS’ clouding our vision and misrepresenting our true lives.

Let’s just be real for once because I truly believe that the only way to really live the life He is calling all of us to live, is to be just that. Real. I think that we all need a little extra love each day. And, we all long to just be us. To tell the truth – good or bad. To share our hearts. And, our heartaches. To open up and expose to the light that which the enemy would choose for us to keep in the dark.

Yes, the enemy would prefer that we all keep pretending. Hiding from each other behind the guise of perfection. Covering up what he is actually working so hard to accomplish through his tactics of defeat. Isolation is one of his greatest tools. His lies and schemes can cause our minds to race with all of those ‘what ifs’ and eventually lead us to a place of complete confusion. And, untruth.

I pray we can remember that he is liar. His plan is to unearth the plans of God and to plant seed after seed of doubt and defeat. And, yes, when his seeds are cultivated, they grow into a vicious vine that can strangle even the strongest of believers.

We are in a battle, girls, and we have to stick together. As mothers, wives, sisters, friends, neighbors and co-workers we must work to encourage and build up one another.

~Thinking the best of each other first, rather than following the enemy’s path to the worst.
~Working for one another instead of against each other.
~Admitting our failures, struggles and concerns to one another without fear of gossip, blame or judgment.
~And, yes, removing the beliefs that everyone out there is perfect.

Sweet friends, being real is really the only way. How can we carry one another’s burdens if we can’t share our burdens?

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” ~ Galatians 6:2

Please don’t let the enemy cause you to hide your heart. Yes, I know that we need to be cautious and protective. That not everyone we meet has our best interest at heart or His heart for others. BUT, I do know that there are many sweet women in our lives who have a heart for HIM, and yes, because they love HIM, they love others.

Pray to be one of those women and to be surrounded by those type of women.

Perfection and pretending has really grown to enormous proportions in our society. Every where we turn and look there are more and more things vying for our imperfect spirits wanting to woo us to the next best thing. But, not necessarily to Jesus.

I long to be more concerned with others and their hearts, than being perfect. I long to be brave enough to share my ‘real’ heart and ask for prayers in lieu of trying to go to battle on my own. I long to be one of those people that woos wounded spirits to Jesus every time.

I long to be completely His, nothing more. Nothing less.

And, always real in a way others can relate and not feel so alone or isolated by their own struggles.

Let’s band together. Let’s win the war that the enemy has waged for our souls, using our minds has his stomping ground. Let’s be a team of women ready to go to battle for one another on our knees.

~Believing in His power that has overcome this dark world.
~Thanking Him for the victory that has already been won at Calvary on our behalf.
~Trusting Him to use our struggles for His greater good.

Let’s remember, nothing is perfect. And, no one is perfect this side of heaven. Let’s kick the perfection problem and embrace the fact that we are all ultimately the same in Christ Jesus.

“We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching EVERYONE (emphasis mine) with all wisdom, so that we may present EVERYONE (again, mine) perfect in Christ.” Colossians 1:28

And, yes, let’s just be real. Thank goodness, He is perfect. And, yes, because He is, we are perfect in Him.

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  • Reply Dianne Carlton September 14, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    Thank you Jen! Such a nice reminder.

    • Reply Jennifer Woodward September 15, 2015 at 9:28 am

      I know I needed it! Hope to see you soon, sweet friend!

  • Reply Kristin September 15, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    Love this Jen! Living in Nashville has made my issues with perfection and keeping up so much harder. There’s BIG money here: big houses, big cars, big private school tuitions, big plastic surgery done. It’s been a struggle. I’m so thankful to have you as one of my REAL friends.

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