Imperfect People

Imperfect People in love with a Perfect God

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The little missionary girl all grown up Lindsey’s story

Today’s post is by Lindsey Van Niekerk.  She grew up in Haiti as a missionary kid for the first 16 years of her life.  I hope you will enjoy her story of the seemingly perfect girl getting exhausted with “perfect” and embracing her true self.

I am the good girl.

I got that expression from Emily @ Chatting at the Sky, but the meaning behind it, I learned that on my own, because you see, I REALLY have always been “the good girl.”

Let me explain…

I have always wanted to do the right thing.

I have always wanted to be pleasing.

I have always wanted to have approval from those I love.

I have always wanted my life to be successful.

So, I was the good girl.

I did what was asked of me…for the most part…probably all the way through college, and I didn’t JUST do it to please others. I truly felt GOOD about ME when I was….well….GOOD!

However, you know what happens when you try so hard to be good and right and perfect {oh that’s almost a dirty word for me — PERFECTION!!}?? The result is someone who is on a never-ending cycle of proving one’s self.

Each achievement has to out-do the last.

Each kind deed has to hold more meaning.

Each event has to outshine the previous one.

And so on, and so on.

Even after college, when I started to “find my voice” and “be more of myself,” I STILL wanted to “have it all,” “be it all,” and “do it all.” So the cycle continued, but now with more vigor and determination.

But a year and a half ago, I found myself over 30, childless, battling with my health, contemplating taking indefinite time off from full-time ministry, fighting depression, and feeling like a failure.

How did this “good girl” get into a place like this?

How do I trust a God who could turn His back on me like this?

I mean, “Doesn’t He remember? I’m the good one. I’m the one who has ALWAYS tried to do everything He has wanted me to do. I pray for His perfect will for my life. I give of my time and my money to help others. I live a life worthy of Him – or at least I try. So WHY is this happening to ME?? It’s just not fair.”

It’s been a LONG journey since that time, and I wish I could say that I have completely overcome every one of those old patterns of behavior, but I haven’t.

But you know what is different now.

I am okay with being imperfect {did I just say that??}, or at least CLOSER to being okay with it.

You see, I figure, when I don’t have it all together, when my life feels like it is on shaky ground, when I am ready to throw in the towel, I have a GREAT, BIG, AMAZING DAD who has been faithfully waiting for me to let go….really let go….and truly let Him guide my life.

So I think I have to change my name….

….from GOOD girl….

….to GRACED girl.

I think that has a nice ring to it, don’t you?

Romans 7:14,18 & 8:1-4″So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong….So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature.  So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.”

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