July 15, 2013

Giving Grace...to Myself

A friend and I had a conversation that reminded me of another conversation I had with some other friends.

I know, lots of talking going on.

But lots of thinking, too.

This relates somewhat to my post from last week, "Learning to Accept a Compliment." But it goes farther than that. Because not only do I find it difficult to accept compliments, I also struggle with perfectionism.

That's probably a large reason why I DO struggle to accept compliments. Because I know, deep down, that I'm not enough.

Or at least, I'm tempted to think that.

That's what Satan wants me to think.

It's just that I see my own failures over and over and over again. I keep trying to lose weight. But then I drive past Dairy Queen and completely fold to the pressure -- yeah, my own internal pressure.

I keep trying to find time to write, to work full time, to spend a good chunk of time with the Lord every day, to keep up with friends, to meal plan/work out/stay healthy, to ...

breathe.

And I fail.

And then I grumble at myself. I get down. I say I'm going to do better, and maybe I do for a little while, but then I don't.

It's a little thing called Superwoman Syndrome, and I've got it bad -- the disillusionment that I can do it all. That I should be able to do it all. That if I fail, I'm simply not trying hard enough and I CAN DO BETTER.

Do you suffer from it, too?

But let's look around us. Do we chastise our friends for not being able to do it all? No, not at all. In fact, we can appreciate things in our friends that they can't see in themselves.

For example, do I care that my one friend doesn't have time and energy to keep her house clean? Do I look down my nose at HER?

Not at all. I see that she's busy loving her husband and taking care of her kiddos and learning what it means to be a woman who relies on the Lord.

So, why in the world do I hold myself to a different standard???

We weren't meant to.

You know what we WERE meant to do?

"Love the Lord Your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." (Deut. 6:5)

"Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always." (1 Chron. 16:11)

"Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." (Neh. 8:10)

"Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually." (Psalm 105:4)

Because we, dear friend, can do ALL THINGS through Him who strengthens us.

My heart aches for a generation of women out there -- of which I am a part -- who always feels inadequate. Who doesn't see that ALL God has called us to do is be vulnerable and rely on Him.

Who doesn't see that we are deeply, deeply loved no matter what we do or don't do. His love is not performance-based.

So today, friend, give yourself a little grace. And remember that when you feel weak, He is strong.

Your Turn: What verse reminds you to turn to God in your weakness? Anyone else out there ever suffered from Superwoman Syndrome? How do you combat the enemy's lies with the Truth?

*Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

15 comments:

  1. What a life-giving, breathe-giving post, Lindsay!!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Beth! Your support means the world.

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  2. This is awesome, Lindsay.

    You know what's weird? I definitely have Superwoman Syndrome at times...but it's usually me I'm trying to impress. I have mega confidence that my friends and family all love me the way I am. And God too. But it's like I have this internal need to one-up myself. Either way, whether we're trying to do EVERYTHING to impress others or ourselves, the root cause is the same, isn't it: finding our self-worth in our achievements. And we'll never be satisfied or content that way.

    Thanks for making me think today!! :)

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    1. Yes, and you know how I've struggled with the same thing! As we've discussed many times, the only way to be content is when we find our identity and self-worth in who we are in Him!

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  3. This is such a beautiful post. I am definitely suffering from this. Not in that I worry I don't do enough, but I'm so aware of my weaknesses and sins that it gets overwhelming.
    Thanks, Lindsay!!!

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    1. Thank you, Jessica! I think it's good to be aware of our sin -- otherwise, we might continue in it. But to dwell on our weaknesses doesn't do much good, if all we are doing is making ourselves sick with anxiety and worry. Jesus paid it all.

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  4. Amen to the internal pressure--good and bad!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Sarah!! And yes, definitely amen.

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  5. This is so true and something I think most women deal with at some point or another. I think the best way I've found to combat this is to pray for other women. When you're praying that other women in your life will see their worth and value and that they'll live a life of freedom and self-acceptance through God's unending love for them, negative self-talk seems to disappear.

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  6. Such a great post today, Lins. I love your vulnerable heart and that you're strong enough to share it--openly, honestly.

    I've learned to say no to a lot of things and not worry about what others think of me. But man, I used to. And it was EXHAUSTING!

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    1. Thank you, friend! You're right, it is totally exhausting. And it does absolutely no good.

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  7. Do you know what scripture I've been pondering/praying/saying/living by lately? Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests made known to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. About 98% of the time I don't even realize that the thoughts rolling around in my mind are anxious thoughts--but they are. I get those little niggling thoughts of what if, what then, what about? and my mind goes on and on with all the possibilities. In all of it, I find myself coming down on my own inadequacies. But God has been prompting me to remember this verse and, instead of beating myself up, or dwelling on my shortcomings, I pray and petition Him to take care of my needs. His peace does come. And it's amazing. We were thinking about the same thing on our blog today! :)

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    1. Love, love, love your thoughts here, Gabe! Your way of leaning on Him is so beautiful, friend.

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  8. Once again, you hit the heart of the issue with truth and vulnerability. I love Gabe's comment, as well -- and how BOTH of you lean into Jesus. Absolutely beautiful.

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