If you don’t know me very well, I may seem like I know what I’m doing, or I at least have a clue. This comes from years of practice, but I assure you, I am SO totally bluffing in most aspects of my life! Why do I feel the need to share this particular nugget of soul-revealing truth? I’m not sure yet, but maybe by the time I wrap this up, I’ll have an answer.

I’m not kidding. I really don’t know yet why I’m writing this particular theme! I just know that after some prayer time this morning, this is the phrase that’s rambling around in my brain looking for a way to express itself. So, let’s start at the beginning and work our way through this one together…

Back-story time! I’ve mentioned before that I have an older brother. He’s 5 years my senior. From the time I can remember, he was my highest goal and my biggest competition. To this day, I honestly don’t know if he ever realized this. To him, I was just the pesky little kid he had to put up with, but to me, he was the role model. I was constantly trying to prove myself to him, and when I messed up, it was agonizing! With the perspective of over 30 years, I can see how futile all that was, and how it set me up to have this impossible standard of perfection in myself. It’s never been an issue for me to give grace to the shortcomings in others, but for me? No such tolerance is extended. I die a little each and every time I make a wrong turn! Unfortunately for me, I have a lousy sense of direction, so wrong turns are extraordinarily common.

Okay, so I’ve Psych 101’d my way to an explanation of why I’m such a perfectionist, and also why I dread anyone ever seeing me make a fool of myself. This also explains why I never want to let on when I don’t know what I’m doing. (Self-assuredness is a very comfortable mask.) What this doesn’t explain is how the truth serum made its way into my coffee this morning and why I’m blathering on like this. (You remember the movie, The Goonies? Think of Chunk next to the blender, and you’ll appreciate the mental picture I have of myself right now.)

A running theme of mine lately has been humility and transparency. I can’t paint a perfect picture of who I wish I was and put that on display as the “real me”. I have to let you see me for who I am, zits and all. Why? Again, I’m not certain (another running theme!), but I think it goes back to my annoyance with all the pre-packaged garbage we’ve had marketed to us for years. If I want people to be real with me, I have to be real to them. I have to be willing to let you see my faults so that if you can see anything good, you’ll realize that it’s a God thing. My ugly is mine, the good is His.

Paul wrote in 1Corinthians 2:1-5, “And so it was…when I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God…I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words…so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”

I think I’m beginning to understand where I’m heading with this. You see, God’s been doing this with me lately… He doesn’t show me anything more than the first step. I have to take that step in the faith that He’ll meet me there and show me the rest of the way.

When I make myself out to be someone who has all the answers, who’s in total control, I’m not allowing any room for God to work through me. He can’t shine through my impenetrable facade of perfection. A dear friend once described a vision she had of two vases. One was perfectly crafted and lovely to behold, but the second was chipped and cracked, with holes where the pieces had been joined back together but the edges didn’t fit quite right. At any given time, these vases could sit beside each other and the perfect vase would be the one most admired, but if you put these vases in a dark room with a candle in each, it would be the broken vase that would draw you in. “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2Corinthians 4:6-7

Maybe I shouldn’t try to live up to my own understanding of perfection anymore. Maybe I need to own up to my ignorance and imperfections and let God take care of the rest so that if there’s any good you see, you’ll know it’s Christ Jesus alive in me.

I want to be the broken vase.

Lots of Love!

P.S. It’s probably not a coincidence that this message came to me the day before my first solo music ministry opportunity!

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