If you’re a recovering perfectionist like me, you may
be frustrated with who- and where you are in your
life right now. Questions like, “why aren’t I (fill in the
blank)?” or “when will I ever get there?” may be rolling
around in your brain. And this time of year is the perfect
time for that kind of negative chatter: New Year’s,
with all of its promised- and- on- the- way- to- be- broken
Years ago, the scripture Mark 9:24 helped me so much
as I struggled and doubted not just myself, but my own
faith in God. It was simple, real and to the point:
“Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief.”
A zinger- and a scripture which changed my life!
But, much like the excitement around making a New
Year’s resolution, after the thrilling dust of that impact
settled, tedious life came into the picture with not as
much dramatic evidence of powerful transformation as
I would have liked. Nope. I wanted “presto, change-o;”
God wanted my trust, a slower, gradual, deep kind
of thing, built up over time. A long time. A long, long
Enter the next little scripture ditty:
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror
the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the
same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of
the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
Yeah, somehow, this one wasn’t quite as thrilling as
Mark 9:24. And that was the mistake on my part. It
wasn’t grabbing onto the scriptures that was the problem.
The scriptures are Truth, relevant and powerful.
The issue was affixing my impatient “quicker than a microwave
popping out popcorn” expectations to them.
It’s just like the instant promising lie of a kept resolution,
huh? Classic. And I fell for it. I wanted things done
in my timing not God’s timing. Because my timing was
such great hot stuff, right?
And so, my little noggin ran away with the thought,
“it’s not working.” Are you thinking that about your
own resolutions, however successfully kept they may
be? I just couldn’t seem to make the connection that
God had a much better handle on me, on my life and
the situations going on than I did. I was too busy…
with what? With my study of God’s Word and will?
Nope. With the study and the practice of being more
patient with the process? Nope again.
So, what was the deal?
Me, me, me. That’s what I was so busy with. That was
the deal; that was the problem. And that was part of
what was blinding me to my ability to believe- or at
least blinding me to a healthier perception of believing,
I mentioned the microwave earlier. In popular culture
today, the word “microwave” doesn’t just refer to the
oven that’s in most homes; it refers to instantaneous
results which require no time, no waiting and no patience.
Hurry up! Hurry up!
(I hear that Queen song of the same sentiment playing
in my head).
“I want it all. I want it all. I want it all. And I want it now!”
But faith, perseverance, belief, recovery and life are all
about being actively in process. All of these things are
ongoing, living organisms. They’re alive. We, as human
beings, often have a way of creating what we believe,
for good-or not so good.
“…Because of your faith, it will happen.” Matthew 9:29
This new year, are you in process or have you, instead,
imposed an oppressive, perfectionistic and harmful
deadline on yourself? An impossible resolution? There
are even those of us in the eating disorder and addiction
recovery process who just transfer the same
perfectionistic tendencies which got us mired in our
struggles into our actual recovery. There is no such
thing as a perfect recovery; there is no such thing as a
perfect life! All of us fall short of God’s glory (Romans
We will blow it. It’s not a case of “if,” but “when.” But
God knows this- and He still is calling us to believe, nevertheless.
“As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he
saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Be not afraid,
only believe.’” Mark 5:36
“… ‘Fear not: believe only…’” Luke 8:50
Just because we don’t see something we want instantly
happening, doesn’t mean the entire thing is hopeless.
What if it was all just simply “in process?”
Maybe, right now, the word “believe” isn’t spelled out
completely, satisfying our wishes for a brand new perfect
life in this brand new year. But believing is powerful.
And what we put our attention to is powerful. What
do you want to believe? The best or the worst?
God has not- and will not- give up on you as you’re
going through your life, trying to spell everything out.
God is on your side!
“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is
for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
Choose then to tweak your believing. Instead of choosing
the thoughts such as you have to be perfect, you’re
hopeless or “it’s never going to happen,” believe that
you are getting there, with God’s help every step of the
You’re in process; faith is being spelled out for you and
indeed, you are going “from glory to glory.” And this
new year is, indeed, a part of that glory process.
No microwave required. Only God