everything had to be tiny. for some reason tiny meant perfect, so i began writing miniscule and my teachers complained for their eyes hurting, but there was safety in that small scrawl. in the little letters lined up neat and blue.
i wrote small until i felt small, until my jeans said size zero and i knew i’d gone as little as i could without disappearing altogether. i wrote small until i had nothing more to say. and then i waited to feel good. i waited to feel the way perfection is meant to feel. i waited to feel the love the world told me skinny would earn. but all i got was admitted into a hospital.
i grew up in a christian home, in a homeschooling home where parents compared children and curriculum. i grew up with a pastor for a father, so the church was watching us too. i grew up with an abnormal desire to please everyone and found that no one was ever pleased, all the time, so i stopped eating because everyone’s disappointment hurt too much.
we were to be seen and not heard. i didn’t say anything. i just starved myself, and that was my silent rebellion. my way of begging to be heard.
we were made to desire perfection, for God is perfect, but not in the way that the church and the homeschooling family seems to think. perfection is not something that can be earned. it is not a behavior, or a set of rules. rather, it is a holy state of being. it is harmony; it is the absence of evil; it is good winning over evil; it is love.
perfect is not size zero, or polite children. perfect is God becoming incarnate in us. perfect is the kingdom of heaven being realized on earth. perfect is justice, is mercy, is kindness.
we long for perfection because we were made to look like our father, and he is perfect. but that’s just it. HE is perfect. HIM in us. not us trying to be like him.
1. how do you sub-consciously strive for the wrong kind of perfection?
2. why do you long for perfection?
3. how do you think you might impose this expectation of perfection on your children/spouse/friends?
4. how can we inspire our children towards the right kind of perfection? the kingdom-kind?
(part 2 of ‘What it means to look like God’)
for videos and discussion questions on walking in healing, please visit here.
*please note, i am not trying to blame the church or homeschooling. i know that many holy, grace-filled examples of both, do exist…