The more that I write the more I’m learning how difficult it can be to pour my overwhelmed heart upon the page. I feel inadequate. Weak. Confused. Should I be surprised? When did my writing become this pursuit of perfectionism? I will never be a perfect writer. Honestly, I’m not sure one even exists.
Please, don’t mistake me. There are MANY authors I highly admire and respect. Our praise, however, should ultimately rise higher to the only perfect One who could ever wield such weak creatures as you and me for instruments and ministers of grace. To Him, the honor is truly due.
So why am I fretting so many days away, psyching myself out before I’ve even begun? I’ll tackle smaller, easier projects, ones I know I can mentally – even literally – cross off my “To Do” list, while the larger, looming projects – a.k.a my novel – produce less pleasing and productive results. Do you ever feel this way?
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13 (KJV)
So many doubts and thoughts keep swirling in my head. I’m not ready to write a novel. I don’t know enough about the Civil War. (Will I ever?!) 😉 I can’t write like others can. I still have so much to learn. Maybe I should wait?
But wait for what, that I couldn’t answer. I’ve been holding back, with eyes nearly bulging over this massive undertaking ahead of me, questioning myself if I really have the guts to keep going. It has to be perfect. I began to believe the lie and this goal of illusion.
But if I commit, Lord, I’m going to fail. Any pursuit at perfectionism is destined for that end. I can’t do this on my own. That much is true. He never said life wouldn’t be a battle.
Then this morning, in Beth Moore’s study on Esther – yep, Esther 😉 – she made a great point:
“Beloved, do we believe that the only way to do something acceptably is to do it perfectly? Sometimes God is more aware than we of just how much He requires of us. He knows how hard its going to be for us.
I could stop and sob with relief. I’ve never conquered my nervousness over speaking or my self-doubt in my writing. My heart pounds before I speak, and afterward I’m drenched to the bone with sweat. Every time I send in a manuscript, I wonder if a single word was worth hearing. Still, I persist because it appears to be God’s will. Can you relate?
What would have happened if Esther had waited to go to the King until her hands stopped shaking and her heart stopped pounding?
Do you feel if you can’t do something to perfection, you ought not bother? Perfectionism is a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as being unacceptable.
I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t do our best. I’m simply saying that sometimes just surviving certain tasks without falling apart is our best and in those times God is not ashamed of our performance. He’s proud of us for fighting overwhelming human emotions to do His will. God isn’t interested in our stellar performances but in our hearts. He loves our willingness and obedience despite our insecurities.”
My dear friends, make sure your ultimate goal in life – and your writing – is not to attain perfection, but find peace in obeying and honoring the Lord through the work of your hands. He alone makes us conquerors through Him that loved us. (Romans 8:37) We’re called to glorify Him with our hearts above all else. He knows our weaknesses, our insecurities, and our fears. All praise be to Him, He can work mightily through us anyway.
It’s time we stop holding back.
In what area of your life are you holding back out of your fears and/or insecurities?
Have you been pursuing perfectionism over obedience?
Do YOU think the perfect writer exists?