I almost wrote yesterday, and the day before that, and the week before that, and some weeks before that, too. I didn't. Want the excuses? No? Good; me, either.
I had to video myself giving a presentation this week. Talk about a humbling experience. I talk all day long, and present tons - but this was a different ballgame. There were stakes involved, I know the person who will be evaluating it, and I am in a season of being attacked for my inadequacy. Complicated, much? Ha! The good news - I got the video done and submitted it before I recorded it again; the bad news - it took me 14 takes. FOURTEEN. Um...Perfectionist meet Becca. Wowzers.
I admit, I love social media. I have had the chance to reconnect with some great friends that I would have otherwise lost touch with. I have also been able to stay connected to some people I may have never stayed connected to. But social media beats me up. Every day. Some days it is just a little shove into a wall, evoking nothing more than an internal wince. Other days it is a full blown shove me down the stairs, kick me in the ribs event of such proportions that I fully expect to feel the soreness and see physical bruises on my body the next morning. Such is the cycle of a perfectionist. Beth Moore makes an excellent point in "So Long Insecurity" - she says that insecurity wears an extravagant mask of perfectionism. No truer sentence has ever been written about me. (Well, ok, except for everything in the Bible, but you get my point.)
A woman I greatly admire is Angie Smith - such an incredible writer and beautiful soul. If I ever get the chance to meet her, I am going to give her the biggest hug and thank you ever (and hopefully not creep her out!). All of her writing touches my heart - I have been following her blog for a while now. Yesterday, she posted an article on (in)Courage titled "The New Pretty". In it she talks about the pictures we create of our lives on social media - and the effects it has on others. I'll admit - there have been many times I went to post a picture or update or share a link to an article, and didn't because I didn't think it was exciting enough, funny enough, pretty enough, etc. As if there are not enough battles to fight in this lifetime, you know being born into sin and all - now I have piled on the extra layer of comparing myself to the world through social media. (In addition to the other eleventy thousand places I compare myself to other people every other minute of my life!)
I put on a few pounds in the past three months - nine to be exact. It is humbling. And upsetting. My prayers have started to turn selfish in the past few weeks/months. It is humbling. And upsetting. Work is hard. My heart longs for things that God has not (yet?) brought to my life. My goals and dreams sometimes feel so far away. Friendships take work. Family dynamics take work. God is gently reminding me that it's not about me or my own plans.
So today I write. I want November to be very intentional - in my prayers, in my spending, in my relationships, in my health, and in my pursuit of my goals. All this happens to coincide with the month many Americans set aside to meditate on what they are thankful for.
Today I write - to find the thankful. Today I am thankful. I am thankful for a God who can heal the wounds that no one else can see. Who picks me up when I feel like I have been battered by my own comparison, and gently whispers in my ear "You are EXACTLY who I want you to be and where I want you to be, and it is impossible for me to love you more."