Somehow, there was a narrative that I bought into early in my Christian walk. I don’t know where it came from or how it got there but all I know is that I believed very strongly that by being Christian, I was supposed to be perfect and make sure my life was perfect. I became a culprit of the narrative that I think is self sustaining in the church – I am perfect and everything in my life is great.
I then began to face challenges and trials and when I did, I tried to maintain this image of perfection I thought was so essential. But the illusion of perfection began slipping away as inside, doubt, anxiety and fear reared up at every obstacle I would face. I would struggle to maintain this image of perfection on the outside, because inside, every battle seemed to break me.
I wasn’t winning, I was not achieving what I believed the Christian mandate was, having to show to the world the image of perfection in life. And I became trapped in lying to myself and others that my perfection was still there. Masks of pride and acts of trying to prove myself better than everyone else seeped into my daily interactions and soon I had puffed myself up into an image of myself to the world that was far from true of what I felt on the inside.
Then 2020 happened. And I’m not even saying COVID. Through a series of steps of following God, everything that I had built up around me to keep up the facade was stripped away: money, job, title, position. Soon my outer world could no longer hide the lack my inner world always operated out of. I could no longer hide from the fear and the anxiety and the doubts and timidity and my overwhelming lack of peace with an image. I was pushed into a place to fully face my heart, to look into the mirror and face who I truly was.
But thats where the best part happened. Because in that mirror I saw my lack, but I also saw Jesus. And behind him, I saw a version of myself that I was so desperately trying to attain but by all the wrong ways. I realized that by facing my lack, I was able to acknowledge it, overcome it, and by doing so, break off these things holding me back and become the victorious overcomer I had always wanted to be.
I’m starting to discover the key to true Kingdom victory and I’m realizing I had it all backwards. It is not about what I feel I need to present to the world, its about what I overcome on the inside that makes me into the person the world will then see. Challenges in this life do expose our weaknesses, but because God always has the final say, He turns them into moments for us to overcome those weaknesses and discover who He truly made us to be. As 2 Corinthians 4 says: “our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for a glory that will last forever!”