I grew up in a glass house.
A preacher’s daughter, I was taught at a young age that our family was on display. We were the model for what a family was to look like. All eyes were on us.
Perfection became not just my standard but my obsession. When I was incapable of attaining perfection, I became really good at hiding my imperfections. So good, in fact, that I had almost fooled myself into thinking I was perfect.
From the outside looking in, I had it all together. Hair always perfectly in place, honor student towards the top of my class, highly active in the youth group at church. But it was all a part of the facade. My imperfections hid just beneath the surface and I wanted to keep it that way. I just figured that if I didn’t let people too close then they would never have to find out the truth. My secret would stay safe and secure deep within me and people would like me–the perfect, but false, version of me.
For a long time, I’ve lived my life under the notion that my good behavior is what the Lord wants and expects from me. I actually thought that He was pleased with me because of my ability to follow the rules and make good choices. My behavior resembled that of a little girl trying to win the approval of her father.
“See how I can go to church every Sunday, Daddy?”
“Watch how I can read my Bible, Daddy….with no hands!”
“Look at me, Daddy. Aren’t you so proud of how good I can be?”
The problem? I’m not perfect. So the second I slipped up, I would glance around to make sure no one was looking. And I would slip up–often–because trying to be perfect is exhausting. But, of course, He’s always there so I would just act like nothing happened and go on my way. I would push the shame deep down inside of me to keep from having to come to Him with it.
I was actually blinded to the fact that I can’t hide from the Lord. I thought I was being so stealthy by not confessing and repenting when my imperfections made their way to the surface but, in actuality, I was just creating a deeper trench of shame between the One I could go to and find true forgiveness. The more I struggled, the further I pulled away. Before I knew it, I was so deep in my frustration with myself that I didn’t even realize I had completely alienated myself from Him.
My focus was on correcting my behavior. What I didn’t know then was that by learning to set my focus on Him, my behavior would change with little effort on my part.
Am I perfect now? Of course not. But now I have come to see how God uses my imperfections to reveal more of who He is to me.
Today, I live in a glass house. This time, though, nothing is hidden. Everything I am, everything He created me to be is out there for everyone to see. There are no secrets, no false facades–only the imperfect me who strives to follow a perfect Him.
The me He created me to be.
An ESL teacher for the past 6 years, Sara Anderson feels it is her duty to rid the world of the words “supposably” and “moist.” She once had an unfortunate incident involving a glass of milk and a hairy spider so now she must blow into a glass before pouring a beverage in it. She loves Dave Barnes, Hillsong Live, and Kari Jobe, and when she needs her soul stirred she reads Brennan Manning. In fourth grade, she received an autographed picture of Billy Ray Cyrus, but don’t ask her to show it to you because her friend stole it and Sara never got it back.
*Photo credit: digitalrob70