My name is Wangeci and I am a recovering perfectionist.
One of my greatest struggles has been being vulnerable. My being vulnerable means I am destroying the perfect picture I sold to you of me and the amount of work I put in trying to cover up my imperfections. We are quick to acknowledge our imperfection but unwilling to share our struggles. Social media has made things worse. Looking at posts we are ALL living perfect lives. I am happy to tell you about how loving I am but not how I once struggled with bitterness and un-forgiveness . We post the medals we’ve won but not the wounds we incurred during training. Perfect jobs, perfect relationships and the biggest lie of them all, a perfect Christian life.
As a Christian, it saddens me how much we are trying to sell perfection. I don’t like being vulnerable. My entire being resists it. Its quite understandable why we resist being vulnerable. Top of the list of things that can wound you is when you share your vulnerability and it is abused either by someone who shares what should have been kept a secret or someone who trivializes your struggle, the list is endless.
The bible says that you are an over comer. You cannot overcome if you do not have a struggle. You don’t overcome nothing. The Bible literally says we have to die to flesh DAILY. Like there is no end. Each and everyone of us. Which means every person, every Christian is struggling with something. There’s no one who’s got this.
At this point in my life I am coming to the understanding that it is God’s will for us to be vulnerable and uphold each other. Solomon in his wisdom said two are better than one and no this is not merely about marriage but about LIFE. If one falls down they can be lifted by the other.
Christianity is about brotherhood. We complain, pray, hope that one day we will get good friends, friendships like David and Jonathan. But you cannot experience such an intimate friendship if you are not willing to be vulnerable. With vulnerability comes accountability. Pray that you get a good band of brothers that you can do life with but be willing to be vulnerable.
I am not just praying, I am also being intentional about putting aside my perfectionism. I am learning to let people in.
I am reminded of the story of the great commander Naaman. Now Naaman was a commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier but he had leprosy. Back then leprosy was a big deal. You were an outcast if you had leprosy.
The story as it goes says that very few people knew that Naaman suffered from leprosy. He had managed to hide it well. Sometimes I feel like Naaman. Limited by the perceptions of people around me so much that I feel that I have to “cover up” and look perfect.
When he goes to prophet Elisha, the prophet says to him to go and immerse himself in river Jordan seven times. Naaman is annoyed by this suggestion and he gives a lot of excuses for it. But the real reason Naaman might have detested to go dip himself in the river is because in the act of dipping he had to remove all his army regalia, all the clothing he had used to cover himself with and everyone was going to see how much the leprosy had disfigured his body. His imperfection would be exposed.
Elisha was capable of speaking those three magic words that Naaman had hoped he would, “You are healed” and no one would ever have known how much the leprosy had affected his body. Right there at that moment Naaman had to chose losing his perceived respect or getting healed from leprosy. See sometimes God will heal us in our secret places but the are other times He wants us to walk with our band of brothers. The Bible says confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed. Don’t be too focused in covering up that you miss God’s healing.