Friday, April 27, 2012

Women, Their God, and Their Struggles- Sarah at Inspiration- Driven Life

Hey there. I’m Sarah, and all I want is to be perfect.

Yes, I’ve uttered those words. Yes, I’ve shared that story. Yes, I’ve confessed: I just want to be perfect.

I loved the Disney Princesses when I was little, coming of age with Ariel especially. But Tinkerbell? Well, she was the rockstar with all the power. No other Disney character could make happen what Tinkerbell did. (Except for the Genie in Aladdin, but that’s a post for another day.)

With just a sprinkle of her fairy dust, she could make anything happen. And I wanted to do that too.

This Tinkerbell condition presented itself when I saw counselor for the first time in my life. I’ll never forget that meeting with the high school social worker about 10 years ago.

“I just want to be perfect,” I said. In that moment, I diagnosed myself. Tinkerbell Condition. With a mere sprinkle of my fairy dust, I wanted to make myself flawless.

The irony of it all, friends, was lost on me in the moment. Only perfect. Just perfect. As if to say, is that too much to ask?

This yearning to be perfect translated into a little lost puppy of a girl uncomfortable in her own skin. I recklessly sought the approval of others and tried in vain to sprinkle my own fairy dust.

In high school, trying to be perfect meant bending over backwards for good grades and bending over backwards for attention from boys and damaging my soul in the pursuit. Surrendering to Christ made sense, but I was too busy sprinkling that Tinkerbell fairy dust.

In college, trying to be perfect meant an overwhelming courseload and dozens of activities and getting the attention of my peers and the fullest calendar and internships and late nights and early mornings and doing everything with no rest. Flirting with surrender to Christ, and growing in Him but still questing for perfect.

After college, trying to be perfect meant a flawless resume and constant overtime and gym time and social scene time. Sprinkling that fairy dust everywhere. Trying to be perfect meant an abundant work life, social life, eating and drinking life. Grasping surrender but loosening that grasp all too often.

As I got ready for marriage, trying to be perfect meant job searching and wedding planning and still too much overtime and launching a business and saying yes to every invite and coordinating a cross-country move and still learning to surrender to Christ.

Today, it’s finding the fulcrum on this crazy teeter-totter of a life – it’s work, writing, building, living, loving, figuring out what it means to be a wife and a sister and a friend and an employee and a boss and . . . surrender is always just around the corner. Fairy dust today, surrender tomorrow. (Tomorrow rarely comes.)

Every day. This Tinkerbell Condition creeps in – sometimes it’s an anxious, intense, painful quest for perfect.

God, as usual, shows up.

My struggle is against perfection. Every day I live shows me that I’m anything but perfect. Beautifully, in my push towards perfect, I fall further and further from my goal and closer and closer to my God.

God is God. And I, friends, am not.

Tinkerbell, in her adorable and sexy green outfit, sprinkles her dust and fixes it all. My God, who made me, is so crazy bigger than Tink. God is bigger than fairy dust. God is redemption. God, in His grace, redeems my goofy, my mess-up, my mistake, my wish-I-hadn’ts. God, oh how I need God.

I pour fairy dust and try to be perfect and fail every time. And God? He just pours grace. That grace is big; I am weak, but He is strong.

Sarah is inspired by community and creativity. She’s a young professional in the communications, writing and nonprofit fields and can’t get enough of it. Sarah rocks a good cardigan, cherishes a great cup of coffee and loves painting her nails red. Connect with her on her blog, Inspiration-Driven Life, at and on Twitter @SarahKoci.



Anonymous said...

Sarah, this is a lovely post. As a fellow good-girl-people-pleaser-achievement-junkie, I can attest to the fact that it is perfect.

Learning to let go of these ideas is certainly a journey. I am so thankful I received the unexpected chance to be a stay-at-home mom this year. It is an experience that has helped me release perfection in a way few things had before.

Thank you for writing with openness and honesty.

Emily said...

I'm with you in this pursuit to ditch perfect and embrace surrender. Oh, how much I need His grace!

Thanks for this reminder, Sarah. And thanks for hosting, Jenn!

Jennifer said...

Oh Sarah, I am a perfectly flawed perfectionist, and it gets me in so much trouble. Many times I'm left on my rump defeated. Nice. Thanks for your vulnerability.

And thank you for writing for this series! I have loved having you "here"! Your struggle is my struggle. It is so refreshing, girl, to "hear" someone raise their hand and say, "Hey! Me too!". Thanks, Sarah!!

Thank YOU, Emily! Love having you here. :)

Rebecca said...

Oh yes! I am right in the middle of a fight against perfection right now, trying to sort through the differences between high standards and too-high expectations. It's so hard sometimes to distinguish between His best for me and my selfish desire to be/have THE best. What I really need is surrender!