Monday, March 3, 2014

The Beauty of Imperfection

Recently I have realized that there are so many things that I would love to spend the rest of my life doing.

I absolutely love baking, so I think it would be really fun to spend my life working in a little bake shop in a small town in the middle of nowhere. I would love to talk with the people who come in for a morning cup of coffee, and I would love to hand out cookies to little children whose parents bring them for a small treat. 

I also love writing. Becoming an author has always been one of my dreams. I would love to get lost in the stories that God places on my heart. I could travel the world and hold book signings. I could encourage thousands of people through God-inspired words. 

In grade 12, my history teacher told each of us his thoughts about our future careers. He told me that he could see me becoming "Super Kayla." I'm not really sure what he meant by that, but I think I would love that too. 

Then there are the more practical dreams. 

I have always told everyone that I want to be a Speech Language Pathologist. And part of me still wants that. I would love to spend my life helping children learn to communicate and express themselves. It would definitely be rewarding. 

But on the other hand, if I'm going to be spending the next six years (or more) in school, will that really be enough? 

The idea of doing something 'bigger' has been speaking to my heart in every way for the past month, and the feeling won't disappear. Just when I think the idea has finally faded, someone else mentions it (like Kari Jobe at her concert in Toronto... that could not have been a coincidence!) and it's like God is whispering, "You can't run from my plan." 

I need to stop acting like Jonah. 

I can't deny that God has this amazingly-unexpected plan for me. I know exactly what He wants me to do. 

The problem right now is that I can see the end result, but I can't see how to get there. I can't see how all of my random, un-related dreams are going to fit into the plan that He has. And to be honest I don't even understand how this 'big' thing could be His plan for me in the first place. 

Sometimes I don't feel smart enough. I try so hard to do everything right. I obsess over every sentence down to the most unimportant comma, trying to make things exactly perfect so that there is no way I can fail. But sometimes my efforts still aren't enough.

Sometimes I don't feel strong enough. I become so tired after a few hours of school that I can't even bring myself to finish my next reading. 

Sometimes I'm not patient. Sometimes I'm scared to go to new places, or to even leave my house. And sometimes I don't want to be the one who always listens to everyone else. 

I am so completely imperfect.

How could He have such an exciting plan for me? 

Last night I went to a worship concert with a bunch of my friends, and I was standing in a crowd of people listening to a song I had heard many times before, but when I listened last night it hit me in a completely different way. 

So patient
So gracious
So merciful and true
So wonderful in all You do 
You fill me
You see me
You know my every move
You love for me to sing to you

I know that you are for me 
I know that you will never forsake me in my weakness
I know you that you have come down
Even if to write upon my heart
To remind me who you are 

He is everything that we are not. 

And even though we aren't good enough on our own, He doesn't abandon us. He chooses to stay. 

He stays with us so that He can fill us with all of the qualities that we naturally lack. 

How could we run from the One who fills us with everything that we are? We need to be filled. 

We can't distance ourselves from the One who is writing our story - outlining a production that will allow us shine. Our dreams will be fulfilled to the highest degree of success. Our needs will be met. Our heavenly desires will be provided for. 

Only if we allow Him to fill us with His perfection. 

1 John 4:12 says that "God abides in us and and His love is perfected in us."

God's grace says that it's okay for us to not be perfect. It's okay for us to lack the qualities that we think we need because God is here to meet our needs. We need His love and His grace. (Ephesians 2:8)

He wants to be with us so that He can complete us. So that He can provide for us and support us and cleanse us of our imperfections. That's the whole reason Jesus died. So that we might be "without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish." (Ephesians 5:25-27)

God is very aware of the dreams and plans that each of us have - even if they are hidden in the farthest corners of our heart.

He knows all of our solitary secrets and whispered wishes. 

He knows everything that we lack when we are on our own.

But despite our imperfections, we are beautiful. 

Because of Him.


Photo Credit: Katie Cottrell

1 John 4:18 - There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.