Hello. My name is Megan and I’m an insecure, imperfect wife and mother of two.
(This is where you say, “Hi, Megan.”)
Sigh. There. I said it. Somehow saying it doesn’t make me feel more whole, though. It doesn’t fix anything or suddenly make me more perfect or confident, but it is the first step.
We live in a world of social media perfection. Everyone only portrays two things online – perfect picturesque moments or complete and utter outrage. Where’s the messy? Where’s the screaming children? Fighting spouses? Cluttered homes? Burned dinners? Where’s the evidence of broken friendships and floundering faiths? Where’s the authenticity?
I used to feel massive amounts of mom guilt. Honestly, I still do most of the time. I feel this need to give my all to everything but it just is not possible. I can’t be perfect at work and home and church. I yell sometimes. Other times I cry. I lose my patience and snap at the kids or Chris. I get tired of cleaning the living room for the fourth time that hour. Sometimes I don’t even want to utter one more word. Other days I feel like I might scream if one more person asks for just one more thing from me. Cue one of my children asking, “Mommy, can I have a snack?” (Insert head smacking emoji.)
I’m cracking under the unrealistic pressure society puts on moms, and women in general, to be perfect. I yearn for transparency and authenticity. I dream of days I can just be me without the pressure of perfection.
Looking around my house, I see authenticity. The laundry is piled on the couch and in baskets because I hate folding just one load of laundry. The counter is cluttered with dishes because once the kids went to bed we flopped on the couch in exhaustion. Shoes and toys scatter across the living room resembling a mine field only experts can maneuver through. I also see love in that chaos.
Yes, we’re messy, but our family laughs. We play. We have paint wars in the backyard and build forts in the living room. Our home is only orderly when people come over because we LIVE here. It will never be Pinterest-worthy, but it is ours. It’s real. It’s authentic, and I have a feeling if more people let their messy, authenticity show they might feel some of the pressure to be perfect come off their shoulders too.
When the pressures become too much, I always run to the same parts of scripture. First, Matthew 11:28-30:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
This scripture always grounds me. It reminds me that I don’t have to go through this journey alone. Yes, I have people I can talk to but I have a Savior who sees my soul on levels no one else can. He sees my heart break and knows how hard I try to hold it together. I love Him for that.
Secondly, I turn to Philippians 4:6-7:
“Do no be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Oh man, let me tell you, that peace of God which freakin’ transcends all understanding is like a balm to my soul. It soothes and heals all the cracks and weariness that took over when I wasn’t paying attention. I don’t know how often I’ve truly experienced this peace in particular but I know without a doubt that I did last month.
My soul was in turmoil and I turned to God. After days of prayer and journaling, I finally just felt peace. The turmoil was over. Just like that. Say what? It filled every part of me and I knew what I had to do. It was beyond freeing.
Jesus sees my hot mess self and loves me. Sometimes I imagine He looks at me with humored pity and says, “Oh, bless your heart, Megan.” And down here in the South we ALL know what that really means.
One day I will learn to embrace the mess; to enjoy the moment; to let go of the desire for perfection; and just be my hot mess self. I am enough for my Savior. I need to allow myself to be enough for me too. Can you say the same thing? Are you enough? Can you begin to embrace your chaos known as life?
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