Perfection and Grace

Here is a quick look into my cluttered mind. My life has changed drastically in less than a year and a half. My mind and heart struggle to keep up at times.

I am three people, all fighting to coexist as one. Now, before you go thinking I have some type of split personality disorder, let me explain.

I am the girl I was before.

Before I lost my husband, I was happy. I had been through other hard things, but was overall  fairly carefree. I was also naive. I knew I was blessed, but didn’t fully understand or appreciate what I had until it was gone. I was impatient and stubborn. I was and am a perfectionist by nature, and I get frustrated when things don’t go according to my plan. I would get overwhelmed by silly things like a messy house, or a dinner that doesn’t turn out the way that I anticipated. I would often become so caught up in my to do list, that I would forget to stop and just be. I didn’t absorb those truly happy moments as much as I wish I would have, because I was constantly looking for the next thing to perfect. My hugest regret, is that I didn’t allow myself to truly feel. I didn’t even know how happy I had been, until I was completely and utterly broken.

I am the grieving widow.

I feel sad, numb, heartbroken, and anxious. Not constantly, like I did initially, but often. I am forever changed by tragedy. I miss him, and I always will. There hasn’t been a day or hour since he passed that my daily thoughts and actions haven’t been hugely impacted by the trauma and loss that I have experienced. I am still mourning the loss of my best friend, father of my children, and the life that we had planned. I still grieve the loss of my own identity.

I am the hopeful wife.

Losing my husband forced me to reevaluate my beliefs and values. I have gone through experiences that most people my age don’t even think of.  I feel like my experiences, although difficult, have blessed me insight I wouldn’t have gained otherwise. I know what is most important in this life. I see the things that have eternal value, and things that really are just distractions. I know that God is in control. I have a greater appreciation for the things that I have been blessed with. I know exactly how it feels to lose the one I love most, so I treasure my days with my new husband, and never want to take him for granted. I want to soak up every ounce of joy that I can. I have felt the regrets of things done or not done, and want to make every single moment we have together count.

These three parts all exist within me, all very different, but all very real. They all take up space in my being.

But they don’t always coexist effortlessly. My true values, and my weaknesses, create an internal battle that I struggle with daily.

Even though I KNOW just how fragile life is, I still struggle to always be patient and kind to my children. I still take loved ones for granted at times.

Even though I see how eternally insignificant things like a perfectly clean kitchen are, I still let the perfectionist in me have a mini panic attack when things are left undone.

Even though I know that God is in control, I still struggle to give my will over to him. At times, I allow fear to get in the way of faith.

At times, I truly hate the parts of me that obsess over things that, when it comes down to it, just aren’t of any long term importance. I feel like I should know better and be better because of what I have learned and experienced. I refuse to allow myself to forget the insight and growth that was so painfully gained. I put a lot of pressure on myself, to be more than I used to be.

But I am still human. And I still have selfish tendencies to overcome.

It is difficult to believe just how much change has happened in my life in less than a year and a half. The struggle I face today, is learning how to take the good from different parts of my life, to create a new identity for myself. To find the balance between being carefree and not taking things for granted. To allow myself to grieve, but to also have hope and to find joy in my new chapter of life. To allow joy and pain to coexist. To miss my late husband, but to still allow myself to feel every ounce of joy that I can with the new life I am creating with my husband now.

And most of all, to give myself grace when I am not perfect—even when I know better. Because perfection will never be achieved in this life, but I can be better than I was yesterday, and I can give myself credit for how far I have come.

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