Learning to live free

Welcome to our brand new Drafting Desk Blog! We're so excited to share more encouragement with you here in this space. This month, we are revisiting our "origin stories," so to speak. Rebekah shared her journey toward recognizing her perfectionist tendencies in our last post. Here, you'll hear from Lindsey! We hope you're loving the blog so far.

 

My perfectionism often manifests itself in small ways.

I can’t shake the memory of the first time I earned less than an A in school. When playing board games, I ask someone else to keep score so I won’t make a math error. I replay conversations in my head, convinced I sound like a nerd. I wonder if I’m cleaning my house correctly or just moving dirt around. 

All of that is annoying but manageable, but it doesn't end there. 

Perfectionism has also taken root in the deepest and darkest parts of my soul. It causes strife in relationships, difficulties in school and work, and uncertainty about my calling. I wallow in failure, question my value, and wish away the most interesting parts of my personality. For years, perfectionism kept me at arm’s length from the grace of Jesus and from the people he had called me to love. I was a slave to fear and regret. 

I've always known that “perfect” is an impossible standard, but I lived in the same pattern for so long that I couldn’t break out of it. Like an addict, I knew it was bad for me but couldn’t shake the yearning. I hid behind high standards, insisting that nothing is wrong with excellence and quality. 

A few years ago, I stood in a church service in my usual spot, not knowing I was about to experience a seismic shift, a true “before and after” moment. We sang a song by All Sons and Daughters, singing in chorus, “It is for freedom that I am set free.” I said the words out loud, and I read the words on the screen, and I thought, I have no idea what that means.

I spent the rest of the service in a conversation with Jesus. I came clean about the fact that I was tired of feeling like a failure all the time. I was tired of trying to impress people, and I was tired of trying hard to be better. If Jesus could really break chains and lessen the load, I wanted it to be true for me. 

That year, I forsook New Year’s resolutions and instead chose “free” as my word of the year. I chose “free” again the year after that, and I think I’ll be choosing it for the rest of my life. Here’s what I know now: Freedom is a promise Jesus is ready to deliver on.

—Lindsey

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