I wrote this awhile back when I was feeling very discouraged about how long the healing process was taking. I would get healing in one area, just to have another weakness come up. I felt worn out and tired of the whole process. It’s hard to be continually faced with your shortcomings, especially for a perfectionist. When we ask God to purify us, He does, and it’s usually done by fire. I wrote my Aunt Betty’s words to me in red:
The ego finds it hard to take correction. It’s worse for a perfectionist to take criticism because they are more sensitive. The temptation is to go into discouragement. That’s how the perfectionist manipulates us not to do the work the Lord might be calling us to. Do we want to be discouraged or do we want to grow?” It’s easier to be discouraged than to do the work. We can’t give into discouragement and do God’s work. It does not give Him glory. God will open the doors as we grow. What we are doing now can be getting the doors open. We need to face our brokenness. It’s God who will do anything worthwhile. What is good is done by God. We have to learn to get out of the way. That will lead us to growth. We need to get our feelings up, so we can hand them to Jesus. We can sit in the chapel, and let the Lord empty us of them. We can pray, and give Him our resistance. The part of us that’s not getting its way is tempted to rebellion. We can go through rebellion against the cross. We don’t want to look at our broken parts. That’s not where the perfectionist wants us to be.
The hardest part of discernment is Manner, Timing, and Intensity, because our timing is often off. We want immediate results. It is especially true for people who are intuitive. They will struggle with being impatient, because they see the vision, but have a hard time waiting. God is always true to His promises, but often they don’t come to fruition for some time. Sometimes we think we’re in the wrong place when we’re in the right place. God has to stop our perfectionist from taking over our lives. It’s easier to see what’s perfect in us. It’s important to understand that we haven’t arrived and we will continue to grow throughout our lives. We will get hurt less if we have that attitude. The perfectionist is a lie and insists we should have already arrived. It creates the deceit of pride. The more we come before the Lord knowing our brokenness, the less we can get hurt. The deceit that the perfectionist has been throwing at us has been exposed. In her younger years, Betty said she had someone who could emotionally whack her because he could show her how imperfect she was. As she matured, she didn’t need to be perfect, so she didn’t get hurt as easily.
Be careful of the perfectionist’s trick. That part gets us discouraged, so we don’t have to do the work. There is pride in running to discouragement rather than facing the wounded sides of ourselves. We can go into, “Poor me” when instead we should say, “Nah, I’m tired of wasting my life in discouragement. I’m going to get down, and ask Jesus to show me where the truth is.” When we ask for the Lord to bring us into truth, that’s a prayer He won’t resist answering. Satan can still torture us when we are feeling sorry for ourselves. The more we learn to face our stuff, and let the Lord work it through, the more peace we have, and the easier it is to sleep.
If we’ve been impatient, we should ask the Lord’s forgiveness for asking Him to work on our time schedule. Our perfectionists can be very demanding not only of ourselves, but we can try to boss God around as well. Wait on God. He will know when we’re ready. In God’s time, things will happen the way they’re meant to. I love this prayer my Aunt Betty wrote. I have an explanation of it on my blog posts.
Betty’s Prayer of the Obedient Heart
“Lord Jesus, please open the doors within and outside of me that you want open. Take from me any negative thoughts, feelings, or desires that stand in the way of my becoming the person you have called me to be. Please, fill me with your light, truth, and love.
If there are any open doors within or outside of me that need to be closed, I ask for the grace to recognize these areas and repent. Place my eye on You and our Father’s glory. Purify me of any psychic thoughts, desires, feelings or negative prayers that are sent to me confusing my heart.
Stand me on the rock of your fidelity and perfect will. Amen”