This elusive word has haunted me most of my life. It taunts me when I fail. It tells me I’m not good enough. It loves to point out how others are so much better than me. Sometimes it brings me to tears and sometimes it makes me so angry I feel like punching a hole in the wall.

Maybe it’s the fear of disappointing someone, or even worse, disappointing myself. So, I relentlessly try to “have it all together” — ALL THE TIME — only to realize no matter how “perfect” I am, I will disappoint someone. I will fail. I won’t have it all together.

Instead of wearing my God-given identity, I’m wearing what the world expects me to wear.

And I’m exhausted!

The word “perfection” actually has an interesting beginning. Its Latin origin is the word “perfectio”, which means “complete.

Now complete is a different word altogether. It doesn’t sting quite as much. I imagine myself as a huge puzzle, being put together one piece at a time. With every piece placed, more of my purpose, meaning, and beauty are made known. Sometimes the pieces come together easily and sometimes it takes a long time to fit in just one piece. It’s not until the very last piece is positioned that the complete image is finally revealed.

When Jesus died on the cross, he promised that one day I would be perfect. Philippians 1:6 says, “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion on the day of Jesus Christ”. There’s that word, completion (or perfection)! I am counted perfect through my faith in Jesus and I will be presented perfect (no sin, shame, fear, doubt) when I see Him face to face. Nothing will be broken!

God doesn’t care if I’m awesome. In fact, I will never be awesome on my own. He’s ok with my weakness. When I am weak, He is strong. When I finally admit I can’t do it on my own, that’s when I’m truly free to live the life I was meant to live.

God sees me perfect now because I’m covered in the forgiveness of Christ. My job today is not to strive for perfection, but know I’m forgiven. This doesn’t mean I just sit on this knowledge. It’s my job to tell everyone striving for perfection that it’s ok to be weak. Although it goes against everything society teaches, it’s the only true way to freedom. Allowing the world to control my thoughts and actions only buries me deeper in despair. Instead, I’m relying on God’s promises and watching for ways to love. Through love, I’m being reshaped, polished, and refined — one puzzle piece at a time.