What if “Perfect” Never Comes?

I admit it: I’m an eternal optimist. I am a glass half-full, make lemonade out of lemons, try, try again, kind of person. And this outlook has at times served me well. But recently, God has begun revealing some heart-wrenching pitfalls to my idealism.

Last week as I was working with mom in the kitchen I suddenly blurted out, “I guess I’m beginning to wonder, ‘what if perfect never comes?'” Even as I said it, I knew it sounded silly.  I mean who actually expects, “perfect”? And what is “perfect” really? “Perfect” is a pipe dream in this life. Disillusionment, that let-down when we realize that our expectations aren’t even close to reality, is the inevitable result of pursuing “perfect.”

But my idealistic outlook often traps me into thinking that just around the corner is the ideal life. I can make lemonade and I can wait for a better day, because things are bound to get better right? I can learn what I’m supposed to learn. I can “hang on just a little bit longer” because”this is making me stronger.” I believe in a brighter tomorrow and like little orphan Annie, I find myself dreaming, “Tomorrow, tomorrow…I love you tomorrow…you’re only a day away….” My expectations become my lifeline. I’m holding onto an ideal instead of holding on to my Savior.

When Joel was incarcerated, our family struggled to stay close, to build a deeper stronger relationship. And God used that time to build into us His love, forgiveness, and patience. In spite of the incredible odds, we experienced peace and joy  as our relationships deepened towards one another and towards God. The essential assumption was that when Joel was released and able to be home, our family would be living the ideal. We would be reunited! Our hopes and expectations would be met and we would assume our positions on easy-street.

And in many ways, Joel’s reunion with our family is the stuff of dreams. Having him home is beautiful beyond description. But let’s face it, we are human and we live in a fallen world. So much of our lives will never be “normal.” And the pieces of our old life, are almost unrecognizable.  Our move across the country, as well as a myriad of other changes, have put us in a new and different place.  Although the joy of our reunion infuses our days, life is hard. And “perfect” hasn’t come, at least not in the ways that my idealistic heart imagined.

And that is why the question I posed to mom is one, I believe, God is asking me. “What if perfect never comes. Is your optimism your idol?”  My confession is simple, “Break down the idol of idealism in my life, and let me find ‘perfect’ rest in You. For you and you alone are worthy of all my expectations and hope.”

5 Responses to "What if “Perfect” Never Comes?"

  • Thanks Tabitha. I needed that!

    1 Sue said this (January 9, 2013 at 5:24 pm) Reply

  • So true, Tabitha! We are complete IN HIM and nothing more. HE should be the one that meets our expectations, how easy it is to get our eyes off of Him and onto the “what ifs” and “maybe it will get better.” May we all learn more to just love and keep our eyes on HIM. Thanks for putting into words what many of us can’t 🙂 Praying for you! tt

    2 Terry said this (January 9, 2013 at 10:15 pm) Reply

  • Reminds me of a song “when the chains that seem to bind me drop powerless behind me Praise the LORD” how often those chains are of my own making,i’m chained to the idol of my hopes and dreams.

    3 Tammy said this (January 10, 2013 at 3:13 am) Reply

  • So love and appreciate your continual learners attitude! Thanks for sharing! I can relate to being a frustrated idealist, but never thought of it in these terms… hmmm

    4 Joy said this (January 11, 2013 at 10:28 pm) Reply

  • I’ve been pondering this post since I read it… I think that we were made for perfect. And if we don’t have it beaten out of us, we know that. But perfect won’t be realized here and now… and maybe that’s the catch. If we demand it here and now in this broken, fallen place. Instead of looking to the One who IS Perfect and who loves us perfectly and who is making us perfect and who will one day make all things new and perfect. Like He intended them to be. So don’t throw away your idealism! It is a God-given gift when in it’s rightful place! Like you said: “let me find ‘perfect’ rest in You. For you and you alone are worthy of all my expectations and hope.” Love you, my friend!! You are such a gift to me!

    5 Joy said this (January 14, 2013 at 9:10 pm) Reply

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