Month: January 2019

Obedience over Perfection

If you know me you know I love goals, lists, efficiency and anything that will help me accomplish these things.  Of course I love New Years, not for the parties, but for the intentional opportunity to create lists, goals and think about how to do life the following year.  This year as I began to create my goals it didn’t go quite as I had planned.

My only goal this year is obedience over perfection. It’s something I feel like God is trying to teach me… again and again. It’s not a secret I have some tendencies to lean toward perfection. In fact if you know the Enneagram personality type I am #1 – The reformer which means I’m “principled, purposeful, self-controlled, and perfectionistic.” But what I’m realizing is often I’m waiting for things to be perfect, for me to be certain, for all pieces to be in place before moving. This causes me to be slow to move. Slow to action. Slow to the things I know God is moving me toward.

So this year I will focus on being obedient in the moment. Moving even if not all the pieces are in place. Knowing I will have mistakes, which I dread, but moving all the same. Knowing that obedience is more important than perfection.

Not so picture perfect…

This morning I went to my prayer room and called it my desperation room. I’ve been in a season that I’ve not “felt” or “heard” from God in the ways I’m used to. It’s been hard. It’s caused me to take extra long in making life and ministry moves, trying to confirm what he’s leading me toward. God has been good in revealing himself in small bits, but if I’m honest a lot of it has been pure muscle memory. I continue to seek, pursue, live, and move in disciplines of what I know he’s shown me in the past.

This morning felt extra desperate. I had just finished a “spiritual weekend” and yet, didn’t feel spiritual. In fact within hours of returning last night I felt like running away was a good idea and day dreamed about that for a stint of time.

So this morning in my desperation, I came to the prayer room, so strongly desiring to sit in his presence. And as I listened to this song over and over, I had to write the words. So I grabbed the marker and quickly wrote this on my desk. In my mind it was sloppy and desperate, but I took a picture to put in my journal app on my phone. But when I looked at the picture, it looked so pretty and perfect.

I was tempted to post the picture to social media, because it did look so “perfect” and spiritual. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t because really my morning looked like me laying on the floor of the “desperation room.” It wasn’t pretty and perfect. It was hard, wrestling with so many broken thoughts of frustration and self hatred.

It reminded me of a picture of the cross I saw last week on social media. It was bright and shiny and had some verse about the cross. But really the cross was dirty, heavy, and hard.

So I’m writing this to be honest. I’ve had people say “you don’t sin, you’re Noelle Beck.” News flash, I’m sinful and broken. I spend lots of time in the prayer room to be as connected to the father as possible, because I am VERY aware of my shortcomings. Life isn’t pretty or perfect or easy. And when following Jesus, I would venture to say at moments, less so.

I do know God really does fulfill, which is why I continue to cling to Him, knowing He really does meet us in these spaces, whether we feel him or not.

And that’s how I end this blog. I’m in a hard season. Even in my desperation this morning, it’s not all fixed, and I’m still functioning in muscle memory disciplines because I still don’t “feel him.”