Looking back, it’s easy to see. Perfection was the game. Love was the prize.
I did everything I could to obtain it. I was desperate to be perfect.
I studied day and night. Nothing less than a 4.0. I set the curve on every test. I wrote perfect papers. If the teacher asked a question, I knew the answer.
I would excel and people would approve. They would sit close to me for a chance glimpse at my paper or fight to be in my group for a project. The praise felt good and the lie sunk deeper into my heart.
Lie #1~ if you are smart enough, someone will love you.
I went off to college and the stakes got higher. “Friends” flocked to the biology lab for late night study sessions. I had a study date at least once a week.
I began to believe that this was the answer. I worked harder and got more degrees. It began to drive me. I started to thrive on excellence and perfection.
Then one day it wasn’t enough. I had to be more.
Somewhere between graduation and a broken heart, I switched lies.
Lie #2~ if you are thin enough, someone will love you.
In less than 4 months I dropped 75 lbs. I became obsessed with dressing well and the number on the scale.
The attention was a fatal cocktail. There was a formula to be followed and the results seemed obvious.
If I could be smart enough or thin enough, I would be loved.
I gave everything I had in the name of love. I had finally found it.
Then one day it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t be enough. I couldn’t be perfect. I couldn’t be all that he wanted.
The perfect little life that I had built came crashing down.
He left anyway.
In the tears and brokenness, I plea, isn’t there anyone who will love me for who I am? How could I be this horrible? What do I have to do to earn love?
I find that I don’t even know who I am. Everything I know about myself is fake. It’s what I thought I had to be. The world proved it true.
In the darkness I find that love is none of the things I made of it. I see for the first time a God who has always been there, waiting for me to notice.
I find that while I may never be enough for this world, I am already enough for my savior. He absolutely adores me. He loves that I try hard. He loves that I fail without Him. He loves that I MUST have the bed made everyday. He loves that I crave root beer when stress mounts high. He loves my laugh, my smile, and he is pleased with me.
He unashamedly loves me. I don’t have to do anything to earn it. He freely gives it.
He has changed my motivation. I no longer do things in an effort to be loved, but I strive to be better because I am loved.
I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. Jeremiah 31:3
What lies have you believed about love? How has God proven his love for you?