Perfect, not me

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Woman walking cross country and trail in autumn forest

By Andrea Perdue

My grandmother had a “need to be perfect” and I believe it was passed down to me. So, why do I honor her life? That’s a great question.

The heart deeply hidden embodied a passion; a passion to do the right thing, to be right. How do I know? I am much like her. There have been times my need to do the right thing was not executed properly and I, too, have spread pain. I never meant to hurt others, but my pain spoke louder than my heart. Like Grandmother, I embraced the pain rather than the healing Jesus so graciously offers.

I choose to remember: On one of only a few overnight visits with my paternal grandparents I overheard Grandmother ask Pop, “Do you think she’s saved? Do you think its okay she sometimes goes to churches other than Methodists? Do you think she’s going to be okay?”

Pop gently responded, “She’ll be fine.”

In recent years, I’ve found healing from “the need to be perfect.” The choice was mine all along. However, it took an incredibly loving, gentle, and kind husband and countless others who never gave up on me to lead me back to the Cross. You see, as Jesus hung on the Cross he paid the price for both mine and Grandmothers sins. He extended forgiveness and grace beyond human comprehension to each of us. His grace doesn’t make sense by worldly standards. I accepted Jesus as my savior as a young child, but I did not begin finding freedom and healing through his grace until my late thirties and early forties.

I no longer wear a badge of pain with ragged and sharp edges, inflicting wounds on anyone who gets too close. Now, I wear a heart full of JESUS extending love and grace in every opportunity God places before me.

I’m not the perfect wife, mother, grandmother, friend or anything else. However, I am free to be the person God created me to be and most days I’m still trying to figure out whom that person really is and what she looks like wearing Jesus. It’s a journey and it will not be complete until I crawl into the arms of Jesus on the last day of my earthly life.

Grandmother’s salvation is as secure as mine. Her life and her story is a great reminder of God’s grace, love, and forgiveness when we mess up. No matter how many times we mess up or how badly, God still loves us.

Romans 7:14-25 The Message “14-16 I can anticipate the response that is coming: “I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?” Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.

17-20 But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

21-23 It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

24 I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?

25 The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.”

So, when the war wages within you, remember Jesus acted to set things right for us. We do not have to embrace the pain any longer. We can cling to our Savior, Jesus Christ.

phone pics 121Andrea Perdue. I’m a wife, mom to a blended family, nana, and friend who embraces life seeking to become the person God created me to be. My days are full, but there is always time for writing, reading, and sharing Jesus grace and love with others. It’s my prayer God will use me in the craziness of each day. Please connect with Andre at Arise2Write or on


18 Responses to Perfect, not me

  1. I’m so glad you found healing from the need to be perfect. Jesus loves us just as we are and He alone transforms us into His image. I love that you a forgiving person and love your grandmother. And one day in heaven you will be reunited as you both reflect your Savior.

    This post is much needed for many. Although I’m not a perfectionist, I have many other areas of my life that need purification by my Lord. My struggle is more in the area of fearing change and getting stuck. 🙂

    I appreciate your openness and honesty in sharing your story. I know that you will help others by opening your heart. You are a kind and loving person from every encounter I’ve had with you online Andrea.

    Blessings and love,

  2. Debbie:

    Thank you so much Debbie. I am thankful God has worked in and through my heart healing me from those perfectionist ways. Living that way was miserable for me and all those around me. Now, to work on many other areas that need purification.

    I am blessed to have gotten to know you over the years on line. You have been an encouragement to me every step of the way.

    Love, hugs, and prayers,

    • Marilyn: May God meet you in the place where you feel that need to be perfect as He heals and transforms your heart. May you find freedom and enjoy the life He created you to enjoy.
      Blessings and prayers, andrea

  3. “I no longer wear a badge of pain with ragged and sharp edges, inflicting wounds on anyone who gets too close. Now, I wear a heart full of JESUS extending love and grace in every opportunity God places before me.” – What beautiful words, Andrea. I can definitely identify with what you shared. It has been a similar journey of healing for me. Abba Father is continuing to fill your life with that healing touch for others!

    • Lidia:
      I praise GOD for His healing touch in your life. You/Your life has been an example of God’s love, grace, and mercy to me. I am forever thankful He has given me the opportunity to get to know you through the blog/internet. Otherwise, our lives would have likely never crossed. God bless you for always being an encourager in my life.
      Love you,

  4. Your story is much like mine Andrea. Perfection was a way of life growing up. Behave, or pay the price for my actions was heard a lot. In my heart I took that to mean I had to be perfect in everything. Truth is, we are human, and can only truly give our hurts and hearts to Jesus for healing and grace. I have made a lot of mistakes in life, but since I gave my heart to Him for cleansing life has become a true gift of joyful living and grace. We have a sin nature for life, however we can know forgiveness and blessings once we can accept the reality of Gods love! Your Sister in Christ, Renee’

    • Amen, Renee! I’m thankful you found the freedom to be the person God created you to be. It makes love, ministry, and friendships so much easier when we look at things through the eyes of Jesus.
      Love you,

  5. I definitely relate. That whole perfectionism thing nearly did me in during the decades of my 20s & 30s, but I’m so grateful, like you, that the Lord keep working IN me in order to work THROUGH me. His work (always perfect) was an amazing trade for my own (never measured up). I love the encouragement of this post, Andrea!

  6. Kathleen:

    Like you, my own efforts will “never measure up,” so, the trade was the essence of “perfect” and all about JESUS, rather than all about andrea! “Nearly killed you;” Oh, how I can relate!

    Love, hugs, and prayers,

  7. Hi Andrea! That whole perfection thing has really put me in tailspins, let me tell you. I think it was my parents who expected the best from us, and maybe I took that a little too much to heart.
    I love the way you learned from your Grandmother/Grandfather exchange, although at the time it must have been confusing to hear. We are not perfect. We will never be perfect. We do what we do, and pray that Jesus will take over and make sure no one is left alone and hurting. That’s what he does best!

    But I need that reminder, and I thank you for your timely post.
    Happy Weekend!

  8. WOW! Wow, wow. Amen Andrea! What a way to make a beautiful picture of God’s grace for us.

    Your quote:
    So, when the war wages within you, remember Jesus acted to set things right for us. We do not have to embrace the pain any longer. We can cling to our Savior, Jesus Christ.

    I will remember this. Thank you!

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