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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.
Andrea 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 faceook.com./andrea.perdue