By Jess Robichaud
Letting go of the lies we believe is an important process. We all have lies we believe that are keeping us from God’s best. As we let them go, we can embrace the life he wants us to live.
The Lies I Believed
Hi there. I’m Jess and I am a recovering perfectionist. I’m a person who wants to be superwoman. I want to be able to do ALL the things and do them really well.
Not too long ago, I started a new job as a Marriage and Family Therapist intern. As an intern, I’m supposed to be learning and growing as a therapist, but I was so focused on being perfect right away.
There may have been good things that I did, but I would pick apart even the tiniest thing I did wrong…and I would ruminate. On my drive home, before I fell asleep, while brushing my teeth, while cooking dinner…I would ruminate. I would think of all the ways I could have said or handled something differently.
In the midst of me starting this new job and putting tons of pressure on myself there, I also put pressure on myself to…
- make home-cooked meals
- get all the laundry done
- do the dishes
- keep a clean house
- go to church
- be part of multiple Bible studies
- mentor someone
- meet with friends
- be part of the worship team
- be on the lookout for people that God may want me to minister to (I am an enneagram 2, after all!)
I do want to add here that my husband has been amazing and is always willing to help, but I still put pressure on myself to take care of everything. Can you relate?
Let me tell you, WHEN (not if) I dropped the ball…
- I forgot something
- I didn’t get the bathroom cleaned right away
- I only had enough energy to make peanut butter sandwiches for dinner
- I didn’t say the exact right thing to a client
…my head would spin with negative thoughts and my anxiety would flare.
Why couldn’t I just be…perfect?
Without knowing it, I had become caught up in a web of lies.
But what are the lies that contribute to a mentality of perfectionism?
Lie #1 – You have to say yes to everything.
Truth: Setting boundaries and saying “no” is good… It’s even healthy.
This can be such a hard one to fully embrace. The honest truth is that if we say yes to everything, we won’t be able to do our best at anything. By setting boundaries and being intentional with our “yes”, we can give without resentment and truly do our best.
Lie #2 – Everyone needs to be happy with your boundaries.
Truth: It’s okay if someone is disappointed by your boundaries.
There are many examples in the gospels of Jesus setting boundaries to allow for self-care. He didn’t say yes to every person or give them exactly what they wanted.
Just know that you are responsible to do what God has asked of you and that’s it. God’s opinion is what matters.
Lie #3 – You have to be perfect.
Truth: You don’t have to be perfect and it’s okay to make mistakes.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)
God doesn’t expect or need us to be perfect. Because he is perfect, we don’t have to be. All he expects is that we have a humble heart and that we are willing to be shaped.
Mistakes are not failures. They’re an opportunity to grow and for his glory to shine.
Lie #4 – You’re weak if you need help.
Truth: In asking for help, we get to experience community the way God intended it.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 (ESV)
Do you struggle with asking for help? I sure do.
But you know what I’ve found? There is beauty in the body of Christ coming together to help one another. Ask and allow your husband to help. Ask someone to watch your kiddos to give you a break. Go out for coffee with a friend and allow her to help you process through what you’re feeling.
Choose to engage with others and with Jesus, rather than isolating.
Lie #5- It’s not okay to take a break and rest.
Truth: Rest rejuvenates our souls, giving us energy and direction.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (ESV)
Even Jesus took breaks and rested. And if he allowed himself that rest, we certainly can.
You know what’s interesting about these lies? They all come from a place of self-sufficiency. To some extent, there’s idolatry in each of these lies…that WE are enough to handle our circumstances and that it’s up to us to figure it out.
And this is EXACTLY where the enemy wants us. If we believe that WE need to figure life out on our own and that we’re failures if we can’t, then he has us right where he wants us–dependent on ourselves with our focus shifted away from our heavenly Father.
It’s time to shift our perspective and combat these lies with God’s truth.
Wife Step: Which lie do you struggle with the most, and what truth can you replace it with today?
Jess is passionate about helping couples have an awesome marriage built on the foundation of Christ. Out of their own marriage struggles, Jess and her husband, Adam, founded Radiant Marriage to challenge and encourage couples towards deep levels of intimacy with each other and with the Lord. Jess is also a marriage and family therapist intern where she walks with couples through trauma to bring healing. Together with her husband, their main goal is to radiate the love of Christ and bring hope to couples in the midst of difficulty.
Do you want to intentionally grow your faith and marriage? If so, we’ve created the A Wife Like Me Collective for you! We’re waiting for you!