We were all hung up on being the “Perfect Daughter(TM).” We all knew what was expected of us. We all knew what would happen if we didn’t live up to those expectations. We were disappointments, failures, sinners, we would go to hell. We made our parents sad, we made our parents cry. They would ask us where they went wrong in having such ungrateful children. Why couldn’t we be better, why couldn’t we be like Sally from church? Did we want to disappoint our parents? Did we want to make them look bad? Didn’t we care about the family and what other people would think?
Perfection came from appearances. As long as we looked and acted perfect around others, they thought of us as perfect. It didn’t matter what was on the inside.
At 12 I started writing a Proverbs 31 devotional, because I needed it, and felt that God wanted me to write one, so I could help other girls. It really was all about helping. I wanted to be good, to be perfect, but more than that I wanted to help other people. I wanted to write a book like the Ludys, I wanted my parents to be proud of me.
If I did all these things, I would have done so much, and they could be proud and they would love me, and I would be good. I would be Christlike, perfect, godly, lovable. That’s all that mattered.
If I could know, and I mean really know, that my parents loved me because of me… but how is that possible? I’m not perfect. I mess up. I’m not this and I’m not that…
Look at me now… a far cry from the visage of perfection I dreamed of not even 6 years ago. My hair is short, I wear jeans, I’m not a Republican, I have a job, I’m getting divorced, I like women, I listen to Lady Gaga, I drink, I swear, I go clubbing, I don’t believe in God, I wear a bikini, I have cleavage, I show skin. The list can go on and on. What good is there in that, let alone perfection?
How does it feel to be a failure? The same as it did then, at 8, at 10, at 12, at 14, at 16, at 21. There was all this that I wanted to do, but I have achieved none of it. I have no happy husband, no children, no quiet home, no plans to homeschool, no staying at home and canning and quilting…
But what I do have is worth far more. I have me. I have a job. I have friends. I have independence. I have the ability to set a goal and reach it. I can say No.
I have a dream.
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