Did we make it? Is it over yet? With each passing Christmas I tend to let out a sigh of both relief and thankfulness all in the same breath. The Christmas season gives me all the feels- the highs and the lows- memories constantly in the making. Moments of joy on the heels of stress and long lists of to-do’s. A striving towards perfection. The melody of Silent Night dancing to the flickering candlelight in a moment that feels holy. Snow gently falling from the sky forming layers upon the frozen ground. The beautiful chaos that is a house full of people and presents and food.
The ebb and flow of life, from cookies to carols to a baby in a manger that set the whole story in motion. The Holiday season can bring out both the good and the bad in me. The good, for obvious reasons, but the bad is often brought on by my own doing.
When I take a step back (out of the twinkle and the excitement of it all), I realize that I am often really hard on myself this time of the year. I could blame social media’s influence or the endless stream of professional level photo Christmas cards that roll in from my friends right on time, but maybe it’s deeper than that. Maybe I am my own worst enemy at times like these and that long list of expectations are of my own accord. Maybe my moments of mini break-downs that tend to happen throughout the holiday season start with something a little deeper- the way I see myself.
As silly as it is and especially in this season, often I feel like I am trying to prove myself, to myself.
Psalm 18:19 says “He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.” God delights in me just as I am. Sometimes I tolerate myself through the holidays and into all the goal-setting that the New Year brings. I assume that God is doing the same. That is not the case.
Scripture says He not only delights in me but He loves me and He sees me (1 John 4:16 & Psalm 139:1). He rejoices over me with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). He bends an ear towards me (Psalm 116:2). I have worth and value in His eyes (Proverbs 31:10)…. And the beautiful truth is, I don’t have to prove myself to anyone, myself included (Galatians 2:20).
When I become a woman who can embrace the truth that God delights in me- when I can pause in my striving and adjust the lens of how I think I should be - an inner peace takes hold. As that inner-peace takes hold I naturally begin to live out that peace realizing that His love and acceptance has been there all along. No more striving or high self-imposed expectations. I’m learning what it is to let go of perfection by embracing His truth about who I am in all things and through every season. I can simply ‘be’ me, and along the way the delight my Father feels for me will sink into my soul and become an outward expression of His love to the world around me.