on perfection and pursuit.

When I was little, I was absolutely obsessed with Disney princesses.

I loved the beauty of the princesses and how, for the most part, they never tried to be anything that they weren’t. They loved boldly in the face of the uncomfortable. I loved how their stories weren’t smooth and easy going. My favorite parts of these movies were the chase parts, when the princes had to prove their love, had to fight for them. I loved the moments of raw honesty when they put themselves on the line, both emotionally and physically. I loved the way that the princes pursued their princesses, the ways that they seriously died to themselves.

I watched these movies over and over and over again. I played the stories out with my Barbies and with my friends. I dreamed of Prince Charming and wrote my own stories about a reckless kind of true love. I would actually even pray that I wouldn’t have an “easy” relationship but that there would be dragons and dungeons and distress.

Now, as a freshman in college, I’m like JESUS NO NO NO I DID NOT MEAN THAT. Is there a way to invalidate prayer? I want it easy, I want to enter into a relationship 100% perfect, not lacking in any way. I don’t want to bring any baggage into a relationship, I don’t want to have any wounds or scars.

Basically, I want to meet some perfect, Jesus-obsessed guy who I date for a year or so and then get married to. No arguments, no secrets, no communication problems. Just a bunch of really cute hand-holding dates where we always perfectly understand each other. There is nothing to work at because everything is already perfect. Everything is clean and happy and beautiful and, more than anything, safe.

So, I sit here, with my perfectly painted toes and a pretty little dress and my ankles crossed, waiting for Prince Charming to show up. And the scars and imperfection? Oh, if I ignore it, if I don’t acknowledge it…it doesn’t exist

Except. It does.

I mentioned I loved the way the princes pursue the princesses. I want to be pursued. I don’t want to settle. There is an incredible amount of excitement in the chase.

Well, that’s all good in theory. But what happens when you meet the super nice Jesus boy who is just the sweetest and kindest and most encouraging but unclear with his intentions? Oh, no big deal. Well, I want to be perfect, and maybe he could be perfect, too.

So you have your perfect little conversations but not too deep because, oh no, can’t be emotionally unvirtuous! We can’t actually talk about how we feel. He seems like he’s scared of messes, and you feel like a mess so better reapply that emotional concealer.

Apparently, you’re intimidating, share too much of your heart, and love too easily. So you tread carefully, fearfully.  You just keep going because perfect Jesus boy and you don’t really talk about how you’re actually feeling. Everything is fine. Superficial. You let yourself get walked all over in the name of perfection and pursuit. Just keep being perfect, just keeping loving because you’re the one with the issues and things will straighten out.

Everything is easy. No hearts are on the line. There’s no need to be honest because nothing is actually wrong. Everything is perfect.

Except. You have no peace.

You’re chasing after God, but you’re slowing down because you’re trying to drag him with you. This is a story I’ve heard, seen, and experienced…and it’s hard. Trying to not be a mess eventually becomes the messiest thing ever.

If this sounds familiar, do not be afraid. Do not be afraid to let go. Do not be afraid to be honest regardless of what reaction you receive. Have confidence in what you feel, in what God has spoken through prayer. The guy (or girl) might not be Gaston, but he’s not the Beast either, you know?

God is so good. He is the God of restoration and not replacement. I feel like God is continually opening my clenched fists and asking me to let go so He can hold my hands. And He never gets tired of it.

Speaking of Jesus. He’s perfect and He pursues me.

Our story is way more dramatic than any Disney movie. In my imperfection, He saved me. He gave Himself for me even when it was plausible that I might never love Him back.

He allowed Himself to be tortured physically and emotionally, to be literally killed for me. When I might never love Him back. He pursued me in the midst of immense imperfection.

I have come to realize that I am PETRIFIED of being in a relationship. I am petrified of being seen and loved by someone in that way. It’s hard enough to be vulnerable with my friends sometimes. I am petrified of hurting someone. I am petrified of hurting myself.

But perfect love casts out fear.

Life is not easy, relationships are not easy. In the perfection of my Savior, I am freed from the illusion of perfection. To me, perfection means not acknowledging any brokenness.

I AM BROKEN. In my brokenness, Jesus is glorified because in my weakness, His power is made perfect.

I thought that having high standards meant that whatever guy or guys I eventually date have to have all of their lives together before entering into a relationship. I have to have my whole life together before letting someone else in.

Lies lies lies.

Who am I to dictate how Jesus should love on me, how He should heal me? What if He wants to use someone else as a vessel of His love to bring me closer to His heart? He does it in my friendships all of the time.

Because of who I am in Jesus, I deserve to be pursued. I deserve to be led in a relationship. I deserve to be in a relationship where intentions are clear, where I am fought for. I deserve honesty. I deserve vulnerability. So do you, friend.

I want to go back to my expectations for love when I was little. I refuse to let Christian boys discourage me from holding out for Godly men. I want to look at deficiency or imperfection and be convicted that now is the time that Jesus is to be glorified.

Brothers and sisters, you are worthy of love. We are not mess-ups, we are children of the King, radically loved by the Son. Wherever you are in life, allow Jesus to pursue you. Let’s keep chasing after His heart with full confidence that He is chasing after ours. Let’s not put limits on how He wants to love us.

You are not a burden, friend. You are worthy of love, you are worthy of being pursued.

Let’s be seen as we are, giving all fear to Him. Let’s be seen and let’s be pursued.

Jesus is Lord. And He’s radically, desperately, and irrationally in love with you.

I’m praying for you.

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2 thoughts on “on perfection and pursuit.”

  1. This is absolutely amazing, Ann Marie! Seriously. So, so amazing and true. I was nodding along; I recognised so much of myself in these words. Our world is so obsessed with relationships, but the most important relationship, the only one that ultimately matters, is with God. “Our story is way more dramatic than any Disney movie.” — I love this line! Aaand, if we put him first, love him most, let him fulfil us, he’ll line the rest up just as he’s planned. Which is the most liberating and comforting truth. I need to remember it. I’ll pray for you to remember it too!

    Liked by 1 person

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