For the last few weeks I have been lost. Like I’ve been walking around in a fog. I get this way sometimes because I can’t figure out what I’m doing, where I belong or how I fit into life anymore. When your life takes such an abrupt turn you left standing in the street without any directions. You feel lost and all alone. Today, someone put things into perspective for me.
I have a great boss. No kidding! I am blessed to have a boss that cares about me and interested in my career and my life. Her and I were having a meeting that we do each week to go over the things we need to get done. I have my part to do and she has her part to do. She is a VERY good reader of people. We have been working on a workshop that she does each year and getting our materials together for print. One of the items that had to be sent for printing were some Powerpoint Presentations. These needed to be copied into handouts so the materials could be distributed to all the attendees. In sending the presentation to reproduction, I made a mistake and requested them in workbook form. That was 40 workbooks of 180 slides that were done incorrectly. I was very angry with myself.
You see, I am a perfectionist with my work. (Not so much with housework though!) So immediately, I started beating myself up over the mistake. This is the conversation in my mind. “You’re so stupid!” “She asked you to do one simple thing and you can’t get that right!” ” Now your next employee evaluation will be terrible.” And so on. So as our conversation kept going, I relayed to her how I felt. She made one statement to me that was like one of those light bulb moments. She said my thinking was like that because I felt I didn’t measure up!
Measuring up! For the first 19 years of my life, before I was married, I never had any problems believing I could do anything. I had good parents and they never discouraged anything I might try to do. They might caution me but never discouraged me. I don’t know if that was because I was stubborn as a mule and they just didn’t want to argue with me or what. But nevertheless, they never discouraged me.
Then I married.
I learned very quickly that I was the one that had problems. From day one of my marriage I started on this ruler of measurement. The family that I had married into were keepers of the ruler. They worked in the church which presents an whole other set of measurements. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a Christian and love God with all my heart but that doesn’t mean that ALL Christians don’t have their own set of issues. Sometimes they’re aware of their issues sometimes they’re not as was the people I married.
So my journey began on this measurement road. The only problem is that I didn’t know the directions to travel. I didn’t know the measurements I was to follow. For 20 years, I followed this path never knowing what I was supposed to do. This things I though a wife and mother did were the wrong measurement. The things I did as an Army wife were the wrong measure. So I kept trying. I tried to keep the best house I could but that was not right. I tried to cook the best meals I could but that was not right. I tried to be the best Christian I could but that was not right. I never said the right things, did the right things or was never the right size.
So the end of my marriage came and even in that moment of getting the divorce my soon to be ex husband, who was and is currently incarcerated, sends the judge a letter to try and stop the divorce. In that moment I’m still trying to figure out what the correct measure is.
Fast forward to this week in my bosses office when the light bulb moment happened. All of a sudden I realized that in the past 11 years, well really for the past 31 years, I have been working to measure up to some invisible ruler that doesn’t exist. I have been trying to measure up correctly to being a mother. I have been trying to measure up correctly to being a grandmother. I have been trying to measure up correctly at work.
This is what I’ve been doing. Trying to measure up to something that is not real. My daughter writes a blog and talks alot about God’s grace and mercy. The grace of God that takes care of the measurement part because there is nothing that I could have ever done or nothing I can ever do to measure up to anything in this life or in my Christian walk without the grace of God.
I think I’ll throw away my ruler.