Sparkling. This word dominates goodness in my soul. My mind rests on such beautiful, such glorious pictures. Saturated sunsets of golden pink, rippling lakes, glittery diamonds and shiny teeth peeking out of pretty smiles. Conjuring negativity inside this word is tough for me. I feel warmth. I see disco balls and dance floors with all my favorite people and all our favorite songs.
This year is new. Shiny in its 7th day of existence. Calendar pages have yet to be crossed off, crumpled or even dog-earred damaged. Sights are high for most. Efforts are valiant and hope is alive. New just does that to people. 2014 is unwritten. It's in the potential of the unknown were sparkle finds its shine. The unknown? Why faith, of course.
Let me get this straight, Meghan. You're telling me that I find my sparkle through faith. Yes. A resounding and absolute YES is my answer. We have moved through the genius of sparkle. It's reflecting light, remember? We know light because of the dark. Without one, the other cannot exist. The idea of gunk & glory is the land we walk on, the air we breathe: our protons colliding. Our past and our present. Earth is the place of both.
Good God trumps it all in the grace He sent. The gift of Jesus. The spirit of His fervor for our lives manifests in our hearts and moves through our hands. We all have the opportunity to hush hate; the dark of our lives is made for this very reason.
I find it most honest and best if I talk to you about me. About my whereabouts in this walk. For I can account only for my story. Intentionally, my hope is that my story helps to better define this series of shine. You see, perfectionism runs in my veins. And if you happen to know or be akin to that kind of blood flow, you understand then that faith does not come easy. For perfectionists control. They pursue. They pile on. More mandates. More mountains to climb. They plan. Overly & in obtuse fashion. They decide what is pristine and without flaw. And faith? Well, faith wants none of that. It could care less what you deem worthy. It wants nothing on your calendar. It considers your standards void and of no value too.
I knew early on I was a perfectionist. By 4 years old, I was making my own bed complete with hospital corners and strategic assigned order placement of my stuffed animals on top. I slept without moving so as not to crumple the covers. And yet, each morning I stripped the entire bed only to make it from scratch to ensure excellence. To this day, I cannot write something without erasing at least one word at least 3 times as I fixate on its the letter placement to the paper or the curl to my cursive. I received 13 years of perfect attendance in my K-12 academic stint for goodness sake. Geez, let's just sit on that for a spell. To quote Jimmy Fallon's skit with Michael Strahan: "Ew."
I lean hard and heavy on perfection. Fixation is second nature to me. It was. It is.
And life has a way of happening. Kinks. Curls. Twists. Setbacks. Rock bottoms too. People you love die suddenly. To a perfectionist, these wreck you. All of you. You bare down harder on the hope of control. You mandate that you will micro-manage your way back to the pristine picture wallpapered in the background of your brain that only you can see.
And the perfectionist is relentless in the pursuit of victory. The irony of it all is that perfectionists typically know. Know what you ask? They possess a sense about them that somehow just knows their plan of flawless is absolutely psycho. Cray-cray to the bone even. Yet, we somehow snowplow through and tell ourselves that the unattainable is truly in our reach. Cray-cray for certain.
My dark? I have written about. Spe-lunk around this site a bit and you'll find it. Transparency has been one of the biggest weapons in my warrior box of waning the image of me who-will-never-make-a-mistake. And as one of the best perfectionists I know, life's blows still rock my little blemish-less-wanna-be world. I hate the hiccups. I loathe the loitering of life for growing's sake.
The crystal clear me wants clean with no streaks. No slowdowns and no slip ups. It is through many trials, many life happenings that God's light has shown purpose in these inadequates of my twisted immaculate.
For the land I walk on & the air I breathe is meant for earthly. Dirty soil rich with the nutrients of a healthy me, I walk breathing polluted air. This contaminated walk is mine. Mine and meant to seize the sour and soak in the sullen of myself and my surroundings. And through Him, through His sponge like grace & glory, I can ring out good. Better even. Glowing I am when I reflect His light.
It's the battle of grit and giving up. Releasing the hell-bent hold and grabbing onto His golden. Each & everyday. Each hour. Each minute. Each breath. That's my faith. It millisecond-to-millisecond somedays even. It's whatever it takes to grow outside of this contraption of me and become more for Him.
Faith's the unknown. It's the unseen and the hard to understand. It's not to the touch and never to the equation equal. Faith is in the remainders. It's in the feeling and the fire of hope. It's breaking the walls of unwanted and fighting fixation with all your soul too. Faith is the way we shine out and glow within. It's out of our hands and everything invested in our hearts.
Faith is our guide. Once tethered to it, faith takes us through. It leads us around the twists and through the quagmired corners. It heaves us up the hills and holds us tightly as we slide sweetly and soar in success. Faith filters our fears and fosters our hope. It is our fight. Kicking and screaming against the ugly in us. Faith is the potential of the unknown. And faith is where sparkle finds its shine.
2014. Unwritten. Fresh calendars. New goals. A time to hunker down and hole up with hope. This hope is in nothing more than finding faith on your dance floor. He's there. Right under the sparkling disco ball. With all your favorite people and all your favorite songs. They're waiting. For you. For me too. To get out there and dance. And, let faith's music be your guide.