Inside out, I question why. Why am I so flawed? So forgetful? So filled with failure? And where did I get this bent to argue? To prove my point? To make right when I could very well be wrong? When my children forget, fall, mistake or mess up, I always come back to Grace, either in the moment or when I’m done steaming.
But when they argue, I throw my upward hands why. I just cannot understand this bent to argue — even though I myself do it — and I hear the Holy Spirit saying, cease your argument, while I dive in headlong only to come out shaking my head at everybody else but really at myself.
Like salty oil mopped with bread, I need some sweet and tangy grace today. I need someone to make me laugh. I need you to forgive me, to give me a new day to make right. I need to know this one thing so I can breathe: His compassions are new every morning. (Lamentations 2:22-23).
In Him, we have this glorious peace, this delectable joy, this gorgeous gratitude, and when we behold these fruits we are richer than rich.
Yet sometimes I lose all that in the hard cracks of days, the unexpected breaks in sky when thunderbolts dash: I make mistakes and we get feisty and words get fiery and we fire at each other instead of for each other. I got so darn mad recently when my kids fought over a game of tag that I let it all come spurting out — the ways they were wrong and the world is wrong and this is all wrong! — Yet I soon found myself doing the same thing, going around with the one I love. Except that time the Cowboy (my husband) wouldn’t go round with me. He wouldn’t argue. Oh, how I had to walk away and throw my upward hands why?!
The Cowboy keeps repeating the same phrase to himself, to us, to the walls if they would listen: “Winners take responsibility. Losers blame others.”
It’s an uncomfortable truth. I am wrong when I blame, point fingers, tear down. I am right when I look at myself and see how I can use words to build others up. “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” (Proverbs 14:1). Don’t you just love when Jesus points out the fool in you?
U R flawed, but I love you anyway, I think to myself as I see my kids’ hurting eyes and swollen tears frustrated. U R flawed but I love you anyway, I hear when it’s all said and done, the voice of God a whisper of ridiculous grace … his voice a mystery in the agony.
We gotta know we’re flawed, to the bone, and yet not at all, because God loves us anyway.
You may be forgetful or clumsy or hormonal (don’t you love when people blame it on your hormones?); you may be overreacting, or old, or too sensitive and sore or hard right and fueled to prove it — but we have this God who says, I cover you.
“Love covers over a multitude of sins.” (Proverbs 10:12, 1 Peter 4:8)
That’s His way of saying, Hey, I Love U Anyway.
I am so grateful.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
At the age of 18, I was recovering from an eating disorder, cutting, and suicide when I read Jennifer Strickland’s book Girl Perfect and it changed my life. At the age of 33, as I travel the world reaching youth for the gospel, this is the only book I recommend to girls who are struggling. The Lord has truly anointed Jennifer’s words through her story, not only to address the struggles of today’s generation of girls, but also to walk them through the healing necessary for victory.
Jennifer is a captivating speaker. She keeps the listener hanging in wonder of what’s coming next! Her presentation is not only absorbing, it reveals the truth of God’s power to heal a wounded spirit.
Barbara Brown, Former Stonecroft Ministries Regional Representative, San Diego, CA
“The ‘P’ word [perfection] may be the heaviest burden women bear. All the misguided things we do to attain it can keep us away from what we need most – the unconditional love of God the Father. The Girl Perfect Study Guide gives you a map to the wholeness you were created for.”
Nancy Ortberg, author and former teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church
“The Girl Perfect Study Guide shatters the lies girls and women believe and points to the ultimate truth, which really does set us free. I am confident that this study will help thousands discover a beauty, purpose, and worth that truly lasts. Thank you Jen for exposing the ‘perfect life’ and inviting girls to experience God’s ‘perfect love.'”
Allie Marie Smith
Allie Marie Smith, Founder of Wonderfully Made
One of the best testaments to what Jennifer is doing for the young girls and women of today is a comment from my eleven-year-old granddaughter: “Grammy, I want to read this book and hear her again. She’s good and I learned a lot.” This is exactly what I experienced from a grown-up perspective when I was introduced to Jennifer Strickland’s amazing story. Read it and see if you don’t get the real story from an icon model and a powerful speaker of truth.”