May 26, 2009

The "P" Word

I know the title of this post can make your imagination go wild since there are several not-so-nice words out there that are a "P" word.  The one I'm talking about?  


I use this word almost as flippantly as I tend to use "love" and "hate".  All three are words pack an emotional punch, and yet I toss them around like a verbal frisbee.  The problem is that the word Perfect has haunted me most of my adult life and has me almost in tears as I type.

My idea of Perfect was Scot never losing his job.  He did, so my next idea of Perfect was him getting a job before school was out so he could work, and I could play with the kids.  My idea of Perfect was a new job before our meager severance package ran out so we would actually benefit from this entire situation.  

Last week I extended my time at the hospital through at least the month of June and let go of a volunteer job that I dearly love.  Last week I withdrew money from the "don't touch under any circumstances" account.  Today, Scot got word that the job we felt very confident about is deciding not to fill the position after all.  A decidedly Imperfect situation.

Our current struggle is not the only time in my life that my idea of perfection has run head-on into reality.  When I married Scot almost 14 years ago, I was a mess.  I was running from God, trying to find security in Scot alone.  I had the idea of what a Perfect marriage should look like and when ours did not live up to that image, I was a disaster waiting to happen.  Talk about giving satan a foothold.......all of a sudden my life was consumed with wanting a Perfect marriage, a Perfect home, having children at the Perfect time.  I was looking to everything around me to define what my Perfect life should look like.

That was the exact time I fell headlong into bulimia.  Just writing that sentence makes me cringe because it is flat out embarrassing.  I wasn't 13, 14, or 18......I was a married 24 year old with a seemingly Perfect life.  I had ample opportunity because Scot traveled a lot even back then.  It was like my drug......a huge rush in the midst of the act, with an incredible low to follow.  I am sad to say that this continued off and on until just last year.  For over 12 years I let my frustration with not being Perfect feed into a stronghold that held me in its clutches.  

Last Spring, I finally had enough.  I felt so strongly that there were things God wanted to do with my life and I was holding myself back.

My fight with the idea of Perfect kept me from being fully useful to the one that is Perfect.

There was a lot of prayer, ugly crying, studying God's Word and finally letting go that enables me today to say that I am no longer living in the pit called bulimia.  I have only recently been more open about this because I didn't want the label of being "the eating disorder" girl.  But you know what?  I did that to myself.  This story deserves telling because I am not the one that delivered myself.  God did.  God did!!!  He deserves every single ounce of the glory for that.

Yes, I am struggling today with a very Imperfect situation.  I am emotional, I am trying very hard to be strong, and trying to be authentic all at the same time.  But I am so incredibly thankful that I serve a Perfect God who doesn't work out of the same lexicon that I do.  My Imperfect life is Perfect to God only because I am leaning wholeheartedly on Him.  

That is what He most desires and I will continue to praise His name.


  1. Keri, I understand completely. Or, at least, I think I do. After having Katie I struggled with what was finally termed as exercise anorexia. I would severely restrict calories, exercise, and if I thought I had eaten "too much" I would go exercise some more in hopes of working it off. In less than 6 months, I had gone from a healthy 155 lbs (I'm 5'11") to a scary 132 lbs. After seeing everybody's concern and worried looks, I was able to put the weight back on, but I still struggle daily with thoughts of "being able to eat more because I ran this morning." And if I don't workout, I feel like I need to eat sparingly. I don't, mind you, but I still have the panic-y feeling when I can't workout. It is a daily choice to eat to fuel my body, and exercise only for the health benefits not to "burn calories." I have been praying that God would place in my head everyday the reality that I am perfectly and wonderfully made...and in His own image. I don't want to insult His beautiful creation by criticizing myself or saying things to myself that I wouldn't say to my best friend. He made me perfect, just the way He wanted to...and I pray that He helps me to honor that every day. God bless you! ((hugs))

  2. Keri, first of all, thanks for being brave enough to share this. Perfection is a seed planted in us at such an early age, and it goes hand in hand with Control. Life is complex -- we're taught to "stay in control", "have everything under control", "control yourself" -- and at the same breath, surrender to God and trust fully in His plan. It's hard to be both in control and humbled at the same time.

    We both know the answers, and we know that peace comes from that true surrender. Easier said than done, and I can say that from way too much experience. I am praying that you will feel a surprising comfort in the passenger seat, knowing that your Driver really does know the way and will get you there safely.

    Love you. xoxo

  3. Keri, thanks for being so transparent. So many of us hide behind the false facade that everything is "fine" when it is not. It is refreshing to see you put yourself out there and reveal all you are feeling. I will be praying for you and for God to fill you with a constant peace. It was a difficult beginning to 2009 for us and we struggled wondering many times where it would come from. I will never forget Heath saying to someone on the phone, "I don't even have a business anymore." It is scary especially when you get to the point where the money is disappearing. But God is going to do a miraculous work in you and when you get to the other side, you will praise Him for this storm. God has led us out of the valley for now and I realize how much I fully relied on Him to provide. I couldn't take control of the situation and "fix" it. I had to wake up everyday and know that it was His day. Some days by the end of the day I felt I couldn't do another one like it. I have been reading daily devotions from the book "A Godward Life" by John Piper and one of the devotions I read during this time was a meditation on Matthew 6:34 where it addresses not to worry about tomorrow. The end of the verse says that "Each day has enough trouble of its own." Piper talks about how God gives us the resources for each day and the confidence that He will provide new strength for the next day. He used the example of the manna to the Israelites. God told them to get only what they needed for that day and not to store up. Use God's strength for each day and believe that He will give you new strength tomorrow. For me that was such a fresh perspective. It amazed me how much God spoke straight to me through my struggles. I have never "heard" God so much as I did during those trying moments. Dwell in Him and seek out what He wants you to know and He will be faithful! I am praying for you and appreciate you so much!

  4. Keri,
    You are an amazing woman! Your blog is a huge testiment to all of us who read it. Everytime I read it, I say "Wow!" to myself -- you are my hero! Honestly!! I love your willingness to share your pain, joy and "imperfections". God is using you! I will continue praying for you and your family. Stay strong!! I love you!

  5. Sweet Keri:

    What a wonderful word for me today. The good news is, our God is working out His "perfect" will in us! I praying for you as you wait.


  6. Keri:

    Thank you for a good word for me today. The good news is God is working out His "perfect" will in our life. I'm praying for you.


  7. Keri- thank you for being so brutally honest. As I read this, I felt your pain and the tears overflowed. I don't really have the right words except in knowing that the only thing in our lives that is perfect is Him.

    I have loved getting to know you in this fashion- I would love to meet you in person someday- I would give you a BIG hug!!

    My prayers are for you....


  8. I tried to comment the other days but there were too many emotions & too many words. It was beautifully said and much needed. May God continue to work in us all His good, pleasing and perfect will:) rhonda

  9. Thank you 4 this, Keri. And by the comments, it was undoubtedly the right words at the right time for the right folk. God's so good like that.

  10. Keri - Thank you for being so transparent!! As we all know (that have been there!) - opening up and sharing is part of that healing process! I too, struggled with wanting the "Perfect" life and always feeling that God didn't truly love me because He was allowing so many "Un-perfect" things to enter my life! But thankfully - God is patient and so faithful - even when we're not!! His Plans are NOT our Plans! And I'm so glad. If things had gone the way I planned them - not sure where I would be today.
    Today is mine and my husband's 37th Wedding Anniversary! I tell you this - not for congratulations and a pat on the back! But to tell you that my husband and I just had a long conversation about "life" over the phone. He was on his way to try and collect a very long overdue and quite large check from a client. Being self-employed has lots of downfalls like these! But what we were talking about and even laughing about is we always thought that when the "37th" year of marriage arrived....we would be financially secure and have NO MORE worries! Not so! But at the same time...we were so very careful to re-evaluate the blessings that no amount of money in your checking account can buy. 3 married children that all have very good (not perfect!) marriages. All 3 married children and their spouse are serving God in different capacities. They are all teaching our 8 beautiful grandchildren about God and His Love! And we all love each other. And our marriage is full of love, respect, and devotion to each other and God.
    So I'm writing this book to you to say....Hang in there girlie! The best is yet to come!!! Cause ....God is faithful and His Word Promises to NEVER return void! And even when you celebrate your 37th year of marriage - it will not be Perfect - but very BLESSED!
    Love and miss you!

  11. I am so shaken and moved by this. This was exactly what I needed to read today... the realization and gentle smacks in the face one after the other, in absolute tears. THANK YOU KERI.

    "This story deserves telling because I am not the one that delivered myself.God did."

    These are powerful words. Thank you so much, I'm praying for you and your family...

  12. Keri,
    Liz Jordan mentioned your blogs are great reads, and I have to say (after reading just this one) she is right!

    I just want to thank you for being so transparent. That is a true testimony, and it blesses people more than you know. Thank you.

    You've heard it said before, but really know that God will not give you or your family more than you guys can bear. Know that you will come out on top and ahead once you are passed this trial. Know that this situation will bring even more glory to His name b/c He will once again deliver you.

    God is so real in my life, and I can tell you (though I'm sure you know) that God will never leave your side. And, the things that are important to you (whether big or small) are important to our Father in Heaven.

    Lord, I just thank you for your covering over Keri's family. My God, I ask you to work everything out for their good. I thank You, Lord, b/c your Word says our steps are ordered by You...Father just give this family direction & a solution. I thank you for Keri's husband's job that You have lined up for him.
    I thank You, Lord, b/c we have YOUR FAVOR, and your favor is a shield to the righteous! In Jesus' name...amen!

    Be blessed, blessed, blessed!!


  13. Hi there...I just popped over from Liz Jordan's blog. I only "know" here through KSBJ but I enjoyed her blog and fun personality. Your blog is really nice and I got a lot out of your sweet post. I think we all have this "perfect" plan that we want God to create but it doesn't work that way does it? My friends sometimes jokingly call me Princess Perfect but I don't like that name because I can NEVER live up to it...however, sweetly in their eyes, I do. I'm glad to have found your blog and I hope God's wonderful plan for the next stage in your life is revealed soon. PS: Your boys are precious!

  14. Hi!

    Im from a little country in south america called Paraguay! So, from all over the world, thanks... im just 20, but it is how i "hoppe" my life to be... But now i know, i cant plan anything, just relay on God...

    Thanks Keri, like Liz said: "This was exactly what i needed to read today".

  15. Oh my gosh - I so want to meet you! We could totally be BFF. I, too, struggled with bulimia (majorly) for 8 years....until finally, four years ago when I was 27, I went to treatment at a beautiful, Christ-centered facility called Remuda Ranch.
    Jesus is the ONLY way I am still alive today.
    I would love to chat sometime.
    My blog is

    p.s. I live in Houston!



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