In a perfect world.

In a perfect world, I would not have overslept this morning, rolling out of bed in a panicked frenzy to get dressed as my concerned mom (my son’s caretaker for the day) came inside through the garage door, calling helllloooo y’all, realizing from the dark rooms that we must still be in bed.

In a perfect world, I’d not be exhausted. There wouldn’t be a stack of work beside me nor would there be this annoying stain on my dress. I wouldn’t forget to take my medicine to control my out-of-control reproductive system. Heck, I wouldn’t even need it. I wouldn’t be impatient with my teenage daughter, nor the guy driving 20 mph on the moped in front of me while I’m running late. I wouldn’t mutter words I shouldn’t when my hands are full with a diaper bag, computer bag, lunch box, car seat, plus almost-cold coffee, and then I drop my bag or misplace my keys.

In a perfect world, I’d do all the things. I’d do them allllll. I’d volunteer, donate, give, serve, and go, and time would never be an issue. I’d look fabulous, feel fabulous, and do fabulous things. I wouldn’t be struggling to balance teaching, mothering, and writing and feel like I am doing a lackluster job on all three fronts.

In a perfect world, I’d write something relatable, thought-provoking, and stirring everyday, dazzling readers with my prose. I’d make money from my desk, and continue to teach just because I really love middle schoolers, not because we have bills to pay, and somehow, I’d still have time to cuddle and care for my perfect little boy all the time, making sure he learned sign language, had plenty of tummy time, and did all the extra things to get him ahead in his growth and development. I’m still determined he’s going to have nothing but homemade organic baby food.

I’d have time to be the best advocate, and I’d be the best friend who never forgets to text back. I’d never be late on deadlines, and I would always remember to write thank you notes. I wouldn’t feel like I live life on two wheels.

In a perfect world, my perfect daughter would still be here.
Her perfect little heart would not have been so imperfect, and her heart defect wouldn’t have robbed her of a life spent in my arms, covered in my kisses. In a perfect world, I’d look in my son’s eyes and not feel the pain of missing her, wondering what it would be like if they co-existed, if I could hear her giggle in the next room while I rock him to sleep.  I wouldn’t be living a life where debilitating grief and extreme joy co-exist and wind, grow, and intertwine like honeysuckle vines in the summer.

But then He speaks.

If the world were perfect, my children wouldn’t even have been mine to begin with. They might not even exist. They exist because of imperfection, because of struggles, because life happens in ways we don’t plan or anticipate. No adoption comes without heartbreak.
If the world were perfect, I wouldn’t stumble down to my knees where I find myself in worship to the only One who can make me perfect.
If the world were perfect, I wouldn’t have failures to lay at His feet.
If the world were perfect, I wouldn’t need Christ. I wouldn’t need grace, and I wouldn’t need to show it.

These frustrations, failures, feelings of falling short daily throw me into worship. My struggles become my victories, testaments of His glory, shouts of His praise. Each day, when you pass me at work, run into me at church, or find me at the stove cooking supper, my brain is in this cycle – identifying my weaknesses, beating myself up for the things I’ve not done or not done well enough, hearing Him, falling on face, and then tossing up my hands in praise.

I’m so grateful I don’t have to live up the world’s standards, or even my own standards. I’m so grateful I don’t live in a perfect world.

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