By Sarah Damm
Perfectionism is a struggle that comes in all shapes and sizes. It often accuses us of being less than and hinders us from being true to the unique creations God made us to be. And as a result, we put on masks, cover up flaws, and slowly and steadily forget who we truly are.
One thing perfection is not, however: It is not from God.
And He showed that to me quite clearly one day on the beach of Hilton Head Island, SC.
It was the last day of my family’s vacation. Over the past several days, we fell in love with the sun, sand, and waves. We were savoring our last few hours, before the duties of packing for our 20-plus-hour drive home called us inside.
All of us were in the ocean. Some of my kids were tossing a football with my husband. Others were riding the waves on boogie boards. My youngest was burying his legs with wet sand and laughing hysterically as it instantly slipped off when he ran into the water.
I was in the middle of it all—delighted, content, at peace. With my arms and legs moving underwater to keep afloat, I bent my neck back so that my face was directly in the sun. The sound of the waves, the softness of the breeze, the coolness of the water, and the swirl of seaside colors encompassed me. Everything else dissolved.
And in that moment, God’s love and delight washed over me like a gentle, giant wave. And He gave me the gift of recognizing what it feels like to truly be me.
While floating around in the ocean, an activity that could be considered frivolous or luxurious, I knew without a doubt that I was right where I was supposed to be. I wasn’t meant to be getting a jump-start on packing. I wasn’t meant to be worried about what my stretched out mom body looked like in a swimsuit. I wasn’t meant to be second-guessing myself about the souvenir sweatshirt I purchased that morning. I was simply meant to be floating in God’s ocean of love.
In fact, doubts, fears, or worries didn’t even enter my mind.
What did enter my mind and heart that afternoon at the beach was a profound reality that God saw me. He saw me being present to the moment He gave me, being content and peaceful within His creation. And He was delighted.
They say that vacation is an escape from the daily grind. But after my encounter with God on the beach, as I was surrounded by my family, I would beg to differ.
My time on Hilton Head Island was more real than everyday life. It stripped away my masks, revealed my flaws, and slowly and steadily reminded me of who I really am in the image and likeness of God …. And that I am at peace with her.
As one more breeze brushed over my face, it was as if God was whispering, “Yes, there she is. The girl I created. I have missed seeing her.”
Basking in all things beach, it felt so incredibly good to be me and to be loved by Him.
About the Author:
Sarah Damm is a Catholic wife and mother of six children, living in Minnesota. She spends her days running errands, helping with homework, and keeping up with laundry and the family schedule. Sarah loves her faith, coffee, and good books. You can find out more about her and her writing at sarahdamm.com.