This particular Bible study began in Billie’s home. She admitted she was courageously extending herself by having people in. Her previous ‘comfort zone’ was serenity and quietness ~ alone with no one to invade her space. She took a deep breath, passionately cleaned her house, and opened the door to the group of us women … trusting the Lord that this was meant for her growth.

The fellowship around the Word of God was wonderful! We learned from Him, while we learned that we all had normal struggles as young mothers. Sitting at her feet was her small terrier dog who had suffered from seizures for years. She apologized for the disruption; however, as he was about to suffer another, we prayed and commanded the seizures to leave. He was delivered from this malady and never had another one for the rest of his life. Billie began to see some of the benefits of breaking out of the solitude and inviting others into her space.

We laughed together. We cried together. Honesty was the thread woven among us that day as we gained trust in one another. So honest was my friend that, at the end of that first Bible study day, she placed her hands on her hips, and with elevated voice said: “It’s not fair! It’s just NOT fair!”

We inquired as to what was not fair. Laughing at herself, she said, “I worked my fingers to the bone cleaning house, scrubbing down walls, windows and blinds; disinfecting the bathrooms, dusting every inch of my house, and the only rooms you ladies have been in have been my den and one bathroom!” She realized how often she’d let herself be cheated of life’s joys.

Lesson learned: It was not nearly as difficult to prepare her heart and home as she had made it. She had over-prepared and over-thought it. We promised we didn’t expect her home to pass a ‘white-glove’ inspection!!

Perfectionism remains a barrier to so many relationships. Our minds dictate that we are not perfect enough, don’t have a perfect home, might seem imperfect in some way, while comparing ourselves with others…so we close up and close out those who otherwise might bring healing to our souls.

“Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God’s message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren’t smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it?” [Galatians 3:2-4 The Message]

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