The year was 1988. We’d made our big move to Taiwan – lock, stock and a barrel with two monkeys.
Our stateside friends thought we had done something heroic and yet I knew in my heart that something was very wrong.
The adjustment hadn’t gone as well as I’d expected and four-year-old Hannah had begun to act out in ways very uncharacteristic to her calm spirit. Yesterday, I’d caught her begging candy from people in the office complex next door and today, I’d drug her off her perch from which she’d been tossing rocks at passing cars. Once again, she was sitting in her room while I tried to figure out what to do next.
The thing that bothered me most was my reaction to all of this. I was very upset at her and for the first time ever, I didn’t have that motherly feeling of love guiding my discipline.
“She’s only four and I don’t think I love her right now!” I sobbed.
You see, I had planned to be the perfect foreigner – and I was pretty sure this nasty emotion had just spoiled the whole thing.
In 1988, I had not yet began to discover the truth that perfection is not what you do, but who you are.
When we are easily embarrassed at our actions and reactions, then it’s obvious that we are more concerned with how we look than Who He is.
T. Austin-Sparks sums it up well: “Why be miserable because you cannot find any good in yourself? It means that you are expecting something from yourself. (Instead) take the ground of resurrection… (Give) up all expectation of any good coming out of self.“
Allow His Presence to be your goal, not perfection. Take a deep breath and turn your expectations back towards Him.
You can do it. I believe in you.