Wendy grabbed a banana from her dining table before she took one last peek at herself in the mirror that hang on the wall. She didn’t feel as good as she thought she looked. “Just a little more blush and lipstick and I might just nail the perfect executive look,” she thought, she unconsciously muttered the words under her breath. She felt a bit panicky at the fact that she was running late and would not beat the morning traffic to get to her presentation on time. The thought of impatient and skeptical clients waiting in her office lounge almost made her miss a step as she rushed out her door and into her car.
After what seemed like an eternity of driving like a maniac, speeding through a red light and attracting some onlookers with screeching tires, Wendy “professionally” burst through the door of the elegant glass building that she shared with another law firm. Another source of her stress, she just couldn’t afford the high rentals anymore. She quickly dismissed the thought as her secretary looked up from her desk and strutted towards her with her usual cup of coffee. She could sense the anxiety and panic that Sara so sleekly tried to hide. She understood why. Mr. Burns was one of their biggest clients who could easily send her consultancy business crashing to the ground if he pulled out.
“Thanks Sara,” she took a sip of her black coffee and winced before swallowing hard, trying her best to keep calm. The coffee tasted a bit stronger than the usual. Was this Sara’s way of letting her know that she would need a stronger dose to get her through that moment? She had no time to contemplate. “How long has he been waiting?
“About half an hour. He has threatened to leave at least twice.”
“Great.” Wendy said in between gritted teeth and straightened her jacket a little more as she walked towards an angry looking Mr. Burns. “Prayers please.”
Sara nodded understandably. She sometimes struggled with drawing the line between how much of Wendy’s life she should be involved with and what she should let pass. Despite the fact that Sara had introduced Wendy to her unshakable faith in Jesus, she was significantly younger and less “experienced” with life. However, she often resisted the urge to literally knock some sense into her older compatriot who seemed to struggle with the “Perfection Reputation”. “PR” as she and her girlfriends often referred to it. Not that she didn’t struggle with it herself, but she knew how to detect it the moment it threatened to set in.
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How often do we mentally set a measuring line or stick for ourselves by which we think or feel we are “Right” with God? Whoever told us that we would always feel as we truly are? The world…society, family or our demanding careers? Just the thought of it brings so much pressure. There is truly no set method by which we should condition ourselves to just be who we truly are. The only strategy we should live by is walking by the Spirit of the Lord. I find that sometimes what worked last week to get me back on track when I feel inadequate as a child of God may not work for another moment. I have to tune in to my relationship with Jesus and listen for His direction. If there was one automatic method available, I think there would be little effort in our relationship with Christ when that is the number one thing for Him, to constantly relate with Him to see who we are and how we should live.
“So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!” (Romans 8:12-14) MSG
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Sara hesitated at Wendy’s door before she knocked lightly. She could hear the silent sniffles on the other side of the door. When she didn’t get a response, she let herself in slowly as she approached Wendy’s desk with a box of clinex in hand. Wendy didn’t lift her head from her desk but continued to sob helplessly.
“It couldn’t have been that bad Wendy,” Sara said comfortingly.
Wendy lifted up her head slightly, make-up smudged all over her face. Sara had never seen her like this before, she smiled at the thought of Wendy’s beauty even with the “imperfection”. She admired her strength and personality in a lot of ways that Wendy didn’t give herself credit for.
“Did you pray hard enough? Because it didn’t work! I am totally failing at everything,” she managed in between sobs.
Sara handed her the clinex as she faithfully took it and blew her snot-filled nose.
“You try too hard,” Sara caught herself saying before she could think twice. Wendy raised an eyebrow and for a moment Sara wasn’t sure what the response would be.
Sara’s voice was calm and comforting so much that Wendy couldn’t argue with it. She gave up any protest and instead sighed.
“How do you do it?” She said as a statement rather than a question. “You seem to always have it together.”
Sara smiled and shrugged her shoulders. “Maybe I’m just good at holding it in, my default since I was a child. I struggle just like any other person but God has taught me to give Him my burdens which I really have no business carrying.”
“See that!” Wendy managed a smile through the tears. She actually felt a weight lift off for the first time in a long time. She felt happy and relieved that Sara had found her in such a vulnerable state where she could receive that flicker of hope. “Thank you.”