“Perfection” Interrupted

Walking through Target one evening last week, I saw a sight that stopped me in my tracks. A tiny girl with sparkling eyes and dark bobbed hair smiled up at her daddy as he held her hands, helping her walk on his feet as he made his way down the aisle.

The little girl’s feet kept slipping off her daddy’s, so it wasn’t a perfect walk. Yet it was beautiful. Joy shone from the two as they in moved imperfect tandem. She looked at him with her ear-to-ear grin and complete trust in her eyes. He gazed back at her delight-filled and confident in the knowledge that his strength would keep her from falling.

It was captivating to watch.

The duo brought one of my favorite scriptures about our Father God to mind:

It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
    taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize
    it was I who healed them.
I led them with cords of human kindness,
    with ties of love.
To them I was like one who lifts
    a little child to the cheek,
    and I bent down to feed them. (Hosea 11:3-4)

Our Father is holding our hands, watching our progress with loving delight. His joy isn’t diminished by the imperfection of our steps. We’re learning, and He’s there to catch us. He deals with His children tenderly.

Like today’s devotion shares, we can become so entrenched in our own ideas of perfection that we forget to enjoy simply walking daily with my Father. Like a toddler, we internally stomp our feet and declare, “I do it myself!” Instead of holding our Father’s hands and trusting in His strength and direction, we so often try to make our own way.

But when we do, we miss it. We miss the joy of walking with Him. Instead, let’s see our own imperfections as an opportunity to grab God’s hands, lean into His strength, and trust Him for the next step.

Can you identify with today’s devotion and blog post? Leave your email below for 5 days of free devotions with more about walking imperfectly with our perfect God.

To enter to win a free copy of Breaking Up with Perfect, leave a comment here or simply say, “I’m breaking up with perfect!”

**Note to Evelyn Shipman: You are the winner of the book and “We’re created for connecting not collecting” sign. Yay! I sent you an email asking for your mailing address, so please check your spam folder and reply. 🙂 I’ll pop them into the mail asap!

Leave a comment here | 197 Comments


  1. Wow! Is todays devotional right on for me; many things imposing on my perfectionism create great stress. And on top of that there have been at least 3 life altering deaths that have happened this year. Thank you for helping with this study.

  2. BROKEN – IMPERFECT…yes I am – but no longer hiding it – so happy – hopeful & GRATEFUL to be BREAKING UP WITH PERFECT me…I like the me God is gluing back together much more?

  3. Don’t all people (women especially) struggle with this issue?! Thank you for publishing this to help others deal with this stronghold! The world makes it that we should be so…. and so…., but it’s freeing to read the Truth!! Thank you! Jackie

  4. I am reminded daily to trust in God and his plan. I don’t have to be perfect for the world I just have to believe and have faith that God has this. I just have to let him lead and trust him. Easier said then done sometimes.

  5. “I’m breaking up with perfect!”

    Hi, I’m 59 years old and 4 years ago my husband and high school sweetheart was diagnosed with Parkinsons. It was not in my plans. All of our friends were making plans for vacations and looking forward to remodeling their homes and we were downsizing to a 55 and older community (were the youngsters in our neighborhood ) and learning a new way of life dealing with this progressive disease that slowly takes my protector and provider. He was forced to retire and I need to work. Wasn’t my plan at all. God has been faithful. I have my 2 year old moments still. Thanks for that devotional.

    Toni stoddard
    4450 kittiwake way
    Oceanside, CA 92957

  6. I want to live to be who God created me to be, but I am paralyzed with fear of never taking the right decision. Just today, my husband asked me to make a list of what my dreams are and I just cannot wrap my thoughts around such things because I’m afraid of not dreaming the “perfect” things. And then I worry of not living the “perfect” life God has intended for me and worry about what I’ll tell Him when I meet him in person. I am afraid of disappointing Him. Perfection has taken a lot of room in my life and certainly has prevented me from doing great things. It has discouraged me more than encourage me. I do wish to break up with perfect.

  7. My husband and I adopted our son some 33 years ago when he was 10 weeks old. What a blessing was and is in our lives! He was raised in church, was part of a vibrant Christian youth group, and at 18 left for college ready to take on the world. Up to that point our lives seemed “perfect” in our eyes. Fast forward…4 years ago our son’s marriage began crumbling when he found out his wife was having an affair. Just days before their divorce was final, our 2 1/2 year old grandson was left with the new boyfriend for just one hour. It was during that hour that our precious grandson was terribly beaten and went to be with Jesus 2 days later. What seemed to be such a “perfect” life changed instantly. Our son was devastated, has turned away from the Lord, and is barely making a living on odd jobs. We as parents still want to “fix” things – but we know only ONE who can pick us up and give us all a new start! So ready to break up with striving to be perfect – to be able to “let go and let GOD”!!!

    • Oh, Pat… My family and I are on vacation, so I’ve been reading comments and praying but not answering. I had to answer yours tonight, though. I cannot begin to imagine the level of heartbreak your family is experiencing in the face of such terrible evil. You, your husband, and your sweet son are in my prayers. Your faith in the midst of grief has truly inspired me.

  8. How wonderful to know that God holds our hands in His and He leads us into His pastures for His name’s sake. I picture that illustration you gave of the little child holding onto her daddy’s hand and despite wobbling and lurching, the daddy will not let go of his precious daughter. Such a wonderful word picture that flashes in my mind. Thank you for such a great devotional that inspires and keeps me close to Him.

  9. This was a great analogy. It made my walk & the way I get the stubburns on so clear for me to see. Thank you.

  10. Amy, this was an amazing devotional that brought tears to my eyes. It was like God speaking to my soul. My “perfect” plans have been interrupted so many times that I’m finally learning to submit on God driving the stirring wheel of my life now. Thank you! “I’m breaking up with perfect”

  11. I’m breaking up with PERFECT!

    been a perfectionist ALL my life! Trying to earn love at a very young age I strived to be perfect. God’s love is unconditional.

    I’d love a copy of this book to guide me in breaking this perfect…

  12. I’m breaking up with perfect. As a SAHM, I’m constantly struggling with being the “perfect” mom, housewife, etc. This is a good reminder that I need to enjoy my family more than the material distractions that try to steal my time.

  13. I think I am allowing the Lord to lead my path……….but then I take it back and think I am in control. I am learning, but it is a daily reminder. I am definitely trying to break up with perfection!

  14. I am breaking up with perfect! I am so thankful for your 5 devotions of Himperfection! This is such a necessary topic for women and it has been a lifelong struggle for me! I desire to break up with this destructive thinking pattern!

    Thank you again!

  15. I’m breaking up with perfect! I desperately need this book! I struggle with this everyday & know a friend, or two, that I can share the book with upon completion.

  16. “I’m breaking up with perfect!” I am a die hard perfectionist that needs to break fee from the stronghold it has on my life. I would love to win a copy of your book, Amy! Thank you!

  17. I’m breaking up with perfect. I am a planner to an extent but I’ve learned with many ups and downs that the only plan that is perfect is Gods and I’ve learned that even if and when I don’t understand I give my plans to him and ask him to lead me in his. They may not even be mildly close to mine but after I follow them and I can look back and see what he led me through, I can give thanks for His awesome perfect plan and will in my life. God bless

  18. I’m breaking up with perfect! So many plans have gone awry that I need to open my hands and give all to my Father and be ready to wait for revelation of God’s perfect plan for my life. I desire to simply walk with the Lord and enjoy His presence.

  19. LOVED your post about the dad and daughter, what a wonderful vision of our Father God! I so need to break up with perfect and I would love to win the book!!!!

  20. Hi Amy! I loved your devotional today through Proverbs 31 ministries. I would like to share my testimony with you as my reason for wanting a copy of your new book: I am definitely a planner and a perfectionist. I like things to go my way. When my plans become out of whack, I feel like my life is over. This is what led to my break down 5 years ago, when my plans didn’t come to pass. I had plans to go to Medical School. Pre-Med was tough in my undergraduate year. But I managed. I graduated with a BA in English and was set to attend a Post-Baccalaureate program in Illinois to enhance my chances of getting into Medical School. The school accepted me. But I didn’t have enough money. I fell into a deep depression and tried to commit suicide. I felt useless and good for nothing. God did not want me to go to Medical School. He wants me to do something else. I’ve accepted that. I still suffer from depression now, 5 years later. But what’s different now compared to then is, I am saved. I was not saved then. God interrupted my plans to get my attention: I needed a Savior. I needed Jesus Christ. I have not been able to keep a steady job ever since my meltdown due to the depression, and thus, I am currently unemployed. However, I cling onto God’s Word and His promises. I know He has amazing plans for me. Over the years He has slowly but surely, in little bits at a time, been revealing His will and plans for my life. I have not reached it yet. But I feel in this season that I’m in, the Lord is preparing me and equipping me for my next assignment. Thank you Lord Jesus for the interruptions in my plans. Truly Your ways are not my ways and Your thoughts are not my thoughts. Amen ?

  21. I also want to break-up with perfect. I feel like being a perfectionist has held me back in my life since a young age. I am ready to be FREE!

  22. Hi Amy, I know that you direct this book toward women but I feel that God led me here as I was reading today’s Proverbs 31. My 17 year old son has been through more of a painful struggle relating to perfectionism in the last 4 to 5 years of his life than any child should endure. I continue to trust God and believe he is preparing my son for wonderful works that will glorify Him. I would love to share your book with both of my children so that they understand that God made no mistakes , we all have cracks in our pots but that makes us more beautiful for his light to shine through. Thank you Amy.

  23. I had lived most of my life trying to be perfect. My dad was a perfectionist. And that made me look For perfection, so I could gain his approval.

  24. “I’m breaking up with perfect!” It is not easy, I tell myself it is the way God made me, as I tolerate my perfectionism. It would be so nice to be free of it.

  25. It’s been a work in progress for me growing up with a perfectionist mother. With God’s help I want to break the cycle with my daughter. Thank you Amy for your encouraging words. I’m not there yet but I am on my way to BREAKING UP WITH PERFECT with each new day! I have the screen saver to help remind me!

  26. I have been a perfectionist for most of my life. It’s only been in the last few years that God has been teaching me that He wants to mold me and make me into HIS image, not the image I think I should be. I would love to have a copy of this book!

  27. Thank you, Amy, for your willingness to share your story as an encouragement to all of the women like myself who have such a tight hold on the illusion of perfection in our lives. I am SO ready to break up with perfect!!!

  28. I’ve been breaking up with perfect over the last few years – I’m excited to continue to try to eliminate the drive for perfect for good.

  29. I’m breaking up with perfect! Wanting to do right & good things is a worthy goal but not allowing yourself or others to make mistakes is sure to cause heartache.

  30. I so need this book.

    As I was reading the devotional sent out from Proverbs 31 ministries today I realized [once again] that I need to stop focusing on ME building the perfect life for myself and to look up to God in all of my ways… to surrender my plans to Him. I love the verse that was given underneath the devotional. It was from the book of Proverbs and it was chapter 3 verses 5 and 6. I need to trust in the Lord with all of my heart. I don’t need to lean on my own understanding. He will make my paths straight.

    I’m breaking up with perfect!

  31. Wow! I love your view of the little girl walking on her father’s feet. We often forget that God is a father too and he delights in his children, fully aware that we will never be perfect.

  32. I’m breaking up with perfect! I had such plans for my life, but God interrupted them in major ways. I am about to begin a new job that I swore I would never want to do after graduating college. I am terrified, but I know God’s plans are better than my own.

  33. Love this! As much as I like order and planning in my life..I have to let it go. I’m breaking up with perfect!

  34. In the process of breaking up with perfect!! haha another favorite quote, from Emily Ley, “I will hold myself to a standard of Grace, not perfection”. i have it framed in my bathroom 🙂

  35. I’m breaking up with perfect!! Planning and trying to make everything perfect has really been a struggle for me and sometimes I feel like I’m missing out on the good times in my life because of this. I try to just relax sometimes and just let things “flow” but then I just start thinking ahead.

  36. I am breaking up with perfect – and the contemporary Christian song I Give Up will be my new theme song!

  37. Read your devotion on proverbs 31, just what I needed to hear this a.m. Your book looks great, love to break up with perfection.

  38. I found your blog today through Proverbs 31, and I am so glad that I did. Thank you for that devotion and your blog post. I’m ready to break up with perfect too!

  39. I’m breaking up with perfect! I’ve struggled with perfectionism coupled with people pleasing for a long time. Unfortunately I have come to realize that striving for perfect does not shield or prevent us from hurts and disappointment. God has definitely been dealing with my heart on this. Thank you Amy, for your encouragement and message today!

  40. Sounds verging freeing to a planner who is learning to let God bring interruptions and still be Okay. Blessings to you.

  41. I love how our beautiful Lord works! My plan was to read my Proverbs 31 ministry devotion and then move on with my day but the Lord took hold of my plans and led me to your wonderful blog. That turned out to be the perfect start to my day! Gods plans are incredibly amazing!

  42. I’m breaking up with perfect! And I’ve never been one to strive for perfection, but I LOVE the idea of just resting in God’s perfect peace and protection and plan. This was such great timing to read, thank you!

  43. Im breaking up with perfect!!! God just spoke to me yesterday about my struggle with legalism. I dont know why its so hard for me to just enjoy Gods love for me whether i do anything “spiritual” or not. I dont know when legalism crept in, but Im tired of it!!! Ive struggled with my life not working out the way i want and my husbands life as well!! I cant wait to read this book!!!

  44. I’m breaking up with perfect! Actually, I’ve been working on this for the past several years. After failing and messing up in a big way, I am finally willing to listen. And when the planner gets too far ahead of Him, God gently reminds me what happens when I try to do life on my own planner rather than His.
    Thanks for the reminder:)

  45. I’m breaking up with PERFECT!!! Allowing God to lead and guide and to enjoy every step I take with Him!! Thank you for being a vessel for God to use in my life today!!

  46. Such a great post! I pray God continues to interrupt our schedules, to bring us into alignment with his perfect plan. I have experienced his interruptions so many times, in this year alone, and I could not be happier! I’m breaking up with perfect!

  47. I came across your blog, not knowing what I was reading. I read it once, then again, and questioned myself. “Wow!!! That sounds like me! It’s sad to realize that you are a certain way, by reading what others write. But a light bulb clicked in me!!!

    I’m breaking up with PERFECT!!!!!

  48. I’m breaking up with perfect! Sounds like a great book and thank you for the opportunity to win one. 🙂

  49. Wow, this hit home with me as I had the same 5 year plan.Like you, God took that plan and completely changed it for the better. As you said- “I’m breaking up with perfect!”

  50. Recently we adopted on older child from foster care. God has a sense of humor because this young man is good/hard on my perfectionism!! I am learning to let more things go!!

    I can’t wait to break up with perfect! Blessings!!

  51. I’m breaking up with perfect. Really. I am. This reflection couldn’t have come at a perfect time, it’s really a message from Him. I just completed my mile-long to-do list for a ‘perfect’ gathering tonight. Now I’m realizing that I just need to go hand-in-hand with Him today, and everything will turn out right! Thank you!

  52. I am breaking up with perfect! Praying to live the life God desires for me instead of what I desire for myself!

  53. I’m breaking up with perfect! I can’t wait to share this with my mom’s group. We discuss this issue/ailment often! Thanks for hitting it on the head.

  54. I am breaking up with perfect! For me and my family. Not only do I have my own plans, I have plans for my sons. Have had lots of heartache when my plans don’t work out. I am finished. I give it to You Lord.

  55. Oh how I need to break up with perfect!! Your devotion about your plan was so timely, I wish I could get my husband to read it. He just took a job but it isn’t the one he really wants. I hope we can really see how God is going to work in this situation.
    Blessings to you!

  56. I love the concept of breaking up with perfection! My boys definitely helped me look up and trust God with each day because they weren’t going along with my perfect plan.

  57. I am such a perfectionist. I have been trying to let go. It keeps me from really loving others and having fun and enjoying life the way God wants me to. I know I have that problem and would love to be set free. I know only GOD can do it. Thank you for you honesty and devotion. I love women’s devotions because they always hit deep in the heart. God bless you

  58. I’m breaking up with perfect today 8/7/15. It’s been an empty relationship that often leaves me feeling like a failure, so I’m DONE with it!

  59. “I’m breaking up with perfect.” That is a phrase I think to myself daily and I wish it was more of a reality.

  60. I need to stop trying to be perfect & totally trust My God. Your book would help me along the way.?

  61. Thanks for the encouraging post! Perfectionism is something that I’ve struggled with for quite some time. I found your blog this morning through your Proverbs 31 morning devotional which was also an encouragement to me as I walk through a big life transition at the moment (and was not how I initially saw my life proceeding).

  62. God is trustworthy. Lying in bed this morning, unable to go back to sleep, I was letting some big concerns take over. I tried praying, but I may have been seeking my own solutions instead of trusting God to lead my steps. Today’s devotion resonated, reminding me that He has carried me this far and has promised to lead me all the way. I want to enjoy this walk and quit second guessing all that I do. Thank you.

  63. I’m breaking up with perfect. May God’s grace, love and mercy cover me today as I hold on to Him and He teaches me to walk. I will trust that He will never let me go.

  64. This was a confirmation. Thank you for being obedient and sharing this. I am breaking up with perfect. Finally! I had been battling with perfectionism for almost my whole life and have recently realized that God loves us despite our imperfections and will even use us with them.

  65. Thanks Amy for the encouragement today. I am breaking up with perfect! Let me simply walk today with the Father instead of “doing everything myself”.

  66. I’m breaking up with perfect! ~with God’s help!
    Thank you, Amy for your encouragement. I look forward to reading your new book!

  67. Thank you for reminding me to look back on my life and see that God’s
    plans have been bigger and better then mine ever could. Today I turn 52! Wow! My life is nothing like I expected. I continue to just trust Him and be patient 🙂 I’m truly blessed. I really needed this devotion today! I’m breaking up with perfect!!

  68. I found your blog by accident, and it’s funny how it is exactly what I needed to read at that moment. Thank you, as I am trying to except that it’s OK to not be perfect, instead of striving to be! Thank you!

    • Thank you Amy for your encouraging message today that we don’t have to be perfect but just to trust in the Lord’s plan for our lives. I am going through a period in my life right now where I am not in control and I have to just lean on His promises that he is working his good in my life. I admit I like to be in control and have always had an independent nature, but I am learning to let go and let God be my pilot instead of my co-pilot. He has never let me down yet. His mercies are new every morning and we don’t have to be perfect to receive them. Thank you God for loving us just the way we are!

    • Thank you Amy for sharing your story and helping me to let go of my need for perfection and planning. It is my prayer that I am able to “Let go and let God” have total control of my life. It is safe in His hands. I am breaking up with perfect!!

    • Wow! This hits home. I’m a certified meeting planner so planning is even in my job title. Totally relate to your 5 year plan and more so to the need to let God’s plan unfold. I definitely need to break up with perfection. Thanks!

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