Thursday, August 27, 2020

Perfect imperfection

 I remember arriving on campus as a freshman and being really intimidated by the seniors.  I felt like a simple new sprout at the base of towering trees that had all this growth and experience.  Now I am the senior, and I wonder how many seniors feel like I do right now.  While I am looking back at 3 years of growth and experience, I am also seeing a promise of much more to come. 

Before I even started college, I spent a lot of time agonizing over decisions toward declaring a major and making college a simplified, smooth experience.  I researched options that seemed realistic for my interests and self-perceived intelligence.  Most of all, I prayed a lot for God to give me clarity and direction.   My first goal was to make college a straightforward breeze from the start, and I hoped that God would have the same thing in mind.

My intentions and efforts were good.  Really good.  But still entirely in vain.

In the past 3 years I have moved across the country, moved back across the country again, transferred twice, and changed my field of study for every year of college (excluding senior year).  I have an associate degree, enough credits for two bachelor’s degrees (not really, but it feels like it), and more hours and dollars put toward my education than I ever dreamed I would be willing to expend.  My transcript is an absolute mess, and this looks nothing like what I had hoped for.

The experience of these past 3 years could easily be seen as discouraging, messy, unnecessary, imperfect, and constantly sabotaged.  But I see a laughable miracle that fills my heart with thankfulness.  My current field of study is one that I never had the courage to choose, but the slow progression of movement toward it has landed me here anyway.  The hand of God has so clearly directed my paths, showing me just one step at a time toward a future I never thought would be my own.  In the process of changes and delays, I have also been forced to work so very hard, which has in turn multiplied my determination and passion for the calling God has placed on my life.

In the end, the ideal image I had for college wasn’t actually ideal at all.  Instead, what appears to be imperfect and frustratingly flawed has been nothing short of perfect.  If I had waited for the perfect plan and the perfect moment from the beginning, I would probably still be waiting because perfect moments usually come disguised as imperfect.  The constant schedule adjustment that looks messy and disorganized?  THIS is God’s organized plan for my life.  I have discovered that it’s ok not to have a fully visualized, workable plan from the start because God always does, and that’s what really counts.  The key is to get started with what you’re given and see where it takes you.  And it’s gonna be somewhere good if you’re willing to listen and welcome the messy changes of perfect imperfection.



  1. Dear Sharon Small,
    This observation is excellent and speaks to faith. I hope pre college and college youth read this but then those that do are probably already self starters. Thanks for posting what may well be a blessing for many others. John

  2. "If I had waited for the perfect plan and the perfect moment from the beginning, I would probably still be waiting...." That rings my bell! Hope that many will take your statement to heart.


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