The air smells like sugar and cinnamon as I walk into my favorite bakery. I’m here for a pie-making class and nervous about this new undertaking. (I once made ciabatta bread that turned out so badly my dog, who gleefully eats unspeakable things in the backyard, spit it out on the kitchen floor.)
But my friend Melissa is the head baker here and she has promised to walk me through the process. So I stand with my classmates around a long wooden table. We’re each given a large silver bowl for mixing our ingredients. I add butter, shortening (the combination of both is the secret, Melissa says), salt, flour, and water a little bit at a time. I work the dough with my fingers.
Melissa comes behind me to check my progress. She adds a little of this and that, then works with the dough again. “There,” she says, “just right.”
I think of this incident over a year later in an entirely different situation. I need to make an important decision and have no idea what to do. I worry, again, that I will somehow mess everything up. As I pray, my heart has a realization. I don’t have to get everything right because I serve a God who makes everything right in the end.
When I try to get everything right, I become paralyzed by fear. I live in a state of self-criticism. I worry about every detail and carry the weight of the outcome on my shoulders. But God never asks this of us. He asks us, as Melissa did, to step up to the table. To get our hands dirty. To try our best and trust that He can, and will, take care of the rest.
Melissa didn’t expect us to become expert pie-makers in an evening. What she asked of us was to trust her, to try to follow what she told us, and to let her come alongside us in the process. She could deal with whatever we did to our dough.
The Apostle Paul said, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). “All things” includes our mistakes, our imperfect efforts, our guesses when we’re not sure what to do. But before God can work in all things we have to give Him something to work with, which means not letting fear stop us from even trying.
Jill Churchill said, “There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” I think that applies to every area of our lives. There’s no way to be a perfect friend and a million ways to be a good one. There’s no way to be a perfect leader and a million ways to be a good one. There’s no way to make a perfect pie crust and a million ways to make a good one.
Take courage, keep trying. What you’re doing is enough. You don’t have to get everything right because we serve a God who makes all things right in the end.
MORE FOR YOU
Prayer: Dear God, You are so good. Thank You for staying with me in the mess and making all things right. I offer what I have to You today, and I trust You to make it beautiful. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Reflect: How have you seen God work things together for good?
Free download: I’m still practicing getting my pie crust right, along with many other things in life, but I’m grateful for grace and passionate about helping women thrive in who God created them to be. My latest book, Introvert by Design: A Guided Journal for Living with New Confidence in Who You’re Created to Be, released last month. I’d love to send you the first three chapters FREE! Enter your email here and the download will arrive within five minutes.