How One Christian Author Shed the Weight of Perfectionism

Filed in Editor's Picks by on February 17, 2016 2 Comments

The pressure of perfectionism finds everyone at some point in life. Author Tiffany Wasson struggled with it in her personal and Christian life: the wife of an aspiring pastor, mother of two young sons and devoted member within the body of Christ.

Until she attended a woman’s conference three years ago, which sparked the realization that perfection is impossible—except through God.

“My whole life I have strived for perfection in every way: in my Christian role, in my physical appearance, etc. Through breaking that belief, the Word revealed to me that nothing is perfect,” she says.

With her new book, Running Mascara: Embracing the Beauty of an Imperfect Church, Tiffany teaches readers that they don’t need to live a legalistic life to please God, but be willing to be obedient and vulnerable. If believers will be willing to let their mascara run, their flaws can be made perfect in Jesus.

Setbacks Lead to Stronger Faith

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The initial desire to write the book came during a difficult time for Tiffany; her anxiety and fear were leading to depression and severe panic attacks. She prayed and read the Bible for answers.

God’s reply: write a book about what those experiences—and her responses to them—presented to her.  The book would cover not only her anxiety issues, but also her parents’ divorce when she was nine, and several other events in her life.

What did she discover? The freedom of living a life chasing Christ—instead of perfectionism.

“I’ve been completely broken for the Lord over these past two years, and it has grown my faith in many ways. I can’t even breathe without Him,” Tiffany states.

She attended a book writing conference last year to take writing seminars, where she met Donald Newman, Acquisitions Director at Xulon Press. Tiffany agreed to meet with Donald for an author coaching session, but questioned whether she was up to the task or not.

“I thought to myself: I hate writing and I hate reading. I start to freak out if a book I’m writing is not perfect from start to finish. I can’t write five sentences without being an emotional wreck, much less a 60,000 word book.

“But I felt like I needed a push in the right direction, and met with Don. After hearing my story, Don told me to write this book and that even if the book heals one person, even if it is me, then I needed to write it.”

Tiffany set to work on the title (Running Mascara from a statement at the conference; subtitle at her husband Jeremy’s suggestion) and determining key aspects of her book. She placed a poster board in her home with ideas for chapter titles, cover themes, scripture verses and quotes.

Two weeks after she began writing, she had 10,000 words. She did it by writing early in the morning before her family woke up, and sometimes late at night, even if it was for just twenty minutes a day.

But her journey hit an obstacle one night when Tiffany sat down to write, and felt the enemy was throwing everything he had at her. She had an intense panic attack, and woke up her husband to pray for her. After that episode, she didn’t write for an entire month.

“I didn’t write for a month for fear that it would happen again. That whole month of no writing put me back,” she recalls.

Tiffany saw this as example of God asking her to trust Him with her endeavor and be obedient. “Through this, the Lord has shown me the act of obedience, as stated in Romans 5:18-19,” she gratefully.

 

Impacting Others and Waiting

As her book moves forward into the design phase, Tiffany is already setting up book signings in local bookstores, and has spoken at her church and a Christian radio station about her upcoming book. She even showed the cover design to a female cashier at the grocery store, who has already requested her copy up on it’s release.

As the final publication date nears, she firmly believes that God allowed her to be broken and poured out to Him while the writing this book.

“I’m excited but also very nervous as this has been my blood, sweat and tears. It is my heart and everything in my life, where I’m being broken and poured out on the table. I want to be broken and poured out for Him. I never want to get to the point that I’ve made it and don’t need Him anymore. I just want to be humble,” she states.

Her writing dreams have not stopped there; she’s already begun a second book focused on the waiting periods God places us in. The idea for the book came during Tiffany’s four-year-old son Austin’s craniotomy to remove a growth attached to the main artery of his skull.

The experience was a miraculous one. Austin was back to his normal self within two days of his surgery and has no visible scarring. It was a a clear demonstration to Tiffany, yet again, on the importance of remaining obedient to God during all circumstances.

“It was a reminder to me that God is good.”

But it’s a message she never would have been able to tell if she had not started by writing a book about imperfection—and the perfect love of God that fills our gaps.

 

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About the Author ()

Brittnee Newman, Marketing & Communications Strategist for Xulon Press, has been a blogger, freelance journalist and editor for just over half a decade. She joined Xulon Press as an editor in 2012, and now supports the company within the Marketing Department. Follow her on Twitter at @XulonBrittnee.

Comments (2)

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  1. avatar Elmertha R. Arrington says:

    I so enjoyed read this portion of Mrs. Tiffany’s book. It brought tears of joy to my heart, for it remind me so much of my own two books published by Xulon Press (Sop A Little Spiritual Ragu, While Boiling In The Oil and From Father’s Hands To Mine) of which I felt the exact same way, that I wasn’t good enough to write a book due to I only went to the tenth grade and of all my imperfections of which I too talked about and how Father (God) spoke to my heart fourteen years or so ago to write and how I procrastinated to do so, and here I am fourteen years later doing what Father told me to do with my imperfections and all of which He has cover with His perfection. People with much more education than I still make fun and look down on me calling me a fool to call myself an best seller Author with a book so full of imperfections. Thanks be to God of which I give all the credit to for directing me to Xulon Press who encourage me to tell my story and for giving me an opportunity that no one else had giving and I knew without doubt that they were a God sent. Thank God I listen to His voice verses other folks. I feel deeply, Tiffany’s story. May God continue blessing her to write. Her unknown sister in Christ, Mrs. Rita Arrington, Amen

    • Good for you, Rita! It takes courage to share your story, but you should never silence it just because you feel like anyone is looking down on you. We’re proud to be your partner–keep up the good work!

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