#ATOEpiphany: Excellence Doesn’t Mean Perfection

ATO Epiphany / Breaking / Carousel / August 11, 2016
Name: Tonia Green | City/Town: Pittsburgh | State/Province: PA

Sincerely Syreeta: When did you have your #ATOEpiphany and what were the circumstances that preceded it?

ATO_ToniaGreenTonia Green: [Recently] while reading a chapter out the book, The Kingdom Woman. The chapter is titled Women Of Excellence and I can honestly say that I realized at that moment that I was not living up to that title. I have always wanted a life of perfection. In my heart everything in my life needed to be handled perfectly. In my heart, my life needed to have perfect order and it needed to operate that way. If it did not happen as I planned, I would get this feeling of anxiety, as if I did not have things under control. If I did not believe that I would be perfect at something, I probably would not give it my all because I could not control the outcome that I wanted.  I will never be perfect, and that’s okay because God did not call me to perfection.

SS: What did you find to be most challenging or painful about the situation or circumstance?

TG: I do all of these excellent things, that require a lot of dedication, and perseverance. The challenging thing for me is that I am not confident that I am excellent at these things because I question the perfection of my work. I hear people say all of the time how excellent I did at this or that, and yet I question their statements because my lack of self-confidence.

SS: What did it teach you about yourself?

TG: That I do not have a lot of confidence in myself, not because I am not good at what I do but because I want everything to be perfect. But God just wants me to be excellent in all that I do and I need to find that confidence within myself through God’s promises for my life.

SS: What did it teach you about life and people?

TG: All I can do is give my all and be the best possible at whatever I am doing. It does not have to be perfect but it can feel perfect.

SS: How did you get to the space where you could honestly say, “this is what’s been going on with me…and that’s okay” without feeling any negative emotions (or at least significantly less)?

TG: When I read in the chapter that excellence doesn’t mean perfection. It means doing all you can with all you have at that moment.

SS: What words of wisdom would you pass along to someone else that is experiencing something similar?

TG: “Are we beginning to praise ourselves again? Are we like others, who need to bring you letters of recommendation, or who ask you to write such letters on their behalf? Surely not! The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.” – 2 Corinthians 3:1-5 NLT

SS: Since having your #ATOEpiphany, how do you plan to live your life differently?

TG: I will be conscious enough to do everything with excellence not matter how small or big it is.

SS: In keeping with the idea that things don’t happen to us, rather for us: Why do you think that this may have happened for you?

TG: God needed me to rise to a higher standard because he desires excellence in all that I do.

SS: If you could sum up your ATO Epiphany in one sentence that ends with “and that’s okay”, what would it be?

“I am not nor will I ever be perfect… and that’s okay!”

Banner Photo Credit: Krissy Sheehan

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