I’m finishing up these grey brain-shaped truffles for the Depressed Cake Shop. The event is less than 24 hours away. I picked up the HOPE shirts today – and I’ve been avoiding looking at them.
You see… I’m type A.
I’m a perfectionist, an overachiever, and aggressively paranoid. Things have to go right. So I have to do things myself. So that has made this fundraiser a personal struggle for me, because so many people have donated their time and their efforts to making this into what it has become.
But I don’t trust people. I don’t trust anyone because I can’t risk someone screwing something up. So I do it myself. I do it all myself.
But I knew I couldn’t do that for this fundraiser. So I let my walls down, and the Lord has helped me deal with the little let downs every now and again through this process. He has put them into perspective for me, and I’ve been able to keep my cool when things didn’t go quite right.
I was patient when the wrong ingredients were bought.
I was patient when the wrong recipe was used.
I was patient when the cupcakes weren’t magazine perfect.
I was patient when people tried ordering shirts after the deadline.
I was patient when people waited until the day after all the payments were due for the t-shirts to send their money.
I was patient when our sponsors forgot to send their logos.
I was patient when my main helper for this event became too caught up in their own world to help me anymore.
I was patient when my husband didn’t take the time to keep track of what was going on.
I was patient when the black food coloring turned the frosting purple instead of grey.
I was patient when our t-shirt printer/designer couldn’t read my mind.
I was patient when they ignored one of my emails, and the logos weren’t put in the order I wanted.
I was patient when my heels felt like they were tearing apart from standing for 17 hours between work and baking.
I’ve been patient.
I spent like a month trying to decide which t-shirt design to use. I’m very proud of my designs, and we ended up selling over 100 shirts – so you can imagine that I would want them to turn out perfect.
So I’m finishing up these truffles, and B is asking me what he can do to help.
And I know the answer is to help me by sorting through the shirts so we can start handing them out. But I don’t want to see the shirts. I can’t see the shirts. My heart is pounding through my chest just thinking about it.
But I’m trying to be better about needing to control everything.
So I tell him to pull a shirt, and we can take a look at it.
He comes back with this huge smile on his face, saying I have NOTHING to worry about because they’re amazing!
But I live my life in picas and grams. I notice every. little. thing.
And the design on the front is smaller than I told them to make it.
And then I look again and it’s crooked.
And then I look at the logos on the back, and they aren’t centered.
Like I specifically asked them to make sure the logos down the center were CENTERED.
One hundred and twenty-five.
That’s how many shirts we ordered.
One hundred and twenty-five crooked ass shirts with wonky, uneven logos.
I felt like my world was falling apart. Like I just felt my heart shatter.
Cupcakes, I could redo.
Frosting, I could remake.
Late payments, I could still accept.
Purple frosting, I could handle.
But crooked designs and uneven logos?
My brain fried. My heart fried. I was fried. I was emotionally, mentally, and physically fried. I had put everything I had into this event. I had lost so many hours of sleep, my body was so sore, my mind had been cloudy for so long. My nights were haunted by nightmares of running people down to get their t-shirt money.
I wanted to throw up. I choked back my tears. For some reason, I really felt like this entire event was riding on these shirts.
I guess I just didn’t want to let that many people down, because I know I wouldn’t wear a shirt with a crooked design.
I text my friend and start to lose it, and she tells me, “One more day. Breathe.”
One more day. That’s it. That’s all that’s left.
One more day.
And I can survive that. I can breathe for one more day. I can suck it up and deal with this for one more day.
So I closed my eyes for just a moment, and I whispered in my heart, “Lord, help me.” I didn’t need to say anything more than that. He knew exactly what had happened. He knew exactly what I was struggling with. He knew exactly what I needed.
I didn’t put this fundraiser together for me.
If I had done it for myself, I wouldn’t have made it this far.
I did what I felt needed to be done. I put my faith in something bigger than myself, and I was blessed enough to watch it unfold in front of my eyes.
When I felt overwhelmed with the imperfections on the t-shirts – I was being selfish. I was afraid of putting my design out there looking crooked. I was afraid.
Who am I to put so much faith in myself that I have the right to be afraid of a mistake on a shirt?
Who am I to put faith in anyone but God? I’m only human. I can’t handle the pressures of this fundraiser. I couldn’t have handled that. God took that weight off of my shoulders. He burdened Himself with making my hopes successful.
Who am I to take that burden back and be afraid of a crooked design? If anything, don’t the flaws represent this fundraiser even more sincerely?
We’re all a little messed up. We all need help. Maybe these imperfections were put on this shirt to represent that we can’t do it alone. We can’t rely on man to make things perfect. We can’t rely on man to even make things good, because man is inherently bad. The only one who is perfect is Jesus, and we need to rely on Him to hold us up when the world gives us a crooked design.
Through Christ, I can make it one more day.
Through Him, I can breathe.