Perfection Obsession: What It Looks Like to Accept Limitations
A Good and Perfect Gift, the memoir by fellow Her.meneutics writer Amy Julia Becker, is, on the surface, about a young, first-time mother learning to accept and embrace her daughter Penny's Down syndrome diagnosis. Amy Julia's beautiful and moving writing was just named one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2011 and received a starred review from them as well.
But Amy Julia's struggles with disappointment, anger at God, and fully embracing the "good and perfect gift" of her daughter reflect struggles most believers undergo. For this reason, the book speaks to a far wider audience than parents of children with special needs. In fact, it speaks to all who strive to replace perfectionism with, as Amy Julia writes, "our telos": the fulfillment of our purpose, "our true perfection."
To that end, I asked Amy Julia about the temptation to idolize the intellect, responding to people who are insensitive about disability, and the beauty of being a limited, finite creature under God's care.1