“The Perfection in my Imperfection”
by Ally Ferguson
I have this immense pressure that so easily finds its place in my life. I feel pressure to do everything right, to follow all the rules perfectly, to live up to the bar that has been set above me. It overwhelms me and wears me down to complete exhaustion. It leaves me feeling inadequate to do the job that greets me every morning and demands my attention with no time to catch my breath. The expectations that are placed on me leave me feeling defeated before the day is done. And craziest thing of all: the pressures, the expectations, the things that leave me feeling inadequate all exist because…
I put them on myself.
I placed this bar of expectations above myself to do everything right. To be the mother who feeds her child a perfectly balanced meal every time he sits in his high chair. To be the wife who cooks her husband a hot nutritious meal every day, three times a day. To be the woman who keeps up with everything in her house. It is to be expected that toys will be scattered everywhere as my little one plays throughout the day, but the kitchen and bathrooms should be spotless, the laundry should be washed, folded, and put away. I should be up before the first sounds are made in the house, busy tending to all the things that call for my attention.
Then reality hits and I realize that bar of expectations I set is not even close to being within my grasp. My toddler reminds me how picky and stubborn he can be, even though he loved green beans yesterday he refuses to touch them today. The constant cooking and preparing meals leaves my kitchen less than spotless, but the toddler pulling on my legs begs for me to read him another book, and another, and another. Then when silence finally fills the house, and I catch a moment to breathe, and maybe even shower, I have to spend time tapping on my computer to fulfill my hours of work for that week. As my husband comes home, and I apologize for the meal that has yet to be started, and the less than tidy house that greets him at the door, he responds with words that shout a response of grace. Then I realize that this bar I have set is impossible to reach, it leaves me feeling overwhelmed and I wonder if I am qualified for this life of motherhood. And in those moments I am weak. I am overcome with the weakness that is my humanity.
Then He whispers to my heart, “Though you may be weak, I am strong.” It is in our less than perfection, in the reality of our humanity that makes room for the perfection of Christ.
We mothers have the incredible ability of putting too much pressure on ourselves. We feel the weight of the need to be perfect, yet we forget that it isn’t perfection God called us to. I whole heartedly believe in motherhood being a calling, just as important as any other. Therefore, as God has called us to be mothers, He has equipped us with the ability to succeed in that calling. He didn’t call us to be perfect in our mothering, He isn’t asking for perfection at all. In fact, it is in our weakness that we realize that we need His strength to fulfill what He has called us to do. This standard of perfection we have created is impossible to reach. It is in the moment that we comprehend that God is not asking us to be perfect, that we can let our guard down, that we can lower that bar and be okay with not being perfect.
God isn’t asking us to be perfect mothers. He is just asking that we rely on His strength and lead our children back to Him. He has already given us everything we need.
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