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“That’s just so perfect”

“Isn’t this perfect?”

“I want to make it just perfect”

Coming from a recovering perfectionist these phrases used to be sprinkled into my daily communications. Always striving to be the best I thought I could be, yet never truly measuring up. There is nothing above perfection. No more growth is needed when you finally reach that goal.

Over the years I have learned a lot about myself and the role perfection truly plays in my life.

One of the most empowering statements I have ever heard was this “I, of myself, am imperfect. I can not grow and progress on my own.” What a splendid relief it is to say that out loud and really believe that I am still a beloved daughter of God.

The beauty of this life is that none of us can move forward towards becoming like our Father in Heaven, or perfect, on our own. In this last general conference for my church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) an old bishop of ours gave a talk titled Remembering in Whom We Have Trusted.

I felt compelled to listen to it again this morning and this is what stood out to me.

When our Father in Heaven announced the need for a Savior, I believe all of us turned and looked at Jesus Christ, the Firstborn in the Spirit, the one who had progressed to the point of becoming like the Father. I believe all of us knew it had to be Him, that none of the rest of us could do it, but that He could and that He would.

We looked to our Savior before the world was, knowing it had to be Him and that we could not do it ourselves.

 We could not perfect ourselves no matter how hard we worked and pushed ourselves. We could not forgive ourselves of sin without the atonement He gave for us. We could not even try.

So why do we try to go this life alone? If we knew we could not endure this life alone even before we came to this earth why do we so often forget this?  We forget to ask for His help and guidance. We forget that He can make us more than we can make of ourselves. When we sin and fall short of our own expectations for ourselves we have a tendency to let it get us down instead of turning to the one who can, in the end, make us perfect.

Matthew 5:46 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

This passage of scripture is not a reminder of your inability to be perfect in this life. It’s intent is not to make you feel poorly about yourself because you have yet to reach such a glorious goal. No, it is a gentle reminder that when we follow the Savior, He will guide is in the direction of perfection. One tiny minuscule step at time, often unperceivable in the moment.

I was talking with my sister-in-law who is about to have her first baby and I remembered how difficult that time of life was for me. I was filled with anxieties and fears that now no longer bother me. The passage of time helped me to see how far My Lord has taken me. Those little tiny steps have added up to miles of accomplishment.

How grateful I am that my Savior suffered for me so that I can make mistakes and fall short. What joy feels my soul to know that His suffering will cover every single sorrow I face if I simply let it. I feel to sing the song of redeeming Joy. Life is meant to be so beautifully messy and I love it.

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