“Forgive me for accepting these untruthful things about myself, for insulting the precious work of your hand.” For years I struggled to pray this. The words fell from my pleading mouth onto the ground where I knelt as I bowed my head in despair. I could not find the strength to gather the fallen words and hold them up to Jesus. Convinced that I was too imperfect, I could not surrender my weakness to Him who yearned for my love.
The word “perfection” could mean many different things to you. For a young person like myself, it is a wound I am reminded of each time I tear myself apart for all the things I am not. In the midst of my sinfulness and human frailty, I cannot help but pull my heart from my chest, let my tears fall upon it, and lament all that I am. In those moments, my weaknesses are laid bare on the altar. I see those times when I chose not to pray or study His Word because of some careless excuse. I see the countless times I have strayed away from the Father in an effort to blend in with popular culture. I see the harsh, thoughtless words thrown at my family and friends that I should have left unspoken. I see the body I have picked apart.
Mentally, I ask why I am this way. Why am I so easily entangled in doubt, distrust, resentment, and misplaced passion? Will I never learn to embody that idealized, impossibly perfect version of myself that torments me daily?
The only answer to our imperfect, fallen human nature is Jesus. How long it took for me to finally become aware of this. I meticulously thought over conversations, academic assignments, and my appearance, scolding myself for the things I thought I had done wrong. In a way, I believed I deserved this inner chastisement. I wasn’t smart enough. I wasn’t pretty enough. I wasn’t holy enough. I wasn’t perfect. Facing the reality of my imperfection caused great pain.
However, I knew that this unhealthy self-degradation simply could not go on, so I turned to Jesus. The Jesus who delights in us, who is on fire with love for us, even though we are imperfect. The only thing I could do was cling to the fabric of His garment. Now, I am able to see myself through the eyes of a loving Jesus. I, a marvelous work of His hand, am called to holiness as an adored child of the King.
My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”Psalm 25:17
In his holy Passion, as His blood was shed to deliver our souls from unending agony, Jesus did not forsake his task. Though in anguish and battling a sorrow beyond human comprehension, He willingly took the bitter cup of crucifixion. Wounded and mocked, he stood aground on the path to death. Even so, as he bore the weight of the cross, the very fulfillment of Sacred Scripture, Jesus did not look perfect.
He was despised and rejected.
He fell. Not once, but three times.
He needed help from a passerby named Simon.
Each of these things remind us that as we carry our own daily crosses, it’s okay to stumble. It’s okay to need help. It’s okay if we find ourselves being cruelly rejected, because Jesus calls us blessed. When meditating upon His Holy Passion, I am reminded of His humanity. The grief, the pain, and the anguish I feel… Jesus suffered it, too. All out of a burning love for me. Oh, how devoted He is! How comforting it is to know that amidst the turmoil and suffering of this life, He is there.
Through the gifts of Adoration, community with other women, and Reconciliation, the wound of perfectionism in my heart gently began to heal. With my hand clutching Jesus’s, I was finally beginning to free myself of the self-doubt that had long constrained me. Alone, we shall surely fall. Together with Jesus, we shall rise above our imperfect humanity. We are made perfect by He who is perfect.
For by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated.”Hebrews 10:14
As a homeschooled high school student, Sophia loves to spend time singing, playing music on her guitar, reading, writing, and… thinking about writing. An observer of His marvelous world, she ponders the deeper meanings of life. Sophia often finds herself captured by the pages of a classic novel or an alluring tale of suspense and mystery. She adores classic literature, historical fashion, vintage music, and almost anything else you can think of that is old. Inspiration for her creative mind is a gift of the woodland that encircles her home.