Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Pain of Imperfection

One of the most difficult things for me is to be faced with a responsibility so important that someone else's life and soul are on the line, and to realize that I can't possibly fulfill my role without imperfection. I felt it as a missionary; the work was far too important for someone as flawed as I to do. And yet, there I was. Called of God, even. But nearly paralyzed by my imperfections.

Now, more than a decade later, the pain of my imperfection is sometimes nearly unbearable as I am now a parent. A parent of three of the most amazing, life- and light-filled souls you will ever meet. Why on earth would God send them to me? My heart weeps. (My eyes, too.) My soul, today, lingers in the "valley of sorrow" and my strength slackens. I have felt this before. Yes, Nephi described it well. Sometimes the pain causes my flesh to feel that it may somehow "waste away." Have I committed some terrible sin against them? No, but the sin of imperfection is enough to sometimes grind me nearly to a halt. I'm still not used to failing every day like I do as a parent.

I've never dealt well with my weaknesses. I've always been a perfectionist, and I know that's not a good thing. But oh, how I long to be perfect for the sake of my children. But it is not to be. My imperfections are part of His plan. Part of my plan. Part of their plan. In their innocence, they forgive, because they are children. Someday, as all children do, they will grow enough to know of my weaknesses. And that will be woven into the tapestry of their lives and become part of their trials. What then? I must learn to turn the pain to Christ somehow, just as they will. Only He can heal the pain that is inevitable in our families, in even the best of families. I need to trust that the Atonement can even save them from me. Save me from myself.

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