We are flawed! While that doesn't seem like a revelation, it really is. Stop and think about it. How many times have we been disapointed in ourselves for not succeeding or for something not being perfect or perhaps for not doing as good a job as someone else? How many times have we judged others for not doing a good job at something? We gauge ourselves on a standard that would require perfection to achieve and that is just not possible.
While cleaning out my closets, I discovered just how much of a perfectionist I am. I have dozens of projects half-finished because they were too flawed for me to even spend the time finishing them. I would toss it aside with the others in hopes of correcting the flaws at a later date or even starting over and making the next project flawless. Thus my flaw is my perfectionism.
But, my desire for perfection doesn't stop with craft projects but extends to motherhood. I expected so much of myself before becoming a mother. I had a long list of things I was going to do and a tall pile of books to teach me how to do them. None of those ideas worked, and no amount of books would provide me with a child who slept or who would stop crying from the pain of acid reflux.
My quest to be the perfect mom was flawed from the beginning, and it just went downhill from there. My other pre-baby idea was that all babies were born perfect. That's what we always hear. "He's perfect. Ten toes, ten fingers." "She's perfect and beautiful." My baby had a swollen eye that was completely closed. He was slightly jaundiced and not perfect.
But, before you chastise, acceptance begins with the realization that we are not perfect, not even as infants. We are not perfect physically or spiritually. We are born with the blood of our fathers polluted with the sins of Adam and Eve. Our bodies are just as flawed. If we weren't flawed, we certainly wouldn't need the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ or the help of a gracious God.
In my pursuit of perfection, I certainly would not have found any need to call on God for help if I had had a perfectly healthy child, who slept through the night, and did not have acid reflux. I certainly would not have called on God for provision if we had not found ourselves in a situation in which we could not provide for our son and his medical needs.
I've received some backlash for focusing on my son's health issues and speech delays, but in truth, I am realizing that by focusing on his imperfections, I am seeing God working in miraculous ways. By accepting that life is not perfect, that my son is not perfect, that I am not perfect, and that our situation is not perfect, I am admitting that our life is a perfect place for God to show his handiwork.
Thus, I am, as a non-professional, suggesting that the first step to acceptance is accepting that we are all flawed, physically and spiritually, and that we need a God that is greater than our flaws and more gracious than we deserve. But, most importantly, because of our flaws and imperfections, we must rely on God to get us through, to provide for us, and to give us the strength in the tough times.