One of the challenges and blessings of being single in the LDS church is that you come face to face with your inadequacies and shortcomings.” Don ?t get me wrong, I felt these inadequacies as a married Mormon wife and mother, but the feelings were more easily covered up by the ability to “fit in” and blend (and also by the sheer busy-ness of young Mormon family life). However, once the marriage was gone and I became a square peg, these inadequacies hit me in the face.
I will spare everyone the list of my particular anxieties as I know we all have our own list of how we think or know we fall short. What I hope to focus on is the sweet blessing of this painful experience. I came to realize that it doesn ?t matter ?no matter how “good” I was or how “competent” or “righteous” I tried to be, it would never be “enough” to not need my Savior and His atoning sacrifice. This knowledge has healed me and continues to heal wounds in me that I wasn’t even aware were there.
I didn’t realize just how much this lesson meant to me until a few months ago when I was sitting in a combined Priesthood/Relief Society lesson. The teacher was presenting information from a conference talk and was focusing on are we doing “enough, are we magnifying our callings, are we doing our “best”? I started feeling really bad inside and was looking around at my fellow ward members and I have to admit, I got a little upset. I asked the teacher to “back up” to what he had just asked, and I gave a little speech on the “are we doing our best” question he had posed. And here is what I said (to the best of my memory):
Brother so and so, I have to back up here and address the questions you just posed, because yes, I am magnifying my callings, and as I look around this room I see everyone who is here is here and they are doing their best and they are trying to live the Gospel and they are serving in so many ways. Brother so and so just gave a great Gospel Doctrine lesson. Sister so and so just gave a great talk to us today in Sacrament meeting. And this is just scratching the surface of everything that we do day in and day out. I am, frankly, tired of us beating up on ourselves because we aren’t doing “enough.” We are all “enough” and I think it is hogwash [yes, I actually said hogwash] that we denigrate all the good we are trying to do.
Fortunately, at this point, some other Relief Society sisters chimed in and the lesson started to have some class participation and got interesting. What amazed me was the number of people who came up to me afterwards and said “thank you” and that they were feeling really bad on the inside, too.
So, my point here is ?we are enough. We are imperfect and flawed and learning and stumbling and trying and it is enough. The Lord loves us in spite of all of that. He atoned for us so he could make up the difference. Oh, how I love Him for that.
And from the moment I realized that truth, my love for Him and my desire to serve Him deepened and flowed over me. I could do everything perfectly ? for the rest of my life and I would still be unworthy.
Does this mean I don ?t have to keep learning and growing and trying? Absolutely not, but it means that I can stop beating myself up for the past, that I can learn from it and move forward in faith, and that, most importantly, I can let the Savior love me, just as I am, right where I am.
I hope that we can all feel that love in our lives and move forward this year knowing that we are enough.