Nobody’s perfect. But I wish I was. But I’m human.
There’s one mistake I made in particular, that I wish I could redo. A part of myself I hate exists. I always felt uncomfortable when the topic about trying to do better in this area came up. I suffered through the lessons and talks on it. I knew what was “right”, but “right” was literally impossible. It was something I just couldn’t do. I tried to be content and move on, living with my imperfection. I was just going to have to live life being imperfect. But man, that stinks.
But I discovered something wonderful today. So, as I tell my story, I hope you can think of something you don’t like about yourself- a mistake you made- something that makes you feel uncomfortable. Thinking of that will make this story better for you.
For the women’s meeting at my church, they invited us a week ahead of time to read an article to prepare for the next weeks’ lesson. It was on- you guessed it- my least favorite topic. For some reason I read the article anyway. I felt so uncomfortable the entire time. Reading it was torture. I thought to myself, “I hate living like this. Why can’t I just make this go away?”
And, for some reason, all of a sudden I remembered something- God knows me. Everything about me. He knows how I’m good and how I’m weak. But, if He knows – why should I talk to Him and tell Him what he already knows?
Yet- somehow, there I was, praying. Opening my mouth and being honest. He already knew- so I might as well speak the obvious. I opened my mouth- and beautiful words came out. Words I didn’t plan on. But I was being me- being Alana- being totally honest. Talking to God as if He were my friend. There were lots of long pauses between all my sentences:
“God, I did something wrong….
And I know it was wrong…..
And I’m sorry.
I am so so so so sorry.
I’m so sorry.
I’m just so sorry.”
Long pause. Lots of crying. I could clearly imagine God in a white robe, sitting on a chair, listening, while I knelt at his feet and let my tears wash his feet.
And then, the feeling was different. I could imagine God in a white robe, sitting on a chair, with Christ beside him, in a white robe, sitting on a chair, with me crying in His Christ’s lap, while He held me close, and stroked my back. I could almost feel my back get wet, because I know He was crying with me too. He knows how much it hurts. He loves me so much. I can feel it.
“You know me, Lord. You know I’m a good person. You know about all those times I tried so hard to be good. All those times I did the right thing when I was all alone- when it was awkward and unnatural. You know how much I want to be good.
But with this, God, you know that I try, but I just can’t do it. It’s too hard for me. I mess up. I’m so so so sorry.”
More long pauses. More tears. More stroking my back.
“God, I hate this part of myself. I don’t want it. I don’t want it anymore……
I don’t want it anymore……
I don’t want it anymore……
I don’t want it anymore…….”
Another long pause.
And then, the key words came out of my mouth.
“….. Can you help me? Can you take it away?”
And I felt Him say, “Of course, my Alana. I love you. I was waiting for you to ask me. I want you to be happy and free.”
And, just like that- I was new. I felt new. I felt stronger. Like- somehow, suddenly, I was strong enough to resist making that mistake ever again. Because suddenly, there was nothing appealing about it anymore. It wasn’t even tempting.
Then, I started to get ideas. Good ideas. About how I can be strong the next time a situation arises where it’s hard for me. New ways I’ll think. New ways I’ll act. This will be ten times easier now, because my desire for sin is gone. Christ took it away. Hallelujah.
When we prepare to take the bread and water at church, I usually sing the song and sit quietly. This time, I was amazed. I kept flipping through the sacrament hymns about Jesus Christ in the hymnbook. Every word of the song wasn’t just a nice poem- it was the truth. Why hadn’t I noticed it before? Oh my goodness. This was actually true. This was right. This was liberating.
““Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30).
“How Gentle God’s command.
How kind His precepts are.
Come cast your burdens on the Lord
and trust His constant care.”
I’ll drop my burden at his feet.
Our church lesson on the topic proceeded as planned, and I wasn’t uncomfortable at all. I felt so good. There was nothing for me to be ashamed of. It wasn’t a part of me anymore. It was gone, and I was new, and I was good. I love being good. When the teacher talked about making mistakes, I couldn’t connect with the mistake makers, because I didn’t have that desire anymore. I thought, “That’s not me.”
No guilt. No shame.
Only peace. I feel so clean. I feel so alive. I feel so able. I feel so strong. I feel so free.
I feel sanctified.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found.
Blind, but now I see.
What is the worth of a soul to the Father?
What is the cost of one sheep?
The price that was paid, for my soul to save
causes my heart to weep.
Being imperfect is an important part of God’s plan. We can become stronger through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He loves us. I know that’s true.
So, with whatever thing you thought of that you are uncomfortable with- a topic you avoid, a part of you you don’t think you can ever change-
Talk to your friend in the heavens. He’s a very good listener. He already knows. But sometimes when it comes out of your own mouth, it feels good to know He knows.
He’ll take it from there.