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You Don't Have To Be Perfect

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Is there a frustrating area in your life where you feel like you are constantly failing? How would it change if you stopped being so hard on yourself and started resting in how much you are loved by God?

“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:13-14, ESV)

“I’m scared, Mom.”

I saw the text message pop up on my phone at 11:30 p.m. My teenage daughter was away on a school trip in Florida.

My husband and I had just gotten a late-night phone call from a foster care worker asking if we could take in a sweet little 7-month-old boy with medical complexities who needed to be placed in a foster home that night.

After discussion and prayer, my husband and I felt we were supposed to step out in faith and say yes. So we did … even though we had zero experience with Down syndrome, cleft lip/palate or feeding a baby through a g-tube.

I read the rest of the text from my daughter. She was sharing honestly how she felt overwhelmed by how hard it might be to take on the task of caring for this tiny boy. She was worried that all of the doctor appointments, potential surgeries and therapies ahead might be too much to take on — especially since we already had a baby of our own.

Crafting a reply, I typed the truest words I knew to say to her: “I’m scared, too.”

Because I was. The doorbell was about to ring, and the DCS worker would be standing there with a little boy who needed a lot of care, love and nurturing. If I played out all of the unknowns of what saying “yes” to him might mean, it felt overwhelming to me.

Then I sent a second text to my daughter: “Both Dad and I feel strongly that God has called us to say yes. So we are going to trust God to help us one day at a time. I don’t know what five years from now holds, but I’m just going to trust God for today. Can you do that with me?”

We texted back and forth for a few more minutes, and by the end of the conversation, I sensed the heaviness and fear had lifted. My girl felt seen. She felt heard. She knew she was not alone. And we were in this together — trusting God together in spite of our fears.

My kids don’t need a perfect parent who can preach persuasive sermons. They need a mom who loves them, listens to them and points them to Jesus.

Think about it: If I were perfect, I wouldn’t need Jesus. The whole reason Jesus came to earth and died for me is because I am not able to achieve perfection. 

As Colossians 2:13-14 says, “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”

When I read this verse, I feel such deep gratitude. Christ’s finished work on the cross has canceled the record of our debt.  He took upon Himself the punishment we deserved for our sins.

He paid our debt in full. Not because of who we are or what we have done but because of who He is and how much He loves us. Because of this, when God looks at us, He sees Jesus. This is the gospel. This is the Good News!

His death on my behalf allows me to live with freedom and joy — free from having to live life chasing after pleasing other people, being perfect or managing my reputation.

Whether it’s parenting, marriage, working at our job or just living life with others, we will never do it all right. And that’s not the goal. Let’s be people who are honest enough to admit our mistakes and imperfections and our need for Jesus each and every minute of the day!

Lord, help me to release my burdens and stresses to You today. Give me strength when I feel overwhelmed, clarity when I don’t know what to do, and grace to face whatever discouragements or difficulties today holds. Thank You that You are my perfect Father and I can rest in You today! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

OUR FAVORITE THINGS

If you are a parent who struggles with stress and guilt that you are messing up your kids, Crystal Paine’s book Love-Centered Parenting will encourage you with practical ideas of how to parent with more calmness and confidence as you rest in God’s love for you and live out of that love with your kids.

ENGAGE

Follow Crystal on Instagram to see behind the scenes of her very real and not perfect life with five kids (and one on the way!) — and to be challenged as to what it looks like to live in freedom and rely on Jesus every day.

If you’re a frazzled or tired mom, you’ll especially enjoy Crystal’s free challenge: “10 Days to Be a Happier Mom.”

FOR DEEPER STUDY

2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (ESV)

Is there a frustrating area in your life where you feel like you are constantly failing? How would it change if you stopped being so hard on yourself and started resting in how much you are loved by God?

We want to hear from you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

© 2022 by Crystal Paine. All rights reserved.

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