Nikki Lamberg shares how she came to realize that God doesn't expect her to be perfect.
For the longest time I had this notion in my head that Catholics had to be perfect. Where this silly idea came from I don’t know. Maybe it was from going to a Catholic grade school where it was more formal in its Catholic ways. Maybe it’s from the current cancel culture we are experiencing and the deception that Catholics aren’t accepting of certain types of people. Oh, how I wish they could hear the message of our priest, who is constantly reminding us that ALL are welcome.
Or maybe it’s from going to church with our young family, praying that I, along with those sitting around us, will be able to hear the message in between the distraction of the ups and downs of our little children, the constant pulling off of our masks by our 1-year-old, and the pockets full of goldfish my husband acquires as they get spilled out onto the pew or the floor.
Most recently, this crazy concept of feeling the need to be perfect reared its ugly head again. We were preparing to celebrate our oldest child’s First Communion when he asked to invite our priest to our house for a celebration. As the day got closer and I was preparing our family, and our house, the human-nature of trying to balance being “super mom” and reality set in. With three young children, it’s near impossible to keep the same area of our house clean for more than five minutes at a time. How in the world am I going to show our priest that we do, indeed, have it together?
Our 1-year-old reminded me in his own little way, that it doesn’t matter what our house looks like, or that we may, or may not, have it all together. “Jesus,” as our little guy likes to simply and naively call our priest, was coming to our house. You see, through the eyes of our child, I was reminded that the priest is the person that God calls to stand in for Jesus as a physical presence, to teach us and to remind us just how much God loves us. He’s the very same person who is the messenger of our sins to God, and in return offers our absolution from Him.
Our priest, just like Jesus was, is human, and he doesn’t expect us to be perfect. Although Jesus was, is, and always will be perfect, He most certainly does not expect us to be. We are mortal. We are imperfect. Our priest doesn’t expect my house to be perfect any more than God expects our lives to be perfect. We are perfectly imperfect to Him. And thank God for that! What a disheartening way to live life, feeling like you can never be good enough. We don’t have to be perfect Christians: God accepts us for who we are and loves us any which way that is.
So give the house full of mess and blessings up to God and let your light shine! Live out His will for you in the way that you feel you are being called to do, regardless of the chaos around you. Don’t let the imperfections of life stop you from being who He has called you to be. Be perfectly imperfect.
Copyright 2021 Nikki Lamberg
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About the Author
Nikki Lamberg is a born and raised Catholic, full-time working, wife and mom of three young children. It brings her great joy to read, write and help others as she can, especially when it comes to infertility and raising young children.