What beautiful thoughts from this post:
"There is no one sitting in church with you that is perfect. But, God has made room for the hypocrites, people like you and me, within His church. . . .
Whether you are really into gardening or prefer to lounge around the house with an old book in an old ZZ Top T-Shirt (like me), we were made ON purpose and FOR a purpose and there is nothing average about you. . . .
Jesus Christ doesn’t divide the world by Sinners and Saints, but He divides the world into sinners who are repentant and sinners who are not. Spiritual maturity isn’t based in perfection; it’s an awareness of our imperfections and our dependency on God."
When I first joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I tried really hard not to talk about my past. I went out of my way to try and fit in with the LDS women around me. I really believed that if I acclimated to my sisters, my shameful secrets and struggles would cease to exist.
I tried my hand at crafting (and failed). I tried ONLY listening to LDS music and reading LDS books (again, I failed.) I feigned excitement over gardening, sewing, canning and crocheting. . . . I found little joy in what I was doing and I definitely wasn't producing any fruit. Often times, I felt like I was the most broken person sitting in church.
I had a Priesthood Holder say to me one time,
“Nikki, all those things [sewing, canning, gardening] are great, but they will never get you into Heaven.”
Boy, he was absolutely right! There is a HUGE difference in suffering until the end and “enduring to the end” and what I was doing was borderline torturous for me. Somehow, somewhere I became convinced that, “be ye perfected” equated to making casserole dishes and homemade clothing.
Now, I realize how wrong I had been in reconstructing myself in the beginning of my membership. I was too worried about pleasing people and hiding myself instead of pleasing my Father in Heaven and living openly and honestly with Him. God didn’t want to work with a wholly different person: God chose me…even with my baggage. In the world to come, I will not be asked “why weren’t you like Relief Society President?” I will be asked why was I not Nikki Yaste, the flawed, but a uniquely created person in whom God has personally decided to make His dwelling place. I am called a Temple of God; a place God takes very seriously. The Holy Spirit came to liberate us into who we truly are, not bind us into what someone’s opinion of us should be. We had a purpose long before someone had an opinion. As much as we may try, on our own, we can not construct a heart that is capable of pleasing God, but God can and He promises He will.
Despite all your fears and failures, God will not fail you. He promises to work within you and through you, if you let Him.