“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14

Today, we celebrate women. We celebrate how God created them. We celebrate their potential, their strength, and their contributions to society.

But we’d be fooling ourselves if we didn’t admit that there is a long way to go.

Us women are under immense pressure. We are expected to be soft but strong, humble but confident, coy but not shy, busy but relaxed. The world constantly tells us that we are supposed to have it all, do it all, and be it all. We need to be everyone’s mom, sister, and friend while maintaining our work or our homes. Oh, and did I mention we need to look good while doing it?

At the end of the day, the world makes us feel inadequate because we cannot live up to its standards of “the perfect woman”.  Frankly, that goal is unattainable. Your grades will never be perfect, your spiritual life will go through periods of drought, your marriage will not look like you thought it would, you may be single and want a relationship, or you’re in a relationship and unhappy.

Whatever your standard for comparison is, we can feel the weight of comparison and expectations pressing on our hearts so intently every day. We want the clean house, the perfect kids, the good grades. We want to be strong, confident, daring, but also meek and humble. We want to be all of these things, but are only capable of being one thing- ourselves. We compare ourselves to other women claiming that their Pinterest-perfect Instagram account means that they have it all together. We mistakenly believe that having it all means having it together and it causes our hearts to fall into despair. We were not created to bear the weight of unmet expectations day in and day out.

Dear sisters, can I share some good news with you? You don’t have to have it all, do it all, or be it all because Jesus was all of those things for you.

I know the world tells you to act a certain way and maintain a busy presence, but when you listen to the expectations of the world you become more aware of your shortcomings. Your job is not to be the perfect student, friend, daughter, sister, wife, or mom. Your job is to let Jesus love you and fulfill you. This life is far from perfect- you are far from perfect.

When we stop resting in our imperfections and start resting in Jesus’ perfection for us then, we can truly be free.

Dear sisters, today is about celebrating you and all that entails- the imperfections and the messes, just as you are, a child of God.