Today I came across a talk written by Patricia Holland, wife of Jeffrey R. Holland. All I have to say is this: how in the world have I not read this talk before?!
“Surely there has not been another time in history when women have questioned their self-worth as harshly and critically as in the second half of the twentieth century. Many women are searching, almost frantically, as never before, for a sense of personal purpose…
We can become so sidetracked in our compulsive search for identity and self-esteem that we really believe it can be found in having perfect figures or academic degrees or professional status or even absolute motherly success.
We are not getting closer, but further away from that sense of community and sisterhood that has sustained us and given us strength for generations. There seems to be an increase in our competitiveness and a decrease in our generosity with one another. We must not feel so frightened, so threatened, so insecure…
I believe we can find our steady footing and stilling of the soul by turning away from physical preoccupations… and returning instead to the wholeness of our soul…
We need to remember that divine promise, “The Kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21.) Perhaps we forget that the kingdom of God is within us because too much attention is given to this outer shell, this human body of ours, and the frail, too-flimsy world in which it moves.
There, in a setting not of this world, where fashions and position and professions go unrecognized, we have our chance to find peace and serenity and stillness that will anchor our soul forever, for there we may find God.
We must be patient with ourselves as we overcome weaknesses, and we must remember to rejoice over all that is good in us. This will strengthen our inner selves and leave us less dependent on outward acclaim. When our souls pay less attention to public praise, they then also care very little about public disapproval.
The point is, we simply cannot call ourselves Christian and continue to judge one another - or ourselves - so harshly.
We must have the courage to be imperfect while striving for perfection.”
... Spoken like the wife of an apostle.
You can find the rest of her talk here.