It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect To Be Wonderful

expectations imperfection reconstruct remember wonderful May 16, 2023

With Mother’s Day this past weekend, I spent some time reminiscing on the last 22 years as a mother.

We all have certain expectations in life. We imagine things going a certain way, but often, circumstances turn out much differently than we imagine. This is pregnancy in a nutshell for me. I became pregnant with my first child five months after getting married. I did not feel prepared, yet I was fortunate to have a solid support system. I went on to have three more children, and each pregnancy was very challenging (I had hyperemesis gravidarum-persistent severe vomiting). Truly beautiful souls emerged from me, but my body remembers pregnancy with quite a bit of trepidation.

Even though my body does not relish pregnancy memories, the act of remembering the last 22 years of motherhood elicits immense gratitude for the lives that were created. 

The word “to remember” is used over 200 times in the Old Testament. Most often, it is God reminding the people of important laws or events of the past. But, it is also used by some individuals to entice God to remember them.

For example, in Genesis 8:1, God “remembers” Noah and the waters from the flood begin to recede. The rainbow is also “a reminder” to the people that God will never flood the earth again.

Similarly, God “remembers” both Rachel (Gen 30:22) and Hannah (1 Sam 1:19), and they conceive and bear children. They were barren up to this point. In Hannah’s prayer, she vows to consecrate her son to the service of God if she is remembered.

O LORD of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death (1 Samuel 1:11).

The biblical scholar Rachel Adelman argues that “remembering is a means of re-constructing ourselves as we stand in the present.” This is why reflection is an important aspect of our healing journey. We have the ability to take the narrative of what we remember from our past and re-construct it based on our present selves; especially those memories where our reality did not align with our expectations. 

Think of a memory from your past that you hold with some trepidation. Is it possible to re-construct those memories and glean something wonderful out of the imperfection? The fates of Noah, Rachel, and Hannah were altered because they recognized how to make something out of their perceived imperfections. Remember: It does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.

                                                By, Jennifer Metten Pantoja

Subscribe to our blog  

We'll deliver women's embodied interpretation of sacred texts through writing and art directly to your inbox. Unsubscribe anytime.