Perfection Not Required - Elisabeth Wallace
Hello my name is Elisabeth Wallace and this is my story:
"I grew up Plano, TX and was raised in an Episcopal church that later transitioned to an Anglican church from the time I was born until I was 18 years old, where I was sprinkled as an infant and confirmed when I was 12. I was a typical child raised in a Christian home – nice to others, although I had my moments, but I didn’t grasp the weight of sin or the importance of relying on God.
When I was 13 years old, I attended my first middle school church camp. I went to one of the worship sessions and heard the song “Lead Me to the Cross.” When I was singing the line “Lead me to the cross, where your love poured out” it all began to click in my head.
I grew up knowing that Jesus died on the cross, but that was the first moment I started to understand the weight of that event. I instantly felt guilt for someone dying on my behalf, but it wasn’t until later that I would understand why he did that. I always wondered what made me worthy to condemn someone else to death and never felt that I deserved it.
Growing up in a sport like gymnastics, I developed a high esteem for perfection in my skills and routines, and it even got to the point where I wanted to reach perfection in every aspect of my life. With that, my walk with the Lord became skewed. Instead of accepting God’s grace in times of sin, I fell deeper into guilt and shame and felt that I was burdening God with my mistakes.
When I left for my freshman year at college, I made a vow to myself that I would try harder to deepen my relationship with God, and God showed me grace beyond anything I could’ve imagined. Instead of allowing me to become perfect, He placed people in my life that completely changed the way I saw forgiveness and the way I saw myself.
It was then that I began to see that not only was perfection not necessary to receive Jesus’ love, but it was also impossible. I finally let go of the hold that guilt, shame, and perfection had on my life. With a lot of patience and time, I can now stand before you and say with my whole heart that I rely not on myself, but on Christ, the only person who could die for my sins and defeat the grave by rising from the dead.
Colossians 1:13-14 says “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Because of Christ’s love, grace, and forgiveness, I am free from the darkness of perfection and shame and am one of God’s beloved children. I am before you now to publicly declare that I am a believer in the Almighty who loved me and saved me from death, so that I can reside with him in eternal life."