Another amazing week here in Morehead! We had a ton going on and the bags underneath our eyes just proves/shows how exhausted we are haha. We got to attend our ward Christmas party and the Handel's Messiah Sing Along. So many awesome events leading up to Christmas!! The Messiah was a night to remember. They have people of all faiths come and participate in the sing along of Christ's birth, life, death, and resurrection. There was such a strong spirit as we all sang Hallelujah! It was a bit weird to clap in the chapel, seeing as the lds church hosted the event, but it was an incredible experience.
It's been amazing how many hearts are open this time of the year. So many blessings are being poured upon us. I feel so blessed and love being a representative of Jesus Christ at this time.
Oh and as for the subject hahaha. SO, we got to attend the Messiah Sing Along with Brother McKenzie and his daughter. Emmy is adorable and the whole night, she kept reminding me of Donna. She was telling us how proud she is to be from Kentucky. Only in Kentucky can she have a friend who is Ed Jr the third.... hahaha they took me to waffle house for the first time and I'm sure everyone was so annoyed with how loud we were all laughing😂
Everyone needs to download the LDS media app and go watch the video by Tiffany Webster called The Perfect Lie. It's just SO amazing, that it'll be the main focus of my email this week. I'm just going to summarize what I got from watching her speech, but for anyone struggling with perfectionism, GO watch and listen to her words. They are so much better than my summarized version.
To start off, Tiffany goes into detail about how at 15 years old, she made goals for her future self 15 years from then.
At the time she had everything thought out. She made her checklist of her perfect life. As life went on, she realized her checklist wasn't so easy to obtain. Living a perfectionist life was defeating. She recalls waking up every morning overwhelmed with everything she had to accomplish in order for her to feel successful. And each night, she would go to bed thinking she was a failure. When a pile of trials hit her families world, she lost all hope. At times, it was too hard to even get up in the morning. Her toddler went from having multiple activities in a day to sitting on her bed watching netflixs all day, while Tiffany laid there feeling hopeless.
She hit a certain point where she felt that she had no worth at all. She felt abondaned by God. Tiffany shares how she questioned who she even was anymore. All of her life, she had always had a testimony of Jesus Christ. In that moment, however, she had no idea how to access his Atonement into her life. She needed to be healed through his grace, but as to how, was unknown to her. Using his Atonement for repentance was not a problem, but to use his sacrifice to pull her out of the darkness she felt, was a mystery. Tiffany realized she could either let these trials destroy her, or put God's promise to the test. So she asked, seeked, and knocked like she never had in her entire life (Matthew 7:7). Tiffany searched the scriptures, not to check this off her "Christian checklist" or to be perfect, but so she could know who this man was. She studied his life and the scriptures came alive to her as she engulfed herself in Jesus Christ's teachings. And she admits it wasn't easy at first. Some moments, she still felt numb, but as she kept trying and kept at it, it became easier. Her desire to read increased, and so did a light in her life.
A theme stuck out to her of Christ's life. Apart of the Savior's daily life was "taking something broken, inadequate, and weak, and transforming it." For example, at the wedding feast when they ran out of wine, they came to Jesus. There was a problem and they knew he could fix it. Without judging, he asked them what they had... All they had was water. Christ didn't say that's not good enough, but he took what they had and with his power he transformed it into wine. And to add, it was the BEST wine they had all night long (John 2). The Lord feeding the 5,000 was another example, he made it enough (Mark 6). I'm sure you can find many more examples! Jesus Christ takes our brokenness and makes it into even more than we could even imagine.
The Perfect Lie, is when the adversary makes us think we have to be perfect by ourselves. The adversary tricks us and makes us think we have to be just like Christ, without Christ's help. It turns into a horrible equation where we take ourselves and take more upon ourselves so we can equal and be Christlike.
Me + More = Christlike.
We think... And just continue to beat ourselves up by saying if only...
Me + More (Forgiving) = Christlike
Me + More (Patient) = Christlike
Me + More (Prayerful) = Christlike
Then, the adversary takes it a step further and takes Christ out of the equation completely. It gets wrapped up in our minds that to feel good enough we need to chase these alternative equations.
Me + Skinny = Happy
Me + Money = Successful
Me + Boyfriend/Girlfriend = Loved
Me + Social Media Followers = Friends
Sadly, we go and try to chase these things, we try to be enough, do enough, and have enough.
Christ did say, "Be ye therefore perfect" (Matthew 5:48). Tiffany asked, did he ever say be perfect today, tomorrow, in the future? NO. It might not ever happen in this life. And he definitely didn't say be perfect without him. In the adversaries perfect lie.... Me + More = Christlike. Is there anything we could put in the more part that would ever make us be equal to Christ. Not anything I can think of. As Tiffany put it, "we would fail everyday, because that is an impossible math equation."
We think this is what we need to do but, Christ says add me upon you, and I will make you more... 1 Peter 5:10, "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, MAKE YOU PERFECT, stablish, strengthen, settle you."
He teaches us to "come unto me", "learn of me", and he will make you anything you want to be. When we sit at his feet and learn, trust, and let him in, then Christ gets put into his proper place of the equation....
Me + Christ = More
Me + Christ = Enough
Me + Christ = Happy
Me + Christ = Successful
Me + Christ = Loved
Me + Christ = Accepted
Tiffany came to see that when God let her life crumple it wasn't because he didn't love her, but because he wanted her back. She was able to learn how to live by his son's grace, how to learn "line upon line, precept upon precept", and most importantly that she didn't have to work, or be perfect to be of any worth (2 Nephi 28:30). She was a daughter of God and it wasn't because of anything she did, but because, "she was his." Overall, she learned to know Christ. Not to be like Christ, but to be, "at one with Christ, to be complete with Christ, and to be whole with Christ."
Tiffany shares how even though she is still broken and still a hot mess, "she isn't chasing perfection, but she is chasing Jesus." And she's never been more HAPPY.
I just absolutely loved this and found so much peace while studying more about this with the Savior's teachings. One thing that I came across that I loved is that several times in the scriptures it states how we need to be "made perfect". We won't instantly be perfect, and we can't demand or expect ourselves to just be perfect at everything. We have to be "made perfect" and there is only one set of hands that can make us perfect. Our Savior, Jesus Christ will take our lives and with his PERFECT, wisdom, power, and love will MAKE us all we need to be and more💛
Favorite quote of the week... "Live life moving forward, learn by looking back."
Sister Lauren Ashlee Ludwig
1. Our Penn Station Pal
2. Can't pass up a picture with 🎅
3. Sam, before Santa...
4. Everybody loves Santa Claus, but Sammy😂