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To be unblemished.  Without fault.  Flawless.  Perfect.

It is nearly every woman’s dream.  Certainly mine.

And not just on the outside.  No, I’m talking about the inside, too.  I want to be the perfect mother.  Wife.  Friend.  Student.  Teacher.  Daughter.  The perfect person.

I want to love perfectly.  Serve perfectly.  Encourage perfectly.  And these are all noble actions, so surely striving for perfection in these things is a noble deed.  Right?

Oh, to be unblemished.  To never say something stupid.  To never miss an opportunity.  To never punish when I was simply supposed to console.  To never use sour sarcasm when all they needed was sweet encouragement.   To never speak out of anger or ignorance.  To never waste the moment I’m given by wishing I were somewhere else.  To never fear.  Oh–to never fear.

Unblemished.  To never be on the receiving end of the bitter cattiness of women in the workplace.  To never feel as if his absence was my fault.  To never feel that everyone else’s happiness is my responsibility.  To never be counted out before I even begin.  To never be left out or picked last.  To never be looked over because of my background or accent or appearance.

To be unblemished means more than just the perfect selfie.  It is to be free of painful scars inflicted by others and myself.  To be blameless and love others selflessly.  To be free of the baggage of sin that brings death.

For years, I have strived to be a woman who stands before you unblemished.

And for years I have failed.

But, God…

The two sweetest words I know, and the inspiration for this project.

Welcome, friends.  May we begin to see ourselves as God sees us.

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