When her child is hurting, why does a mom take it upon herself to want to strip away the pain, rescuing her child, his immediate happiness trumping an opportunity to pray he use that moment of adversity and trial to grow closer to God.
At least that’s what this mom tends to do.
When my child, even my adult child, chooses to live life separate and apart from his mom, breaking my heart wide open, exposing the rawness, the very nerve endings throbbing red with pain as when a hammer hits a thumb, why does it cause this mom to feel overwhelming guilt for something I may not have done?
Or perhaps even worse, something I may have done very wrong.
Why must I reduce it to be the result of something I did or didn’t do, rather than a sign of his growing independence as he grows a family of his own?
It was once told to me that the best gift we can give our children is to teach them how to live without us. So why must I look at it as a weakness on my part rather than a strength?
Could it be the fact that I still hold myself guilty for something that happened long ago? And why is it so much easier to grant others forgiveness and grace that we oftentimes cannot extend to ourselves?
Could it be one can’t actually forgive oneself, but only simply give it to God, to be rid of it once and for all? Could something I’ve been making so hard really be that simple?
Christ has forgiven me for something that happened over a decade ago as many times as I have sought His forgiveness. And that has been a million times. Or so it seems.
How many times must I ask His forgiveness before it becomes a lack of faith on my part? An unbelief that He forgave me the very first time I fell on my knees, tear-stained, heart broken, still breaking, asking Him to forgive my selfishness and waywardness.
What if He’s teaching me lessons in forgiveness, trust and consequences?
What if He is teaching me that when my child does something that may cause me heart-wrenching, raw pain, such as turning a back, spouting hurtful words, that that is how my own behavior, as His child, pains Him?
A pain that is wild beyond description or comprehension.What if He is teaching me the depth of His love and forgiveness? That just because there is forgiveness, does not mean there are no consequences.
Teaching me that even though He has truly forgiven me, unpleasant and painful results from sin long ago can still appear in my life. Like a volcano a decade old, the gray ashes still falling, spiraling down ever so faintly around shoulders who long ago caused the eruption. A reminder.
Teaching me that not only does forgiveness not mean there are no consequences, but that consequences may be part of the forgiveness? In order to teach me a lesson that will last, to prevent further pain. That the price we pay is something to consider a gift.
What if He is teaching me that because He has forgiven, I can rest in Him while I pay that price? That He is with me on the journey, rather than facing the bare, cold bones of that reality alone.
In my child’s worst moments, even my adult child, I would never withhold forgiveness from him, but extend even more love. More grace. More compassion. Walking with him, holding him every step of the way, no matter how rocky or how long the journey.
What if He is teaching me the reality and depth of His love and forgiveness, knowing that what I am capable of feeling is only a fraction of His love for us. For my son.
That is something to be eternally grateful for. A lesson worth the pain to learn. To remember always.
That I can walk the road of my life, rocky with debris from my choices and sinfulness, God’s outstretched hand helping me up each and every time I trip because I looked away from Him. That He watches over my children, His children, better than this mom could ever imagine.
Consequences. Forgiveness. Intertwined to perfection.
Grace to You.