We have hit a new…poignant…beautiful…slightly terrifying point in our parenting. Up til now, our girls have effortlessly forgiven our (MY) shortcomings. Effortlessly. But now, the work of grace begins.
Our developmental leap forward began something like this:
Me: lost my cool…again…and raised my voice…again.
Eden: pain in her eyes…again…went off to play.
Me: calling Eden back. We sat together on the floor. I took her hands into mine and said, “Oh baby, it was so wrong of me to raise my voice. That is my fault…not yours. When I do that, it is because of me, not because of anything you have done.” Breathe, breathe, breath to let it soak in to her heart. “I am so sorry. Will you forgive me?”
Eden: “It’s not okay.”
Yep. And you know what…it’s NOT. How many times have I groused at Phil upon his almost immediate apology, “NOT YET. You can’t apologize yet cause I’m mad…and I want to stay mad…and if you apologize NOW, I have to forgive you. And I am not ready. Give me 5 minutes, and try again.” True story.
And so, I immediately recognized her response…cause it is often my response…whether or not I’m bold enough to express it out loud. How do I proceed???
Me: “Eden, you are right. It is not okay…pregnant pause…and pause…and pause….”
My hero stepped in at this point.
Phil: “Eden, I know you are upset with Mommy. But God tells us to forgive. It is hard…and we cannot do it without him…that’s why we need Jesus. We do not forgive because people deserve it. God tells us to forgive and that’s why we do it…not because we feel like it. ” Yep. I married up.
Okay, so wobbly start, right? Eh. We were not ready for this one! Plus…there’s the whole lacking of holy spirit at this point…no “counselor” whispering to her heart…forgive, forgive, forgive.
And so, we boldly go where we’ve never gone before! Dear Jesus, help us.