"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens." Ecclesiastes 3:1

Monday, May 14, 2012

Broken, but Forgiven

My kids eat Cheerios every morning, but they also love my cereal.  (I eat Quaker Oatmeal Squares, in case you are curious.) On any given morning, it is not uncommon for them to ask me if they can have a bite of mine, and every so often, I will put a square in each of their bowls.

This morning happened to be one of those mornings when I decided to share.  I was almost finished eating when they asked me, so after sharing with them, I only had a few bites left in my bowl.  As I scooped up one of my last bites, my son dumped a spoonful of his cereal into my bowl.

As much as I hate to admit it, in the moment, this made me furious.  I fussed at him.  I scooped up his offering, dumped it back into his bowl, and explained to him that he shouldn't do something like that without asking me first. 

His head fell in defeat, and he broke down into tears.

All in one stupid, thoughtless moment, I had broken his little spirit.

I scooped him up into my lap and listened while he gave a voice to his cry.

"Mama, I just wanted to share with you and you made me really sad.  You made my heart hurt inside."

As I held him tightly, I apologized for hurting his feelings and begged for his forgiveness. I admitted that I was having a bad morning and I ended up making a bad choice because of it. 

With his arms wrapped around my neck and his tears soaking my shirt, he said, "I forgive you."

The best part is, he really did forgive me.  After a few more minutes of snuggling, I wiped away his tears and we started over.  He didn't hold a grudge, and he didn't make me "pay" for my mistake all morning long; he just forgave me and moved on. 

Sweet Jesus, help me to forgive like a child.

Help me to love like a child.

Help me to break away from my grown up tendencies to snap too quickly and hold on too tightly to my anger.

I am so broken. 

Fill me with Your healing love and help me to start over each and every time I make a mistake.

I have made so many mistakes already, and unfortunately, I know there are more to come.

Remind me of Your healing grace.

Help me to not only forgive others quickly, but also to forgive myself when I don't measure up. 

Teach me to love as You love, and help me to remember that although I am broken, I am also forgiven.

All I have to do is ask.

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