Thursday, February 21, 2008

No Parking

I did it again last night. I went to bed feeling incredibly guilty about how I had handled a situation with one of my children. I totally blew it. Again. The guilt was palpable, my chest actually felt heavy.

Oh, I had apologized (and so had my child... for we both had a part in it). All was forgiven. The truth is, I'm not perfect. I blow it, usually more than once a day! Not only do I need to ask my child's forgiveness, but God's as well. He freely gives it, as well as the grace to do better next time. And there seems to always be a next time!

In his book Sacred Parenting, Gary Thomas says:

"What is better for the kingdom of God: That my son and daughters would say, "I can never serve God like Dad did" or "If God can use my dad, he can use me"? There is no question- the latter statement is the reality that most serves God's purposes long term. It is my job as my children's parent to model my own need for God's mercy and to demonstrate how God can use even sinful people to accomplish his aims."

"In this sense, we shouldn't look at guilt as a parking lot but as a car wash. When guilt feelings keep us self-absorbed, destroy our motivation, and make us discouraged, guilt has become a parking lot- not a good thing. But when guilt reminds us that we are insufficent, and when this insufficency points us to God- his forgiveness, his empowering Spirit, and his provision of grace- then guilt becomes a spiritual car wash. You don't camp out in a car wash; you just go there to get clean! You drive through the car wash and come out on the other side with a completely new outlook. That's one of the healthy roles that guilt can play for parents: pointing us and our children to God."

Lord, thank you for the gift of this child. Most of all, thank you for the incredible gift of Your Child, who came to earth to pay for my sins and my child's sins. Thank you for the gift of guilt, which points me to You. Please help me not to self-centeredly stay in the guilt, but to come to You who will wash me "whiter than snow." Thank You for teaching me about Your grace, mercy, and sufficiency as I parent my children. Help me and my children to experience those in abundance, daily. Amen.


Linda said...

What a wonderful analogy Cyndi. It speaks to my heart. I can still wallow in the guilt of mistakes I made with my children who now have children of their own!! We can really get stuck in that place. However, once washed clean we should be able to go on our way.
Thank you for this. Praying all is well at your house.

Susanne said...

What a great post, and reminder Cyndi that we are all humans and we can let even something like feeling guilty point us to God.

Kim said...

This is an amazing post! I can relate and I do agree with what you have said!

Daisy said...

Ohhh, amen. I appreciate and relate to this so much. So true, so humbling, so encouraging. How painful it is when I blow it, yet He brings forgiveness and hope all the way around. Thank you for this post.

Becoming Me said...

Thank you for writing this beautiful post. As a mother I sometimes get so absorbed in guilt that I make more mistakes by not letting go and accepting the forgiveness. I'm a recovering perfectionist and one lesson that I am learning is that I cannot be nor should I strive to be everything to everybody. This point of view can really lessen the importance of Christ's place in our lives.

Wendy said...

Great post! I can relate and agree w/what you said as well.