Thursday, April 29, 2010

The promise of forgiveness

My Caroline told a lie yesterday. I knew it was a lie as the words were stumbling from her lips. A combination of her mannerisms and instantly shameful demeanour was a dead giveaway to her mother that knows her well. Her father and I just stared at her silently, and with no real physical evidence to support what we both knew to be true, we decided to hold our tongues for the moment. We kissed her and sent her back to bed, as we had already put her to bed for the night once that evening. She carried herself upstairs and I could hear her feet were moving slow, dragging a bit from the burden that she was surely carrying with her to bed. I had a hard time sleeping last night because of it. I knew she was feeling guilty and I know my Caroline well enough to know the lie was weighing on her.

The next afternoon while we were sitting on the sofa together, I felt prompted to ask her if there was anything bothering her. Within a matter of seconds, tears pooled in her eyes and her voice was quivering. She confessed that she had lied to us last night because she was afraid she would be in trouble if she had told the truth. Had I been able to see the face of God at that very moment, I do not doubt that He would have winked at me. I smiled at the opportunity and was quick to flood that sweet girl of mine with grace and forgiveness. What a perfect chance to reflect a glimmer of the character of our Father.

God tells us in Isaiah 43:25 that He is the one that blots out our transgressions and remembers our sins no more. And just in case we missed it the first time, He repeats himself again in Jeremiah 31:34, "For I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more". Not only does He forgive our sins, an act that is undeserved from a righteous God, but He promises to remember them no more. God doesn't waste words and I think He knew that we would need to know that He would remember them no more. I think He knew that we would try and pick up our cloak of shame and hide our faces underneath it's hood. I think He knew that we would always wonder "well what if 'it' gets brought up again, or what if He is up there keeping score". I think He knew that Fear would creep back in and try to rob us of God's gift by whispering "He knows what you have done". I think He knew that Caroline was going to come back into my room and say "but Mommy, I can't get it out of my brain". I think He knows us well, and He knew that we (like Caroline) would need to hear our Father say "I will remember their sins no more".

Have you let this Truth settle into the weary, shame filled parts of your soul? Did you know that it is a choice to do so? Did you know that whether or not you feel forgiven and restored, if you have asked for it, then you have received it. It is your choice to believe or not believe the promise, but rest assured that God delivers on what He promises. Before Jesus could finish his words on the cross "Father, forgive them", I believe that God had granted it. After all, He seemed to like granting the requests of His son in whom He was well pleased. And likewise, Caroline had my forgiveness before her first tear fell from her eyes...whether she believes it or not.



Between You and Me said...

grace and forgiveness...nothing more satisfying.

You did great, MOM!'s hard to let God convict them sometimes, isn't it?

Praying that I learn better to hold my tongue until GOD prompts me when my children fall into sin.

ntignor said...

So true! AWWWW - my sweet Caroline, I can just see her going through all of that. She is lucky to have you as a Mom and I'm lucky to have you as a daughter.

Jill said...

Such a sweet post. Warms my heart.

Richella said...

This is a wonderful post, Amy! And you have no idea how much it meant to me to read this. This is an aspect of God that I did not learn about when I was growing up--just the opposite in fact--and it has been really, really difficult for me to process the idea of grace as an adult. So it does my heart good to read about your being in synch with God on this point as you act with Him to parent Caroline. I'm so proud of you for the way you handled this with your daughter--and I'm thrilled that you shared this with us! God bless you!

joanne said...

beautiful post and just what I needed to hear today...along with Richella's comment, I feel touched. Thank you, have a good weekend.

Kristi said...

Wonderful post! A very similar thing happened with one of my boys last night. How timely. And instead of reacting (like I wanted to) I sent him back to bed and he was in tears. He did get up again and told us how sorry he was and how terrible he felt. It's hard to let go of what "we" want to do and let God handle it. :)

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

Precious post today. Very well written. We all need to be mindful of forgiveness and graciousness from our dear Father. You did a terrific job of handling this, Mom!!

Big TX Hugs,
Angelic Accents

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

You know your a good parent when this happens! I'm really enjoying your blog, thanks for stopping by mine! Hope your enjoying your Monday!
Take care

Liz said...

Hi, I'm your newest follower! What a beautiful and very well written post. It's as if this post was written for me. I have 4 young daughters and had the same thing happen to me with one of my daughters just recently. You handled the situation perfectly, what a sweet mommy. ((Hugs))

You have a gorgeous family and I am so glad I came across your blog.

Have a wonderful day! ~Liz

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