I’ve learned many things being a mom. Most of what I have learned has come from my kids. I’ve learned that the killer whale is not a whale but the largest dolphin in the dolphin family. I’ve learned there is a difference between dolphins and porpoises. I’ve learned that pulling nails from fence posts is fun and that ladybugs will bleed on you when you pick them up (the yellow tuff the leave on your hand is actually their blood)! I’ve learned a wide range of things from my kids. However it’s the personal lessons that have stuck the most.
So it way past bedtime and I let them all know that the time for bed has arrived. My youngest who just seconds before was laughing throws herself face first onto the couch and with the most pathetic voice moans “oh I’m so tired; I just want to sleep on the couch.” For some reason this just irritated me. I had let them stay up late; we had ice cream; we had fun; and now she wants to pull the mopey, whiney card.
Fast forward fifteen minutes and she is still standing in the living room. By now I have been quite clear in my words that she was to go get in bed. Seeing as this stalling is a nightly habit her claims to needing water fell on my deaf ears and she immediately received a swat on her hiny. This of course broke her heart and the two of us walked hand in hand to her room.
We talked about her choice and how obedience is very important because God wants her to obey her parents. Sobbing she threw her arms around my neck and said “I’m sorry mommy.” My arms wrapped tightly around her and whispered “I forgive you.” She just kept repeating over and over that she was sorry. I asked her why she kept saying sorry when I told her it was over and she was forgiven. Her answer “I have 2000 ‘I’m sorries’ and until I get them all out I won’t feel better.”
Oh how my heart broke. I wanted her to know so badly that it was over; that she was forgiven; that there was no lingering punishment; that there was nothing to feel guilty about because that’s what forgiveness is. It is being released from the wrong action committed and being granted freedom. I explained over and over that she was forgiven and it was over and done with. With her arms still around my neck and her tears still flowing she said I’m sorry again and again.
I laid in bed with her; pulled her in tight and just stroked her hair as she sobbed. There was nothing more I could say. She knew the truth; now she had to choose to believe it. As I laid there silently begging her to believe she was forgiven God spoke to me. He said “Annette; do you believe you are forgiven? Do you truly understand that? Do you see the freedom I have given you? Do you get it now? I’ve been holding you close, my child, stroking your head waiting for you to believe that you are forgiven; that it is all over; that there is no guilt and no lingering punishment. That’s what I mean when I say there is no condemnation. Do you get it? Do you believe you are free? You don’t need to keep saying I’m sorry for things already forgiven; it’s over and done with; only you are holding on to it. Let it go and enjoy the freedom waiting for you.”
My daughter showed me a picture of myself and how I have been saying 2000 sorries not fully grasping the truth. Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” For those of us who are his children we have a beautiful freedom to live life and enjoy every second guilt free!