Jun 12, 2013

You too, my girl, you too.

The notes started shortly after I entered the hallway.

They were taped about four feet high and about three feet apart.  Little strips of torn binder paper, stuck to the wall with too-large pieces of tape.

"I am a horible person"

"nobody shud love me"

As I walked slowly down the hall to my daughter's room, I pulled the notes off the wall.  I stacked them neatly in my hands, and I struggled between despair and amusement.

"i shud be alone forevr"

She had made a mistake, that's all.  Something small in the grand scheme of things.  She had broken something that I could fix, knocked a picture off the wall in her exuberance.   In fact, I had already fixed it, and it was already hanging on the wall.  A couple of taps with a hammer and the frame had slid back together around the glass, glass which didn't even break when the picture hit the floor.

Her door was closed with yet another note stuck to it.

"i am a disastr"

I hear her crying loudly through her door. Suddenly I am realizing that I am my little girl...

This year I have made some mistakes, a couple of big ones, and they are not easily fixable.  I realize that though I am slightly less demonstrative in my drama than my 8-year-old daughter, I still wrote notes and left them on the hallways of my heart.

"I really messed up" (only replace "messed" with a word that starts with the letter f)

"How can I still be lovable?"

"I should be alone forever, so I can't hurt anyone else."

I picture Christ wandering that hallway and with tears in his eyes, he removes each one, stuck to the wall with tape, tears and self-loathing.   He probably isn't struggling with amusement, nor can he take my mistake and tap it with a hammer and fix it in under 5 minutes.

Unfortunately I can't take what I broke and keep it safely hidden in a "special box" like my daughter does, a box full of broken pencils and pencil sharpeners and small plastic toys missing legs and arms.

But Christ can come into my room, where I have locked myself away, and hold my hand while I cry.  He can give me peace in the midst of my fear and hope in the midst of my pain.

I know he will be standing beside me rejoicing when what was lost is found, when what was broken is made whole again.

As I enter my daughter's room, I feel the presence of God, reminding me that the love and grace and mercy I am offering her in the middle of her mistake is the same love and grace and mercy that He is offering me in the middle of my sin.

It's the same love and grace and mercy that He offers all of us, no matter what we've done.

I wrap my arms around the little crumbled person sitting on her floor and gently tell her that I already fixed it.  I whisper that she made a mistake, and I already forgave her.  I tell her that she's not a horrible person, that I couldn't stop loving her if I tried, that she's not too much of a disaster and that I would never leave her alone.

I hear the quiet still voice inside me whisper "You too, my girl, you too."
The Lord has taken away your punishment,
    he has turned back your enemy.
The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you;
    never again will you fear any harm.
On that day
    they will say to Jerusalem,
“Do not fear, Zion;
    do not let your hands hang limp.
The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zeph 3:15-17

Linking up with Imperfect Prose over at Emily T. Wierenga.


  1. Oh. Dear God. I can not believe this gorgeous place and space you've written us all out of the corner, teary-eyed and forgiven. Bless you sister.

    1. (forgot to tell you I'm here from Em's place....so glad I clicked YOU! )

    2. Dear AJ -- what a beautiful piece of writing and such a heart touching tale of God's love and mercy for our broken selves...brought a tear to my eye. Thanks so much for sharing...I am linking with Emily too. God bless you.

      AJ -- am having trouble leaving this comment so I will sign off...

      Sheila at LongingsEnd.com

    3. Thank you for the lovely comments! It's been a hard couple of months, but I know that God is still holding me. :)

  2. Dear AJ,
    What a touching and beautiful story...I can so relate...God uses our daughter to teach me so much, and I am so happy that your daughter has such a loving mom...Grateful our God is so tender and forgiving...Blessings :)

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment! Doesn't He use our kids to teach us lessons about His love all the time?? He handles us tenderly when we want to handle ourselves roughly. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Oh...your sweet daughter. Guilt is a heavy burden, but forgiveness is it's balm. Thanks for sharing this message.

    1. It is so true, guilt and shame are so heavy, but God can lift that burden off of us with His forgiveness.

  4. Wow! What a powerful post and pretty much what I needed to read today. We are so indebted to God and I'm so grateful that he lifts our burdens. Thanks for the perspective in which you wrote this, because I would never think to say such things to anyone else--why would I say them to myself?

    Thanks for coming by to my site and visiting from The SITS Girls.

    1. :) Thanks for the sweet comment. Yes, I find that the things I would say to me are far worse than anything I would dare say to another person. My internal voice is pretty mean, actually. So glad you stopped by!

  5. What a beautiful reminder of God's love and forgiveness... I tend to forget that when I've messed up and think I suck. I'm a bit like your daughter when I make mistakes.

    1. I am too! Can't help but make a list of all the ways I suck... but God is always reminding me that I haven't done a permanent job of it.

  6. friend! what a powerful analogy. oh. and the Lord, just taking us in his arms and just loving so desperately on us. thank you for this. thank you. e.

    1. Glad you stopped by to visit! God has been wrapping His arms around me gently and patiently, even as I have pushed His arms off of me. He loves us so much.

  7. Yes. So thankful for His forgiveness, for His love...


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