If only I had a secret window to glance through and see my daughter on her first day of 4th grade.
This was a morning of firsts. The first day of 4th grade; the first morning that my daughter fixed her own hair on the first day of school; the first time she would walk down a hallway not knowing where her classroom was or without meeting her teacher first. One of the hardest parts of parenting is watching our children walk out of our home into this uncertain world, with uncertain people who have uncertain actions and out of our certain reach.
Equipped or not they must face their fears, face their peers, face their weaknesses and hopefully along the way discover their own strengths, seek the courage to make new friends and realize their God is bigger than their fears.
Distracted with caring for my son after his oral surgery, I confused the dates on when “Meet the Teacher” night was occurring for my daughter. Madelyn called a friend to ask what time her and her family were arriving at “Meet the Teacher” night, only to find out it already occurred the night before! The look in Madelyn’s eyes when she came to tell me broke my heart – she was devastated. Her disappointment became evident; this was all my fault – mom was to blame.
No matter how much we strive to perfectly love those we care for we will have “mom fail” moments.
When I let Madelyn down, as unintentional as it was, her fears grew and became weightier than before. Her fear plus my “mom fail” moment delivered a child who felt let down and weighted down. As a mom, oh how I want to lift her weights of fear, throw them off and set her free. In a feeble attempt, my hands feel tied behind my back as I scramble to lift a few of those weights. As hard as I try, I cannot remove them all – this is a job beyond my ability.
In my failure there is an unexpected gift I can unwrap and give away: through my failure I can reflect the love of a God whose love never quits, a God who never fails and a God whose strength is limitless.
As hard as this mom tries, I will often make mistakes, let others down and find myself apologizing for my own weaknesses. My response to failure needs to reflect God’s love, not my own feelings of inadequacy. What better way to use our mistakes for God’s Glory and for His greater purpose in our lives than to let it draw us closer to Him, closer to those we love and in turn point others to Jesus.
“Thank the miracle-working God, His love never quits.” Psalm 136:4
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
“Let them see the full extent of Your power that is at work in those of us who believe, and may it be done according to Your might and power.” Ephesians 1:19
- God never fails,
- His love never quits and
- His power never ceases.
I’m thankful for this reminder, that my complete confidence should always be placed in my Heavenly Father and in Him alone.
To place my complete confidence in others, no matter how trustworthy they are or should be in my estimation, is too heavy a weight for anyone else to bare. I may trust, believe in and place confidence in others, only if I keep in mind they are human. Humanity will fail; God NEVER fails.
When I place the weight of my confidence on God, he can bench press that weight, the weight of my expectations, the weight of my fears, my disappointment and all of the other weights I lay at His feet. And he can do the same with yours! Not only that, He will exceed our expectations and prove that we can never go wrong placing our complete confidence in Him who is faithful.
I pray my daughter quickly forgot her mom’s failure in the excitement of meeting her new teacher and getting to know her new classmates. I hope she found her new classroom with ease and that she remembered who was with her today as she faced her fears. Maybe she trusted her Heavenly Father a little more and just maybe she received a greater glimpse of His faithfulness through her day of many “firsts”. “Mom fail?” Yes, I did. I’m thankful our God redeems our “mom fail” moments and turns them into teachable moments of love and forgiveness (when we allow him to).
Maybe it’s part of God’s plan after all – not that He wants us to fail, but that he knows we will fail – and through our failures (when they occur) that we will know the one who never fails more.
My sweet girl, smiling from ear to ear, stepped off the bright yellow school bus. I greeted her with crazy enthusiasm, hugs, and sat down with her over graham crackers and milk to hear all about her day. A smile lit her face and she was full of excitement as she shared with me all the news of her first day of school. At one point in our conversation I asked her who was with her all day and immediately, without hesitation she said, “Jesus”. Then Madelyn said to me, “Mom, I have never said this before but, I can’t wait to go to school tomorrow!” Mom fail moment forgiven and passed, new lessons learned, prayers answered – it’s been a great day of “firsts”.