Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Forgiveness and Grace in Family Life

I have seen some funny stuff going around about couples and families fighting more than usual during this time. It made me smile because I realize we are not alone. I have been pushed to my limit, my nerves shot, and lost my cool already on several occasions. So has my husband. So have some of my kids. On one occasion, I left the house to go on a bike ride, to clear my head and cool down. Feeling bad about what I felt like was a “mess” I had left back at my house, as I prayed, I heard the word “Grace” and then “give yourself grace. Give everyone grace.” I forgave myself (sometimes the hardest thing to do) and returned to my house to say “I’m sorry” to the people I had unintentionally hurt. Then as we prayed together in the afternoon, and I mirrored my phone on the T.V. to show the prayer, my 13 yr. old accidentally saw an exchange of apologetic texts going back and forth between my husband and myself. I thought about what my kids are witnessing right now, and rather than despair, that we are not displaying a picture perfect marriage all the time or family life to them, I was comforted, that they are observing what it takes, to keep at it, in relationships, especially, through a difficult time. Forgiveness, and grace, and the ability to say “I’m sorry.” Over. And over again. And to give others grace. To give yourself grace. And ultimately, to put everyone in your family, in God’s hands. He knows this is hard, and He sees the struggle. He is understanding. A priest that has gone on to be with the Lord, but has been a significant influence in my life said one time, “Don’t take yourself too seriously!” And it has been a sort of compass for me. Sometimes our standards are too high, for ourselves, for others, for what we think our life should look like, when we really just need to let go and let God. Be humble, say sorry when you make mistakes, ask God to help you and your family, and trust the rest to Him.

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