Failure and forgiveness

This year is what we refer to as “a Texas Christmas.” I love our every-other-year trips to spend the holidays with The Hub’s family, and I look forward to being there.
However, even as I fill the freezer with goodies for the housesitter and make my “over-prepared mom lists,” a shadow of a memory hangs over like a storm cloud in my soul.
On our last plane trip as we made our way through the airport, I was juggling the car seat on a wheelie, two backpacks, and Jr and rushing to keep up with The Hub.
We approached an escalator to decend to the trains to the concourses, and I hesitated, but felt pressure to be able,to handle it all, so I tried to put Jr, myself, and our stuff all on at once. His hand slipped from mine, and he fell down several steps before landing on his bottom 5 steps in front of me.
I felt every eye on me- the weight of judgement so heavy I was paralyzed by it. He, looked up at me, terrified, I forced a smile and told him everything was ok. Everything was not ok.

That moment is burned forever on my heart. The horror of what happened, and of what could’ve happened, plays over and over in my mind. All of the things I should’ve done differently and the many ways the fault was all mine overwhelm me still, over half a year from that day.
Again and again as I remember it, I have begged God for forgiveness for being so careless with the most precious gift he could ever give me.
But here’s the thing, I know in His eyes I am forgiven.  He pours out his love as a salve for the wound of guilt and shame that has left my heart raw and open.
It is me who cannot forgive myself. Truthfully, I don’t think I am ready to try.  It feels as if I let the shame go, I am somehow diminishing the gravity of what happened.
I know God wants to take that pain, I know he doesn’t want my heart growing dark from the ache.  I can’t bring myself to truly give it to him. I feel I have failed him, I am not worthy of that forgiveness. But none are worthy – it is a gift he gives.
I am sure there will be many prayerful moments as we travel… I hope a successful trip during the season of love and rebirth will allow me head to begin letting forgiveness into my heart.


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