“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” – 1 John 4:12
I just received a text message from a friend that spoke straight to my heart. Her message simply said, “No worries at all. Don’t apologize.” I was on the way home from a playdate, with my preschooler spinning out of control in the backseat while I read it. My children and I had just made a very quick exit from the park moments before, and I hurriedly texted my friend an embarrassed apology.
My middle son was born with special needs, and his symptoms are just beginning to develop. I am stretched beyond my own abilities daily as I learn how to best care for him along with my other two children. I am continuously apologizing to friends, teachers, and other parents. I tell them I’m sorry when we cannot attend birthday parties, when my son loses control with a friend, when we have to cancel plans at the last minute, and for a myriad of other reasons. My husband and I are lead pastors at our church, and sometimes I have to duck my head down and rush out of church early for my child’s best interest.
I was ashamed and insecure at the beginning of this journey, but I learned to let go of worrying about what others thought of me early on. I didn’t want to negatively impact other people’s children, families, or plans because of our instability. I was continuously overwhelmed and didn’t want to spread the feeling. I would rather stay locked up at home than unleash what felt like absolute chaos on others. I knew, however, that we could not live this way as pastors, missionaries, and Christ-followers.
I unknowingly became a chronic apologizer as we inched our way back into society. God whispered to my heart when my friend sent me the message not to apologize. My Heavenly Father told me I am His daughter, and He never once apologized for me. He didn’t worry how I would impact Him when He went to the cross for me. He didn’t cringe at my shortcomings impacting His other beloved children. In fact, His Word says that God’s love is made complete in us when we love one another, and He never expected us to be perfect before we started loving each other! (see 1 John 4:12)
Dear friend, God loves you and me, our husbands and our children, with continuous grace and mercy. He always meets us right where we are, even when it feels like we’re drowning in chaos and disorder. No matter how often we have negatively impacted others, our Heavenly Father has never apologized for our behavior. He’s never been embarrassed or insecure because of us. He wasn’t afraid that our sins would give Him a bad name. Instead, He became the curse to clear our names. (See Galatians 3:13.) Jesus stretched open His arms on a cross so that we could be continuously and eternally forgiven, set free, and wholly loved.
Mama, can I challenge you (and me, too) to stop apologizing for your children? Stop worrying about outcomes and unknowns and operating out of fear. You are a daughter of the King of Kings. Even when you find yourself in a seemingly impossible situation with your children, you bear the most powerful force in eternity: the love of God.
When you feel ashamed, embarrassed, insecure, or overwhelmed by your children or circumstances with them, simply pray and ask God to help you love as He loves. He will help you love your children the way He loves you! It’s the most natural part of your DNA as a new creation in Christ. (See 2 Corinthians 5:17)
Love, Kacy Ladd and the Help Club for Moms Team
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