I doubt myself. A lot.
I worry about letting people down.
A while back, I decided I needed to make some changes after having some issues with anger and bitterness and living through a couple of months of depression. Defeated, I sucked up my pride and headed to counseling.
And things quickly got better? No. Satan turned up the heat!
I drive to Atlanta for counseling appointments. And it’s on those drives that something interesting has happened-phone calls. On the way to or from counseling, I have gotten phone calls that, no doubt in my mind, Satan orchestrated.
Some of the calls were minor complaints, but others made me wonder if I really am a bad person.
But, at other times, I have received calls that I need to remember when the bad calls come.
I think this is how they went: Sadie said, “Hey Mom, I’m in Aunt Lindsey’s classroom. Guess what? I got student of the month!”
And then about 3 weeks later, Sam said, “Hey Mom. Put the phone on speakerphone so you and Dad can hear this. ‘This certifies that Sam Haynes has been awarded this certificate for Integrity…’”
Calls that made me want to cry tears of joy.
I am proud of these two kids. But I’m also proud of the work their mother and I have put into raising them. Jackie Kennedy said, “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.” Kristen and I have made raising our children one of the top priorities in our lives.
God used these two phone calls and my two children to give me some hope and to offer myself some grace; hope that maybe I’m doing at least one thing right and grace because my children are with me every day and they know the real me-and they love me anyway.
Can I be frank with you?
I screw up. A lot. When I offer my apologies to my children, they forgive me. And we move on. That’s what love does. That’s where grace steps in and bridges the gap. So, I will continue to apologize when I make mistakes and pray that whomever I offended will forgive me. That’s all God asks of me.
If someone loses respect for me because, in my transparency, you see or experience my flaws, I hope to have the opportunity to gain that respect back. But that largely depends on both parties understanding the importance of not just receiving but also of giving grace (Luke 6.37-38).
I am a child of God. I am forgiven, I am called, and I am blessed! God has a calling on my life that is impossible for me to pursue if I allow the lies, words and judgments of others make me forget who God says I am.
Part of my problem all along has been that I’ve forgotten which calls are the ones that I really should be listening to.