God’s way is perfect.
All the lord’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. Psalm 18
From the time I was a small child I dreamt of having a family. One boy, one girl, the perfect home, perfect husband, perfect life. God has made my life more perfect than that childhood dream, but His perfect looks much different than mine. The path to perfection is filled with pains and sorrows, lessons and trials, laughter and tears. God heard my prayers and continues to lead me on the path towards the perfected life, not the perfect life I’ve concocted in my mind and tried to create on my own.
Our girl! My what a beautiful toe headed toddler with curls for days and an attitude that has stayed with her all these years. She has always been strong, independent, resilient, opinionated and beautiful. You will most likely always know where you stand with her as the filter is a little broken, so she speaks her mind. All in all, these qualities have all served her well in her life. They pushed her past a learning disability and special ed classes to being a bight and brilliant student and teacher. They pushed her to excel and lead in sports as a player and a coach. They have made her into a good wife and mother.
She’s pretty spectacular. And to us, she’s about as perfect a child as parent could hope for. Mind you, she has had plenty of bad moments and is flawed just like the rest of us. She did well in school. We always knew where she was and who she was with. She loved being at home, so her friends always came over to our house. When we sent her off to a private Christian college in California, our expectations for her future success were high and we didn’t worry about her doing well.
We so looked forward to our weekly calls with her. We began getting calls from her telling us she was sick. She seemed to be sick all the time and we began to worry. I asked the usual mom questions like, what’s wrong, what hurts, what are your symptoms as I tired to diagnose what was wrong from a thousand miles away. I became a bit frantic that something was wrong with our girl.
The phone rang, once again, only this time she could barely speak through her sobs. All she could say was, “Mom”, and I knew. She was pregnant. And in an instant our world of perfection crumbled right there, on the phone, in the middle of our living room. Now in today’s culture, this isn’t a big deal. But to parents who took such pride in their ability to raise a close to perfect child and crafted a perfect path for her life that was on track, we were crushed. She was crushed. And in that moment, our response to this news would set the course for all of our lives. We could have been angry and yelled, but we didn’t. We could have asked a lot of questions, but we didn’t. We could have made her feel even more sorrow and shame by our words, but we didn’t. In that moment in our living room on the phone with our child, overwhelmed with love for our hurting girl, we simply said, come home. Just come home…
We assured her everything was going to be alright, we would figure it out together. Just come home.
I have to believe in that moment we responded much like our heavenly Father would. In our moments of weakness and shame, guilt and sorrow, sin and embarrassment, God simply says, Come Home… it will be alright… we’ll figure it out together…I love you… I wonder how many people this Easter season are struggling with guilt and shame and are so afraid to come to church, to come to the Father? How many are afraid they will be judged because of one moment? How many so desperately need to be embraced and loved by God’s people? How many need to hear the words… Come Home? Maybe that’s you and today all God has to say to you about your mistakes is… Come home…
None of us are perfect. In the hard moments, if we ask God to help us see His plan for our lives, we will see that He is in the process of perfecting us. The end He has in mind is so much more perfect that we could have ever imagined and looks nothing like the life we conjured up in our minds. It’s better and as close to perfection as this life can be! Let go of your guilt, hurt, shame, sorrow, loss, and hear Him say…
As for the perfect life that I dreamt of? Well, all these years later, it really is more perfect than I could have ever hoped for. God has allowed us to experience His perfection in our beautiful daughter who has an incredible family of her own. His perfection is a 15 year old young man that loves Jesus, loves people, honors his family, and loves himself. He is strong and I can only imagine what God has in store for his life! I bet it will be perfect!
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. ECC 3:11
I have asked permission to share this story from our lives. I wonder how many stories that might help change a life are hidden in secret and shame, hurt and pain, never to be revealed, never really healed. We hope that in our lives as a family, love, grace and the heart of God be shown in us.