No one has a baby and then decides, “I’m going to mess up this child’s life.”
No matter how hard our parents tried to be the perfect parents, most of us emerged into adulthood with some or a lot of baggage.
This is the case because we are all flawed human beings. Every parent is a defective human with imperfections, struggles, disappointments, and failures—a flawed human responsible for another life when they are still figuring out their own.
The trouble beams through when we as adults decide that as a child we did not get what we think we needed. And while this may be true, we cannot allow it to stop us from moving forward and becoming all that God intended for our life.
Soon after one of my children had gotten their drivers license, I remember anxiously waiting for their arrival home in the evening. It was the first time I had experienced this and it was nerve racking. I recall him tapping on our bedroom door after returning home from his prom, “Oh thank you God!” I exclaimed, as I sat straight up. The next morning I called my mom to apologize for all of the nights I caused her to worry—there were many.
Sometimes one must become a flawed, inadequate parent in order to fully understand our own imperfect parents. Without a heart of understanding and acceptance, one can become stuck—stuck in a pit of un-forgiveness. Stuck in our own prison of anger and resentment, feeling chained and cemented in self-righteousness—feeling like we would have somehow done better.
Most do the best they can, and more often than not, do better than their parents did, which is my hope and prayer for my children. I am confident they will do better, because I know the many mistakes I made.
Unless one travels the same precise path as another you can never truly know their challenges and obstacles. Only God can judge the human heart. If you are carrying anything that hinders you today, let it go. Forgive yourself, forgive your parents, and move forward without condemnation or regret.
“And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity” (Colossians 3:12-14).
I dedicate this post to my wonderful but imperfect parents… to that I say, it takes one to know one…I love you both.