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Friday, May 10, 2013

Heartaches Can Be Healed

I peeked into the third-grade classroom and panicked. Every chair was neatly stacked on top its desk, except for one. My daughter slumped in her chair with her face buried in her hands.

Miss Maney, Bonnie’s teacher, softly confirmed my nightmarish suspicion. “You missed the Mother’s Day Tea.”

I rushed to Bonnie’s side and pulled her close. Gentle tears trickled down her flushed cheeks.

“Oh Bonnie, I’m sooo sorry. I thought the Mother’s Day Tea was after school.”

The peach terry cloth bunny perched on her desk stared at me with beady eyes.  For days Bonnie offered whimsical hints of this Mother’s Day gift she had crafted. I squeezed it close to my heart.

 How could I have made this horrendous mistake? I scolded myself. Self talk searched but found no answers. I’m pregnant and pushing 40. Pregnancy causes memory loss.  Maybe an overdose of car-pooling to school and soccer practices muddled my brain.  Trivial answers couldn’t mend broken heart strings.   

Miss Maney started strumming her guitar and sang, “Children learn what they live; children live what they learn.” She meant well. I felt worse. I kept picturing Bonnie standing before a crowded room of proud mothers, singing this chorus, eyes roaming, never finding me.

Our quiet ride home filled my mind with noisy thoughts. Will she be emotionally scarred for life? How can I soothe her pain? What can I buy her? Will she always view me as a bad mom?

I led Bonnie to our couch, held her hand, and nestled her.

“I’m so sorry I wasn't there. Will you forgive me?” Tears gushed down my cheeks. “How can I ever make this up to you?” Bonnie heaved deep sobs.

I expected an angry lashing, “I hate you.” An aching whimper, “How could you forget me?” Instead, I heard God whisper. “Pray for Bonnie.”

To be honest, prayer seemed risky. Could I trust God to meet us? Did I really believe Bonnie is the focus of God’s love? I inhaled courage, exhaled belief.  

I had experienced deep pain. At age 19, my Dad abandoned me. Following my parent’s divorce, he wagged his finger, seething, “Don’t ever call me your father, again.” It’s when I first learned to lean hard on God, my heavenly Father.  His generous, loyal love always giving life to me. There’s no match for it. 

“Bonnie, if it’s alright with you, I’d like to ask God to make you feel better.” She nodded.

“Dear Lord, only You can heal the deep ache in Bonnie’s heart. Will you please touch her with Your perfect love?” I swallowed hard, fighting back more tears. “Will you please help Bonnie forgive me… And help me forgive myself.” 

God’s presence engulfed us. His comfort, saturating. In that grace moment, Bonnie lifted her head. This time, we locked eyes. Her sweetness astounded me. “Mom, I’m OK. I’m not sad anymore.”

Bonnie skipped off, smiling, with both feet planted firmly on God’s love.  

O. Hallesby was right, “…by prayer we couple the powers of heaven to our helplessness…and make the impossible possible.” 

Bonnie’s an adult now, living a full life, believing in the richness of God’s love. I’m filled with thanks. My scatterbrained mistake reminds me of Christ's extravagant love…its breadth, its length, the depth and height. It fuels my life-transforming my relationship with God.

Do you carry a heartache?

“…the LORD still waits for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for him to help them. Isaiah 30:18 NLT

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