Every Mother’s Day I think about forgiveness and the $2500 pebble a surgeon removed from my son’s right ear! Here’s why.
Several years ago, I was preparing to speak at a church on Mother’s Day and felt prompted to speak on forgiveness. As I worked on this message late one night, I found myself being introspective about the idea of forgiveness. I stared asking myself hard questions like “Who do I need to forgive?” and “Have I forgiven myself?” I made a very short list of people I needed to forgive and then began writing down what I needed to forgive myself for. That second list quickly filled up the whole page. I realized that my biggest nemesis was myself. So what does forgiveness have to do with the blue pebble?
Years before the Mother’s Day speaking preparation, I had sat in a waiting room while my six-year-old was having minor surgery. I remember the room being cold and quiet, but the tears running down my face were warm and loud. I was so angry and upset. This sweet little boy was having a ridiculously unnecessary and ridiculously expensive surgery, and I felt like it was all my fault. Because it was, right?
You see, a year before this he had bounced into my car after school and told me he had placed a blue pebble in his ear. I asked him why, we laughed, and I never thought about it again. Until a year later when I just happened to see something blue in his ear. Two doctor appointments later, we were scheduled for surgery to remove that pebble.
He was scared and I was undone. Why hadn’t I asked more questions? Why hadn’t I looked in his ear to see if the pebble was still in there? Why? Why?! That surgery cost me so much more than $2500. For years I couldn’t forgive myself.
As I prayed and prepared to speak to a crowd on Mother’s Day, it all came rushing back to me. That was the moment I realized I was never going to truly understand and give away forgiveness if I couldn’t forgive myself. I had to start with myself before I moved on to forgiving others. Why was I still holding onto all those mistakes? They were weighing me down, and I needed that extra energy to forgive others.
That’s why every Mother’s Day I think about forgiveness and a blue pebble. I ask myself if there’s anyone I need to forgive, including myself. I think you should too. Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” What if you included yourself in the “one another”? What would look different for you? Moms, we have to forgive ourselves—especially on Mother’s Day. Life is too heavy for us to be carrying around shame and guilt that Jesus died to free us from.
If you want the best Mother’s Day gift ever, give it to yourself. Give yourself the gift of forgiveness.