It was an evening of failure. Failure on my sweet girls' part to behave like sweet girls, as they instead fussed and whined and let petty arguments take hold between them. Even worse, failure on my part to intercede with compassion and gentleness, to lovingly correct and redirect them.
To say that I raised my voice would just be an attempt to pretty up the ugly fact that I yelled at my daughters, these three precious gifts God has given me to raise up in pursuit of Him.
Did they deserve it? Oh yes. As much as disobedience and stubborn selfishness ever could deserve anger.
As much as my selfish frustration and cruel lack of self control deserve the anger of God.
Pajamas on, teeth brushed, they stood before me. Unable to face putting them to bed with a mountain of hurt feelings and frustrations between us, in despair I could feel clearly how deep the unrest was in each of our hearts. I opened my arms to them -- and by the mercy of God, they came to me.
Such precious ones, clinging to me rather than turning from me.
We huddled together on the couch, and we prayed. I poured out my apologies to God and to my daughters, and as prayer bathed us all, I watched in wonder as little hands found each other and clasped tightly. Words of love were whispered, and gentle kisses pressed to sisters' cheeks.
God's forgiveness was poured out on us as we prayed together and reached out for each other, and it healed our brokenness.
It was an evening of failure. But it was also an evening of forgiveness, and of powerful love, and I am so very grateful for it.
"And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My
strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9