I’m not sure I’ll ever forget the sound of her voice, the words she lovingly spoke, or the incredible grace that tumbled from her soul on that Saturday morning. And that’s okay because I don’t think I ever, EVER want to forget it. ANY OF IT.
She had been asking for about two weeks (maybe even more) about her gymnastics class.
“Mommy, you sign me up?”
“Mommy, you take me to ‘nymnastics’?”
“Mommy, I go to ‘nymnastics’!”
“Mommy, I wear my ‘weotard’!”
And every time I would reassure her that we would get her signed up soon, and that we’d be starting soon, and that it would ALL be SOON.
And every time she would excitedly say, “Mommy, thank you for signing me up! Thank you for signing me up!”
And in all honesty, I was telling her the truth. I wasn’t feeding her a line or pushing her off at all; not at all. I was going to sign her up…just like I did the last round of gymnastic classes in June.
I had looked online, found the class time that worked best for us (Saturdays at 9 AM), printed and filled out the registration form, called for clarification about the cancellation policy at the gym, and even put it on the family calendar. And then just like the lady had me do last time (in June when I called), I planned that we would show up 15 minutes before the class on Saturday morning, pay our fee, and tumble our way onto the bars and balance beam. EASY PEASY, LEMON SQUEEZY!
So… last Saturday morning arrives and girl is READY!
Since brother had the weekend off from soccer games, we decided that Daddy would take baby-girl to gymnastics class, allowing him some daddy-daughter time. How fun! It was perfect.
I gave daddy the registration instructions, handed him the form, and kissed them on the way out the door.
But then at 8:58 AM, my phone rings and it’s my husband’s ringer.
My heart immediately dropped.
“Hey babe. What’s going on?”
“The lady said the class is all full. Apparently we needed to register ahead of time to get a spot? Maybe the Saturday classes are busier than the Monday morning one from June? She gave me some other class times that are available.”
I have no clue what I said after that, but I do remember saying, “Put Evie on the phone.”
Fully expecting her to be a mess of angry tears and upset accusations (because that’s the mode of operandi for our eldest), I said, “Oh, Evie. I’m so sorry that Mommy didn’t know to sign you up sooner. I’m so sorry that I didn’t think to call ahead. I’m so sorry, Evie.”
And I started to cry.
Without skipping a beat, that little soul (full of sunshine and rainbows) says in the most genuinely chipper voice, “It okay, Mommy. No cry. There no space for me. It okay. We do again.”
I cried harder.
In that moment, I wanted to give her the world. I wanted to give her ALL the toys…ALL the things…ALL the gymnastic classes that we could ever afford!!!
I wanted to give her EVERYTHING because in that moment of failure (even if it wasn’t intentional), she offered me BIG GRACE.
Instead of meeting my mistake with a mean heart, she met me with love.
Instead of meeting my accident with an angry heart, she met me with forgiveness.
Instead of meeting my failure with a fuming heart, she met me with understanding.
My heart was overwhelmed.
“Thank you, Evie. Thank you for being so gracious with Mommy. I’m SO sorry, Evie. I love you, sweet girl.”
After encouraging her daddy to take her and do something FUN before returning home, I sat in my dining room and cried.
And as I sat and cried, I realized that I wasn’t just crying over the grace I had been shown or the disappointment my daughter had so graciously accepted. No. I was crying because TOO MANY TIMES, I meet their mistakes, and their accidents, and their failures with a mean, angry, and fuming heart.
Too often than not, my heart does not spew loving-forgiving-understanding GRACE.
And as I sat there rehearsing the moments from the past week when my responses looked NOTHING like our daughter’s, I was reminded that this gracious child of ours is only a mere mirror of the ONE who created her…the ONE who authored, initiated, and extended the VERY FIRST grace that EVER WAS.
And after they had eaten the fruit and denied His Word, “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21
In the face of their disobedience and in the middle of their disregard for His perfect love, He met them with GRACE.
He could have killed them right on the spot. He could have created a new Adam and a new Eve. He could have banished them from the garden, naked and ashamed. He could have left them with NO place and NO grace. But He didn’t. No.
He shed blood and covered them.
And after He shut them out of the garden, protecting them from further destruction and forever death, He authored a plan of rescuing grace and saving mercy.
Not because they deserved it and certainly not because they had earned it, but because He loved them and was committed to them–committed to His purpose and committed to His promise.
Committed even to the point of death.
And again, He shed blood and covered
them US with HIM…FOREVER.
“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption…. For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, so those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. Hebrews 9:11-15
It wasn’t a MEAN, ANGRY, FUMING heart that saved us, and it isn’t a MEAN, ANGRY, FUMING heart that draws us.
It’s a loving-forgiving-understanding-MERCIFUL-GRACE that saved us from the righteous, holy anger that we should have received and most definitely deserved.
And when we stand face to face with that kind of undeserved, merciful grace…we’d be crazy in those moments to not want to give Him ALL of our hearts…ALL of our lives…ALL of our EVERYTHING.
Because when grace comes in the middle of our mess…we are humbled.