Everybody Makes Mistakes, right?
I made a mistake.
It would be easy to brush it aside, to say, “It was 11 years ago. I was just a kid who didn’t know any better. I’m a different person now.” But the problem is that this week, that mistake not only hurt someone I care about, but my family and I are now dealing with the consequences (and the consequences, my friends, are pretty scary).
Everyone makes mistakes, right?
Yesterday morning, I woke at 6am to the sound of a skid and crash, followed by a splitting crack. A women dozed off at the wheel and ran into the power pole next to our back fence. The lines strung haphazard across the street, and the pole hung precariously above her car. She was unhurt, but understandably shaken. We called 911, brought her water, and offered her reassurances: everybody makes mistakes. All that matters is that nobody was hurt.
When we got home after carpool, the only way we could tell anything had even happened in our backyard was the fresh wood of the new power pole, and the clocks inside blinking 12:08pm. Sometimes mistakes are like that: fleeting, perhaps costly, but leaving the landscape of our lives relatively unchanged. Other times, our mistakes linger.
I have no trouble reminding a rattled woman outside our gate that everybody makes mistakes. Extending grace and a cold glass of water comes more easily towards others in their mistakes than it does when I look in the mirror.
I have always stumbled most with forgiveness when it’s aimed at myself. But particularly today, when my mistakes affect not only myself but my husband and children, it’s hard to know how to unfurl my fingers from what I think I owe. My mind works through ways I can make it right, rather than ways I can surrender.
If you’re wise, you will learn from your missteps and regrets, they help you grow and dig down deeper roots of maturity. You emerge from the big mistakes changed, as long as you have the humility and ability to admit you were wrong.
Kelly Corrigan says in her latest book that it’s far more powerful to say, “I was wrong” than “I’m sorry.”
But what happens when that’s still not enough?
How do you live with our choices and missteps, honoring them as an important piece of your journey even if we aren’t sure how to live with the consequences?
I am taking some time this weekend to sit with Jesus and ask him about forgiving myself. After all, He already paid for them on the cross, so what would He say to me? How would He deal tenderly with me in my fear and in my regrets? And how can I do the same?
When you make a mistake, how do you deal with it? Have you ever had a hard time forgiving yourself for a mistake?
Also, please pray for our family, for safety and protection.