by JC Girard
It’s always such a big deal when we make a mistake. From the classroom: “Katie, you forgot to carry the 1 over to the 7; your answer is wrong,” to the home: “Jacob, stop acting rambunctious, you’re going to spill your milk! Oh no. You spilled it. What did I tell you?” We’re punished, shunned, shamed, and guilt-tripped for things that were bound to happen one way or another; for accidentally creating a learning opportunity.
How do we know what it feels like to get back up if we’ve never been kicked down? How will we know the extent of our strength if we’re never pushed to use it? Katie had to learn somehow that the 1 needed to be carried over in her math equation. Jacob had learn at some point that flailing arms would spill things.It hurts sometimes… making mistakes.
There are some mistakes bigger than others, there’s no doubt; but no “oops” is too big to forgive. It’s a little word and it’s a small stepping stone toward success. Sometimes I find it difficult to believe that my God, is an all-forgiving, all-merciful God. I went against Your [God’s] teachings, the thought of being forgiven makes me feel even smaller. Would I forgive myself if I were God? What will my friends think? What will my family think? How will this change me?
The truth is, all of these questions may have a negative answer, they may not, but in the end, there’s one question with an absolute answer: Will God think any less of me? No. Forgiveness is not something that happens instantly, nor does it happen easily.
There are steps one must take to achieve absolute forgiveness. The first, is admitting the “oops,” the second is taking responsibility and making the choice to change. Someone once told me that it doesn’t matter which path you choose, as long as you’re going to the same destination. Some roads are just bumpier than others. I believe this to a certain extent and recently, I’ve experienced a bump. It hurt me physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. My “oops” ate at me and every aspect I loved about myself–because I let it. I soon became something I didn’t recognize anymore all because of one mistake. It wasn’t until later that I made the second step and took responsibility. I looked for guidance and I found myself; I found God again.
This blog isn’t meant to be preachy or converting, but it is meant to be told. The thing about making a mistake is that it had to happen someway, in some form. How else would I learn? One of these days, someone will make the mistake I did, and I will be able to empathize with them. I’ve grown from my mistake. I can tell people to watch out for the road block or put up signs about the bump in the road. I am not fully healed, and that will definitely take time.
My God loves me, cries with me, laughs with me, and carries me over the spilled milk. I don’t know where I’m going from here, but one thing I do know… my mistake was just that: an oops.
“Progress takes many attempts.” – Po Bronson