I’m learning to be more humble. The hard way.
Crunch! What in the world…? I craned my neck and peered out the rear window of our minivan. What did I just hit? The curb? A stray tricycle?
Gasp! Oh noooo! The babysitter’s car! I backed into the babysitter’s car! This is NOT GOOD.
It was just that kind of day.
I’d been up all night with the stomach flu. Our sitter came in the morning to watch my two-year-old while I recovered in the basement quarantine, and by noon I felt peppy enough to escape to the store for some chicken noodle soup. Apparently foggy flu-brain and driving don’t mix, because somehow I backed out of my driveway without registering the gray Toyota parked directly across the street.
Darn! I scurried back inside with my hand clapped over my mouth and broke the news. The sitter was gracious, but I was horrified—to tell my husband.
Arrrgh! I’m such an idiot! How dumb can I be?! He doesn’t work hard to pay for my stupid mistakes. He’s going to be so mad. I really let him down this time. Surely he’ll hold this against me.
Do you ever think that way about God?
The Bible calls the church the bride of Christ, for good reason. Marriage is a mini-picture of our relationship with the Lord. It’s our training ground for learning to love—and accept love—the way God loves us. Fearing my husband’s reaction to a fender bender, deep down, parallels the way I view God.
Can he handle my mess-ups? Will be love me less? Does his mercy really apply to me? And will I grab hold of it? Or will I beat myself up for being imperfect, as if God didn’t already know?
Truth is, my capacity for dumb moves doesn’t shock me. I’m faulty and I know it. But that’s not what makes me humble. On the contrary, dwelling on my mistakes is another form of self-centered pride, is it not?
True humility goes a step further. It requires believing my flaws don’t define me.
Think about it. If God’s love for us cannot change according to our good, bad, or airheaded behavior, then we have to admit—it’s not really about us at all. It’s about Him.
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God,” (Romans 15:7, emphasis mine).
Whacking the babysitter’s car was not my shiniest moment. Granting that was the easy part. Accepting forgiveness is much harder. So before my husband came home that day, I prayed God would have a little chat with him about unconditional love—and that I’d be humble enough to receive it.
“I’m sorry.” I stood in the bedroom doorway while my husband pulled off his loafers and tossed his wallet onto the nightstand. I imagined hundreds of dollars flying out of it, thanks to my driving skills. “I know you’re mad at me.”
“I’m not mad.”
My husband turned to face me. “It’s okay.”
I love this man.
“Ugh, I can’t believe I did that!” I cast my eyes to my feet, thought for a moment, and looked up. “Well, yes I can.”
Grace is freely given. It’s up to us to grasp it. Not because we deserve it, but because the cycle of forgiveness honors God. And when I’m at my lowest, it helps to focus on the One who is highest. Compared to Him, everything about me looks much smaller—including my flaws.
I did eventually get that soup, by the way. Our sitter brought me a box the next day. Talk about forgiveness, eh? I cracked her car, and she worried that my soup run had been thwarted. I thought I ought to give her something in return—like my keys, maybe.
Park at your own risk, people. Crazy minivan mom is on the loose.
If this post encouraged you, please pass it on. You might also like How a Wiggles Movie Changed My Life, The Beauty of a Naked Lion Chase, and Cut Me Some Slack, Little People.
Linking up with: The Better Mom, Playdates With God, Mommy Moments, Marital Oneness Monday, Titus 2sdays, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Living Well Wednesdays, Wifey Wednesday, Grace at Home, Things I Can’t Say, and Faithfully Parenting Fridays.
Ashley Ditto says
I love how you said Grace is freely given, we just have to grasp it! Love it!! Blessings to you dear girl!!
To you and your family, too, Ashley!
The Pennington Point says
I hear ya girl! I have that moment almost every day. Recently I did something dumb that cost our family money and I felt so much guilt. My sweet husband told me to STOP IT. He forgives me, God forgives me, why can’t *I* forgive me? So I did….
Love you blog. I found you through The Better Mom. Lisa~
Thanks for reading, Lisa! So we both make expensive mistakes, huh? Glad to know I have some company. 🙂
Crystal @ Serving Joyfully says
I’m so blessed to have a husband who is ridiculously understanding and forgiving…for us, it’s just that it’s difficult for me to accept that. I’m still beating myself up, when he’s long past it. Which wouldn’t be such a big deal, except that I project it onto him, as if it’s him who is judging me when it’s really just myself (if that makes any sense).
I always love your posts!
That makes perfect sense to me, Crystal – because I do it, too! You put into words the exact problem in my household. Which is really just a problem in my own head, know what I mean? Yep, I think you do!
Monica Tillery says
This is such a great post! I love posts that really relate everyday life to our relationships with Christ. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for reading, Monica! That’s what I aim to do each week – point our everyday life to Christ. Where would we be without him?!
Lori Poppinga says
I hate when that happens! But the grace of God is sufficient and thankfully our husbands are often more gracious than we expect them to be! 🙂
Keep up the God work.
I love that phrase, Lori! “Keep up the God work.” I’ve never heard that before – I’m going to use it! Thanks!
Been there, done that, and loved this post! Blessings!
Yay! We’re forming a club, Gin! Thanks for reading!
Oh man–that’s not fun at all–but it’s great how God works–even in an unfortunate situation like that, you can learn about grace and humility. And such accidents are all too common in my family. My grandpa backed up into my car parked in his driveway not once, but twice. And my husband backed into my sister’s car parked in our driveaway. Those incidents teach ME a lot about grace and forgiveness! And that it’s not so bad to drive a car with a dented door. 🙂
I can’t tell you how much better I feel after reading your comment, Rachel. 🙂
I just cost our family money we didn’t have because I didn’t read the fine print, and boy have I beaten myself up over it. My husband was gracious, too. Now I need to accept that and move on. Thanks for the reminder. I visited from Be Not Weary and am glad I did 🙂
Thank you for visiting, Lori! You’re right – time to stop beating ourselves up and move on. I wrote the check for the repair today, now I’m letting it rest. Onward!
Following you from Pour Your Heart Out!
lol..gotta love those humility lessons! A couple of weeks ago I backed into my sons car…oops! Thankfully his car wasn’t damaged..I cracked the light on mu van! Accidents happen…good lesson out of it though:)
Hopefully all those years of teaching your son about grace and mercy finally paid off, Michelle. 🙂
Your husband is a keeper. 😉
Backing into the babysitter’s car so sounds like something I’d do!
“Marriage is a mini-picture of our relationship with the Lord.” It’s our training ground to learn how to love-and accept love- the way that God loves us.”
What a beautiful thought that will always stick in my head~thank you 🙂 Holly
(visitinig from Imparting Grace)
Newest follower here! I found you through the Tuesday blog hop. Cute blog!
P.S. I’m doing a $50 Shabby Apple giveaway on my blog. You should check it out here: http://meandmr.com/post/35113285949/shabby-apple-50-giveaway