I just wrote my son a note for his notebook they're putting together for the class we've been a part of at church for the 8th graders and their parents called "Faith Decisions". This notebook will include all sorts of things we've filled out together and talked about, things like spiritual disciplines and spiritual heritage and core beliefs. We were in Beaver Creek when they discussed Wrong Turns. What wrong turns have you made in your life? So I brought it home to fill out here. It's been sitting here ever since. Today's the deadline so if I want it in his notebook I had to sit down and fill it in. I do want it in his notebook. I want him to know me. I pray he will not make the mistakes I've made. I know that's not terribly realistic. I certainly never listened to anyone who tried to help me make good choices. I know we have to learn from our own mistakes. That's just it. I want him to make his own - not the ones his dad and I have made.
So this morning I sat down and wrote to him about the abortion I had when I was 19 - the biggest but not the only mistake I've ever made, obviously. This won't be the first time Max has heard about my abortion. When I decided I needed to start talking about it, after healing had begun in earnest, I knew Max needed to know first. He was generous in his grace and ability to forgive me. Unfortunately, one thing I have learned is that he also has since justified abortion in several settings where it's been discussed just because his "mom had one". I've tried to tell him that it was a mistake, a terribly bad choice, and certainly not one to be glossed over or justified. I'm not sure how to get that through to him so I hope he reads this note once he has received his notebook this weekend at the banquet. I want him to know there are terrible mistakes and we make them, but that none of them is unforgiveable. I want him to know that God forgives and forgets. I want him to know that eventually we can forgive ourselves. I want him to know I regret that choice and many others and I would change them if I could. But I also want him to know I am who I am today because I have been forgiven and once again made whole. It is by the blood of Jesus that I can hold my head up at all today. But I CAN.
I know some people are probably thinking "what in the world are you posting this here for?" Let me tell you why - I grew up in a home with dark secrets. We were taught if you didn't talk about them they never happened. It was a lie. If you don't talk about them they eat a hole in your heart. So now I want to talk and I want to encourage you to also. Our kids are amazingly forgiving people who can take a lot more than we think they can. They desperately want to know truth and they want to know that even if they make mistakes they are loved and forgiven. This is the best example I can give my son of the unconditional love of the Father. I want him to know it, too, deep in his heart so he can live free.