“You take all the pieces of my life. Put ’em back together, make it all all right. Oh, you forgive me. Only you can heal my broken heart. Make all things new with a brand new start. Oh, you forgive me.”
My 4-year-old was belting the words in the car on the way to school. His little voice couldn’t quite keep up with the Vacation Bible School soundtrack, so he was always half a word behind.
In the front seat, I couldn’t stop smiling. I love hearing him sing. I love hearing him try. I couldn’t stop thinking. I hope you know the power of those words. I hope you know that you will always be forgiven by your Heavenly Father and by me. What you don’t know yet—but I do—is that there will be times and situations in your life that will leave your heart broken and the pieces of your life strewn about and that during those times, you will always be loved and you will always be forgiven.
I’m glad no one is keeping track of all the times I mess up in a day.
The way I speak to my kids or the situations I don’t navigate appropriately. The things I forget to do that make other people’s lives harder. The thoughts I have that are not noble and kind. The amount of time I spend on my phone when I should be singing along in the car. I don’t want to be reminded about the times in my own life that I’ve been brokenhearted and when I’ve felt like things were falling apart. None of these things is easy. And yet, when I reflect back on them, never once was I separated from God’s love and forgiveness.
Parenting is the closest thing I can find to understanding this unconditional love. I will always love these sweet beings, and I expect them to make mistakes (small and big), and I will always forgive them. They cannot escape my love. I get frustrated with them. I hate some of the choices they make and some of the things they say. But there is nothing they can do to upset me enough to stop loving or forgiving them.
And that’s how great the Father’s love is for me, too.
Every ounce of overwhelming love I feel toward these miniature humans pales in comparison to how God feels about me. I will always be loved and I will always be forgiven. No matter what. And the 4-year-old and me, we’re both going to need it over and over again in our lives. There is nothing either of us can do to upset God enough to stop loving us or stop forgiving us.
My sweet boy probably doesn’t understand the power of the words he sings just yet, but I hope someday he’ll understand completely how much he is loved. And hopefully, when the time comes, God will give me the grace and wisdom to draw my sweet boy back to these words.