Baby Girl is perfect. Pure. Beautiful. A flawless masterpiece of the Great Artist.
I know it won't last long. Maybe that is why it is so precious now.
Sin will show itself very early in her life. Big Sister already displays her broken nature in such obvious, undeniable ways. It often is a mirror of the ugliness in me. I am more aware than ever of my sinfulness.
I want it burned out of me. I want to help them stay pure as long as possible. I go again to the Refiner.
"REMEMBER." He says to me over and over. "REMEMBER."
He has already answered me about this cry in my heart. This plea to be a good parent.
I remember when 4 Year Old Girl was only a few months old...I was a 19 year old girl... I remember...
Darkness. Deep drowning darkness that chokes tears from my eyes. On my knees in weakness, begging for Strength, forehead to the floor.
"God Pleeeeeeeease! Please don't let her turn out like me! Please don't let my sin affect her! Please don't let her suffer because of my mistakes!"
The Enemy of my soul is close. Past actions assault my mind, leaving me defenseless of my guilt. Giving myself away, welcoming drugs, and alcohol, and pain into my body. Sacrificing my unborn child and fostering a relationship with death. Possible futures crush my spirit with images of my precious daughter repeating my same actions and sneering at me that I can say nothing to her because of what I've done. In this hellish future she cries broken-hearted, uncomforted, because I have made the word "father" a complicated, painful word for her.
In anguish I scream to Him "And won't it certainly be that way? My parents were as close to perfection as I have seen on this earth, and look at the choices I still made! Oh God PLEASE, please, please, oh God PLEASE don't let her turn out like me..."
Enemy smiles and whispers, as he did in that hungry desert long ago, tempting me to utter despair by twisting words of Truth. " But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea..." (Matt 18:6) He wraps the rope around my throat and the crushing weight drags me down and I can only sob a broken, whispered "help!"
Choking out sobs I flail in the suffocating darkness. I feel Father's strong hands gently unwrap the rope and tenderly cradle my face.
"You are not blind. Now you see. Open your eyes and look at Me."
I ache. "I can't! I can't do this! Please don't let her suffer because of me!...."
Even more tenderly "Open your eyes and look at Me."
My head feels so heavy. I slowly lift up my face while drawing in ragged breaths. I painfully raise my swollen lids to the Light.
"You are forgiven!"
I collapse against Him and sob. He still loves me. I am forgiven. The weight begins to drop with my tears. The oxygen returns to the air. His lights absorbs my darkness. His peace consumes my fear.
" I don't understand it, Father, how You can love me."
"You do. You know how you love her."
I think about my Little One. Had I ever really loved before her? I had always been too selfish for what I experienced to be called love for another. It was just a twisted kind of self-love. But this-this love that Love had given me when I accepted His breath of life into my spirit--this was the kind of love where I could lay down my life for another. More than that, I could live my life for someone other than me. I was finally willing to serve.
I plead with Him who didn't shy away from washing feet "please teach me how to be a good parent."
"I am your husband, and your friend, I will never leave you. Do not be discouraged. Do not be dismayed. "
The tears still well up in my eyes, I voice the fear He already knows " but what if..."
"Her sin will not be about you." He understands so well. Too well.
He draws my thoughts to a beautiful garden, where even He, the Perfect Parent, had to ask His beloved child "what is this you have done?" (Gen 3:13)
He has had to ask that many times since. The sin is a choice. The children of the Perfect Parent still choose to sin....
I place my forehead back on the ground in prayer. "then help me to respond perfectly as You do. Help me to discipline in love like You do. Help me to remember that Your kindness leads to redemption, and that You love her more fiercely than I ever could. Help me to remember Your promises..."
...Now I remember.
He promises to take care of my children:
He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge. (Proverbs 14:26)
But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children" (Psalm 103:17)
And many more generations:
...Showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:6)
I love to read Psalm 118 out loud! And to give thanks to the LORD for he is good; his love endures forever!