Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Last night I blew it...big time. I completely forgot to show up for my Monday Night Girls' Bible Study at our local home for foster children.

I was prepared to finish the Easter story. I had prayed about the talk and yet, somehow, as I was going through the Groundhog Day-ish routine of getting children fed and to bed, I lost track of the fact that it was Monday. It didn't even occur to me until I got an e-mail at 9:45 from one of the college interns who faithfully comes to be with the girls on Monday nights.

Even worse than my mistake is the fact that this is the second time in the last four weeks that I have done this.

I have a lot of faults and less-than-wonderful traits, but being a flake is generally not one of them. I value dependability and faithfulness to commitments. I know that one of the great scars many of these girls carry is adults not showing up for them. I was embarrassed and it really sickened me to feel like I was sending them the message that they are 'forgettable' or not a priority in my life. I felt terrible about it last night and woke up this morning thinking about how to make amends. I wanted to drop Easter goodies by the Home, but did not want to appear to think buying them stuff made up for my failure to show up.

My typical response to mistakes is to own up to them and apologize. The trouble with this one is that THE LAST thing I wanted to say to these girls was, "I forgot about it (you)." I was still mulling it all when I called Cabell to let her know I was praying as they head back to MD Anderson today for a pivotal appointment.

Because she is selflessly awesome, she thanked me for the prayers and asked what she could pray for me. As I shared my dilemma, she encouraged me to just level with them--admit that I messed up and I felt terrible--and to point out to them how afraid I was of sending a message that I did not consider them a priority. She then mentioned that she 'just happened' to have the EXACT number of small hand painted crosses as the number of 'regulars' in my group.

So, this morning I wrote letters of apology to each of the girls and attached the cross.
It occurred to me that many of them may have never had an adult apologize for letting them down. God also showed me what a great teachable moment it could be regarding humans' inability to be perfect for one another. Despite our noble intentions we blow it, we hurt each other, we disappoint. There is only one throughout history who has not failed or forsaken. We honor His sacrifice this week...and those little crosses will hopefully serve as poignant reminders of His great love.

And today I am thankful to serve the great Redeemer. I am a weak, broken, scatterbrained vessel, but He is mighty to save. He saved us from our sin 2000 years ago--and continues to right our wrongs today in ways that are for His glory.


Kellie said...

Amazing story - love your transparency!

Amanda said...

I hope you know the girls were so excited about those crosses today! One girl was wearing her cross as a necklace! :-) They are beautiful and so is your heart for all the girls at the home. I am so thankful to have crossed paths with you!

life with the wisners said...

This was beautiful. Your honesty and "upfront-ness" are so refreshing (and rare) today. I can only imagine how much they loved your real love for them. And the hand-written note? Well, that's my love language right there.

Um, your friend who makes the crosses? Please tell me she sells them. Because she should. They are beautiful.

Laura said...

Once again, your story fits right in with God is trying to teach me in my own life. I have been feeling like I've let my teenage daughter down in some pretty big (to me) ways. And wondering if there was a place to start over and try again or if I had lost the opportunity forever. This has been an incredibly painful realization and journey with her. Thank you so much for letting the Lord use you in so many lives. And like the previous post, I would love to be able to get ahold of one of those crosses. Saying prayers for Sweeney.

JMom said...

I went back and added a hyperlink from Cabell's name to her company website. Sorry I forgot to do that before. :-)


Kylie, Jesse and Asher said...

I love your honesty....as a social worker for a program for teen mothers where they reside full time so often they tell me that they have NEVER been apologized too. It's something I have worked with the staff on for a long time. It's so important! And so cool that you prayed about it and really care for these young girls.

On another note.....do you know where the post is where you have a picture of your award chart...it's time to start potty training my little one and I need help....I remember reading how much that system worked for you and I want to see it! Could you either e-mail me at kbarnes@cfccmt.org OR just write it here and I'll check back??? I would SOOOO appreciate it!

Thanks for you blog...I love it!

Work In Progress said...

I heard this on the radio yesterday...'there is no such thing as a perfect people, that is why we have a perfect God'. Thank God for His perfection.
Your transparency with these girls will far overshadow your normal human faults.

Fiona said...

I'm so happy that I stumbled on your blog ~ this is lovely.

Amy said...

Thank you for your story...I too messed up big time this week, and I can't even believe that I made such a yucky mistake...thanks for your honesty and the reminder that God is the Great Redeemer.
Beautiful crosses.