My Mistakes Do Not Define Me

My Mistakes Do Not Define Me

The triplets were still infants and all in infant carriers. We used to line the car seats up on an entertainment piece that wasn’t too high but made it easier than bending down to the ground every time we needed to load or unload them all. When I was alone and loading them into the car I would come in one by one and grab the carriers and then go click them into the car seat base in my car. 

This day in particular I was taking the babies over to my mom’s house to hang out with my mom, my aunt, my cousin, my sister, my sister-in-law, and some nieces and nephews; needless to say, there were a lot of people at my mom’s house as witnesses to my mom fail. I loaded the kids in the car and headed to my moms. When I got there I opened up the back door and realized I only had two car seats in the back of my car. I had left one of my babies in the car seat at my house.  I panicked and for a second I thought, “If I just get in the car right now and drive back to my house and get him, no one has to know that I FORGOT ONE OF MY CHILDREN AT HOME!” However, my mom had called me when I was pulling into the driveway asking how far away I was and I said I was just pulling up so I was caught. I grabbed the two car seats out of the car, walked into my mom’s house and yelled, “I forgot Henry at home, I’m gonna leave the girls and I’ll be right back; NO ONE JUDGE ME!” And then I just left, not waiting for anyone’s comments. In that moment I thought, “One day I will laugh about this, right?”

When I arrived at my house (which was 5 minutes away from my mom’s) Henry was perfectly content, smiling and looking around; which made me feel guiltier! I could not believe that I had forgotten him.  If I’m being totally honest, I have judged my parents for years because they did the same thing to me when I was a baby. They left me in my infant seat on the kitchen table at home and went to dinner. When they got to dinner they realized they had forgotten me and came back and got me. Obviously I don’t remember it but every time I heard that story I thought, “How do you just leave your baby?!” Well I was sure eating my words now!

Fast Forward to two years later and I was driving in the car yesterday and I looked back at my kids in the back seat. I did a quick count just to make sure everyone was accounted for. When I did, that story came to my mind. I chuckled to myself thinking, I still can’t believe I did that. Then I realized, the reason I could laugh about that story now, is that story did not define me as a parent. Do I love that story? No. Do I feel shame when I tell that story? No. I know that it was an accident and I will never be a perfect parent.  I also know that situation had nothing to do with my love for Henry. 

I think that Satan waits for us to mess up and then he comes to tell us that that situation defines us in that area. He whispers all kinds of lies to us and gets us to believe that that story will forever define us. Whether that situation is ever forgotten or not, it does not define who we are. 

When people say, “Some day you will look back and laugh about this.” I think that person is speaking from experience, which usually brings wisdom. They know that whatever seems so bad to the person immediately effected, is not a defining moment. We have so much more grace for others than we do for ourselves. You know, when Adam and Eve chose to follow the voice of Satan and go against the exact words of God, God could have allowed that to define Him as a parent. He could have said, “Where did I go wrong?” “Why did they choose him over Me?”  But He didn’t. He knew that he was the perfect parent and they chose wrong. This can apply to any area of our lives not just parenting. What is that thing that comes to your mind as your argument against someone when they compliment a part about you? For example, “I can not believe you have triplets, I could never have triplets, I don’t know how you do it!” Shame would say, “Ha, I don’t do it! I left my kid at home in his infant seat when he was five months old and that’s one among many things I’ve done wrong.” When you can look at your situation at laugh, that is when you know you are not defined by your mistakes. 

The Bible says, in Romans 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."[1] Condemnation brings shame. If we believe the Word of God then we should be able to laugh (or at least roll our eyes) at our mistakes. A little further down in Romans it tells us how to walk in freedom from condemnation. Romans 8:5&6, "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace."[2]

We need to change our mindsets out of the flesh and into the Spirit. When we do, we will not see things the way they look in the natural. For example, when King David danced with “all his might before the Lord,” his wife Michal did not understand. She was living in the flesh and he was living in the Spirit. (2 Samuel 6:14-20) When Queen Esther decided to go before the king even though she was not summoned and knew she could be killed she went any way because she was living according to the spirit and not the flesh. (Just read all of Esther) The spirit redeems, sets free, and defines us; therefore, we have no room to be defined by anything else. 

17 "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."[3] John 3:17

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Ro 8:1). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Ro 8:5–6). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Jn 3:17). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.