picture of mother and daughter outside illustrating the need for family members to do the important work of repair

The Most Important Work Is Repair

picture of Amy Julia and Penny outside with Penny's arms around Amy JuliaI said something to Penny a few days ago that made her cry, which makes me think today of the important work of repair.

I can’t share what I said, just that the words spilled out and I didn’t know they would have the impact they did and I wished I could gather them up and erase them but they spread like a stain and hurt her heart. 

I wounded my child.

The Important Work of Repair

I asked a friend to pray for us. And my friend said, “The most important thing is not that you hurt her. The most important thing is the work of repair.” 

My friend reminded me that I am a frail and needy human being who will screw up as a mom. Sometimes because I’m mean and selfish. Other times because I just make a mistake and miscalculate what my words convey. 

She also reminded me that I am a loving and generous human being who gives of myself daily as a mom. Wounds don’t have to be permanent. 

Healing and Love

And so as I thought about the important work of repair,  I brought up my words the next morning. “Penny, I know I said something that hurt you yesterday, and I’m really sorry.” I told her how I see her—as strong and beautiful and worthy of so much love. She reached out and squeezed my hand.

For both of us, there was some healing in that simple exchange. An apology. A gentle touch of forgiveness. A moment of hope that love is strong enough to heal.

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