The Right to be Children

John 1:12-13


This is actually from my personal Bible study reflection...written way back in January. I think it has some good relevance for here too...so I want to share it. My apologies that it's somewhat long. -Ceci

Growing up, I was robbed by my mother's untreated mental illness of much of my childhood. I often took on the role of parent, even when I was far too young to really understand the decisions I was making.

Often, I found myself resentful and angry at my mother. She was supposed to discipline, protect, nurture and raise ME! not the other way around. I was forced to be what I could not be successfully.

Of my earthly parentage, I had no choice. Children of earthly descent have no choice or right to be in a certain family or not. My spot in the world was determined by others before I came to be, and I had no role in this.

How different and blessed it is to be a child of God! All it takes to choose the family is to put my faith in Him (God/Jesus Christ) (v.12), and instantly I have the right to be a child of God. But it is not my decision that gives me the right: it is the grace and good will of the Father that I have the right to choose to believe and be accepted into the family!

This reminds me so much of what I prayed and wished for as a small child. Almost nightly, I'd pray that my biological father would either join our family, or take me away. When that prayer wasn't answered and after hearing my mother tell me repeatedly that she should have put me up for adoption, my prayer and wish was that I would be adopted.

[While Mom made lots of mistakes raising me, she made one critical good decision--to raise me in the church, surrounded by saints who prayed for and over me.]

As a naive child, I did not receive that upon asking Jesus to take up residence in my heart, my wish had come true. In God's family, I was a child and was being protected from the worst of the worst. I was being raised and nurtured, covered in prayer and surrounded by a hedge of protection by God's angels. I could not see it then, but it must have been happening based on who I am today and what I have survived and thrived in!

In God's family, I have the right to make mistakes. God's grace showers me with "It's okay, I'll help you clean that up. Now...next time, how can we do this better?" instead of the "For someone so smart, that was SO stupid," I endured in my earthly home.

In fact, to this day, I hear that statement in my mind when I stumble, fall, or trip. But gratefully, I've received enough grace and spiritual maturity to know that no mistake I can ever make will separate me from the love of MY Father.

I make a lot of the same mistakes with my children that my mother made with me. I hate it when I find myself repeating her blunders, but I remember the grace that God has poured down upon me. Spilt milk is not a bullying point, but a simple mistake that can be cleaned up and learned from. And even greater is the grace God bestows upon me through the forgiveness of my children. Because the one mistake I don't make is forgetting to ask forgiveness when I err. And God has granted me children who love me enough to be gracious and forgive me, allowing me to be a child myself--learning as I goof and try again to be better. What a blessing!

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