You might still bear the failures of your parents. You worry--how can I be a better parent than mine were?
You close your eyes and remember being small.
A hand raised or a harsh word. Feeling less-than. Failing soundly. A childhood of brokenness and pain play back behind your eyes. How does one who was raised in hurt find a way to create a family of love? How does a parent pick a path different from the one on which she began?
You close your eyes and remember.
Is this the way it must be?
Or might there be grace that is given to parents, coming in the form of a baby? With the holidays not that far behind us, is this really so hard to imagine? If God would choose a newborn to save the whole wide world, might He also find a way to send us grace as we begin this parenting work?
Might God give us eyes to see the wonder of life and a desire to protect it well?
Might God give us patience to see that children have needs that we can fulfill?
Might God give us vision to dream about the impact that love can have on a child?
Might God shine a light on a brand-new path that diverts us and our babies from hurtful words, hands that sting and messages that diminish?
Throughout the whole of Scripture we can see that the desire of the Creator is to save and to love. This truth is whispered in the wonder of Creation, in the redemption of the flood, in the gift of Jesus to a world in need. He reaches in for his beloved children and seeks to draw them close. God has shown us throughout history, in thousands of ways big and small, that He can set right that which was broken and heal the hurt we endure. It is His will. And within His power.
You may close your eyes and remember horrible, hurtful things. You may find your brokenness threatening to harm another. But this is not the way it must be. This is not the desire of God for your family or for yourself. There is grace in His arms and it is a gift for you to give away.
Regardless of the words that were given to you, you can give words of love. You can see the grace that God gives every day and choose to give that to your child. You can allow the healing that is meant for you and respond in a way that gives life.
Because He shows you how.
Because He offers grace.
Because the baby you are holding, the child you adore, has been entrusted to you to raise in love.
Your brokenness has broken His heart. He understands your fears and will give you the very things you need most to find a way to walk a new path as you learn to create a family of love. You need only ask and accept these gifts. You need only look to see. You can be a better parent than your parents were. You can avoid your parents’ mistakes. The grace that you need has been given to you.
Offer that freely to the child that you love.