apology in advance


dear squirts,

this is an odd letter for me to write you, since i don’t know if you are to be in the land of someday. i don’t even know how properly to imagine you.

but i know one thing, and i know it all too well.

darlings, i will fail you.

i will disappoint you. i will damage you in well-intentioned unintended ways. i will say things i never meant to say, and i won’t say things i should have said.

i was thinking about us the other day and all the wonderful plans i have for your education, the things we’ll do so your little brains soak up wonder and awe along with knowledge and wisdom. i have plans to train you to be shining lights, knights and brave maidens fighting beside each other for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness.

but what if what i want isn’t what you need?

what if what you need is not the ability to read plato, pliny and paul in the vulgate, but instead to speak the language of your playmates down the street?

what if i can’t teach you what a gerund is? what if i completely forget the concepts of algebra? (what if i already have?)

what if i can’t bake all our own bread, what if our garden never gets off the ground, what if i can’t train myself to follow through with teaching?

what if you eat dirt that actually does have the plague? what if you drink bleach? what if you have chicken pox? what if you break bones?

what if you all have the minds of engineers? what if what if what if?

heaven help me.

and that, darlings, is the second thing i know, and i know it even better.

i will fail you because i am a human fallen from the get-go, but my value and yours does not hang on our mutual failings (for you will fail too).

“if only i could be perfect” … but i can’t. that’s the point.

i can’t be perfect — a perfect human, mother, teacher or anything else. God alone is perfect and we could never get to Him under our own steam. but God doesn’t love us because of our level of perfection; He loves us in spite of our inability to be perfect. because He loves us and knew we could never come back to Him on our own, He sent His own son, Jesus, to die for us — Jesus gave up His perfect life in exchange for our broken, sin-festered ones.

nothing i can do can make Him love me more than He has eternally, not even if i learn the fifth declension of latin and manage to teach it to you.

nothing i have done — no fault in the past and no failure in the future — can make Him love me any less than 100%.

and the same goes for you (and for daddy, and for everybody).

that is the love of Someone who is so majestic that in comparison to Him, our brilliant, blazing sun is tinier than a quark and colder than absolute zero.

when God looks at us, He doesn’t see all of our sins, mistakes, failures and half-hearted attempts of mediocrity. instead He sees Jesus, perfect God and perfect Man. Jesus’ record is made forever our own —once we belong to Him, we can’t escape it or jump out from behind it. He’s always ours, and we’re always His. always.

so, my darlings, i will fail you, and i’m so sorry for the hurt and frustration i will unintentionally cause.

but remember that God is bigger than both of us, that He holds us when we fall and helps us back up on our feet again. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

i never want to be the one to break your hearts, my dears, but something in this world will.

when it happens — when i fail you and when the world fails you — run to Jesus.

because He is Love, and never fails.

love now to then,