Thursday, May 21, 2009


Dear Macy,

Tonight I saw something very special in your heart and I wanted to write it down before it slips away with the rest of the crazy everyday life we live right now. Tonight I saw the simplest example of a most complex struggle that you and I and every other person seeking after Jesus will continue to struggle with all our lives. And you were so precious, it broke my heart and filled me with sweet joy all at the same time.

Oh goodness I love you so much.

Tonight as we were driving home and I was asking you about preschool, you accidentally slipped and revealed something that you didn't mean to. In your chattering you mentioned that you and Hannah K had found a beautiful jewel in the sandbox at school and you decided to take it home with you even though Mrs. Kirst had told you to leave the jewels in the sandbox. When I realized what you were telling me and started to question you further on it, you suddenly realized what you'd admitted and you got very quiet. When I kept asking questions you started to stammer, and finally said,

"Never mind Mommy, I don't want to talk about it"

I told you that this was a time I needed you to practice honesty and keep talking to me and telling me the truth and when I looked back at you, you had tears in your eyes and you asked if you were going to get a 'time out'. In that moment I decided it was most important that you learn you could always come to me and so I told you if you were truthful then you would not receive any consequences from me for the choice you made. I told you that sometimes after we realize we've made a wrong choice we have new choices, we can keep lying about it and making more wrong choices, or by telling the truth we have a chance to change that wrong choice and make a right one. And so we began to talk and you told me the whole truth about the jewel from the sandbox.

The teachers had put jewels in the sandbox for the kids to dig up and find, but Mrs. Kirst had told you to leave them there so lots of kids could find them, but you just thought they were so beautiful and your little heart coveted them to the point where you felt you needed one and therefore rules didn't apply. And so you took one home with you and it was now in your jewelery box.

We talked about how making that choice was thinking about yourself and what you wanted instead of what would be best for everyone. We talked about how making that choice to disobey Mrs. Kirst would make her sad and would make God sad. And as we talked Macy, your tiny face was so sad. I told you I was proud of you for telling me the truth and thanked you for talking to me honestly. And then, after a moment of silence, your little voice whispered from the backseat;

"But Mommy, what are we gonna DO with the jewel now?"

And I was SO glad you asked. I whispered a quick 'thanks' to the Lord for the chance to take this lesson further and for your soft and teachable heart. And then I asked you what YOU thought we should do with the jewel? What YOU thought God would want you to do with that jewel.

"Give it back."

I had to strain to hear your almost inaudible response, but you said the words none the less, even though it was so obviously hard for you to say. I told you you were a very smart girl and I thought you were absolutely right. And then your tears started to really fall. You cried "But Mommy, I love this jewel, it's so beautiful and I really want it." Oh sweetheart I could have cried right alongside of you, your emotions were so real. A jewel may seem small and dare I say, silly, to me as an adult. But I absolutely understand just how much a heart can want something, even when it knows it shouldn't have it. I know the awful, suffocating struggle between doing what you ought to vs. what you want to. And though the things may change, the struggle does not get any easier with age.

So we talked some more. About how choosing right is not always easy. About how it is actually really really hard. And then I told you what a great gift we have in Jesus, that He knows how hard it is to choose right when we don't want to; and how He promises to help us so we don't have to do it alone. I told you we'd pray everyday until your next preschool day and ask God to help us make this right choice, and I just knew that He would.

By this time we were home and you had stopped crying. You went straight to your room and got the jewel and handed it to me. And when you climbed into bed we prayed. At first you just wanted me to pray but I told you just how much God would like to hear from you about this; and so after I prayed, here are the words you whispered to Jesus;

"Dear Jesus, I just wanted to tell you that um, I'm sorry for making a wrong choice. Help me give it back to Mrs. Kirst. And Jesus, (you had started crying again by this point, the shame of admitting you were wrong and probably a little sadness from the re-realization that you would have to part with your beloved jewel creeping back in) ...would you please help me find a jewel that would be okay for me to have?"

There aren't many words to describe just how my heart flooded with love for you right then. I was so proud of you and the little journey you've already begun to take with Jesus. I kissed you and told you that the neat thing about telling Jesus that you're sorry for making wrong choices is that He promises when we say sorry that He will forgive us and that means that He doesn't even remember that wrong choice anymore! I wish I'd had a camera to capture how big your eyes got. You looked at me in disbelief and said, "You mean He forgets?!"

"Yes!" I said, "He promises He forgets completely about our wrong choice and is just so proud of us for now making the right choice."

This was clearly good news for you and I was so happy to see your heart lift before I kissed you goodnight and left you alone in bed with your thoughts. I saw such relief in your eyes, it was awesome to witness such a fresh first glimpse at the freedom and joy that comes with forgiveness.

It touched me and I will not soon forget it. So again, I just wanted to record it because my prayer is that later on, as you find yourself in more and more of these struggles; most likely even more heart wrenching than this little jewel (though I know that is hard to imagine) this story will help you to see the simplicity and truth in the battle and you will be encouraged to press on.

And I also pray that you will ALWAYS know me as a place of safety, someone you can invite to walk the journey with you. Someone who will pray with and for you when making the right choice is hard. Because I know, so well, sweet girl; that it will be. But even if you choose it through tears and whispers; I promise it will be worth it. Great is your reward in heaven; in fact God calls them jewels in your crown.

I love you so, so much.