I wake up gasping, I reach for my Kindle, I finger my bear, I settle back into the darkness chewing on the inane worry of the day. I wonder if it's a residue from the Nanyang High School terror days. The lingering PTSD symptoms for being stood on chairs, punished for forgotten spelling books and assignments. As a mother, my worry list now extends to include my children. Natalie isn't eating enough vegetables. Aidan needs his consent form for his field trip. We aren't eating meals together as a family. We are all on too many devices. While I am self forgiving in the day, I am ruthlessly brutal in the middle of the night. By morning, these thoughts fade away and I am scoffing at myself for blowing it out of proportion. But this past night it was different. I woke up with my usual start, reached for all the same self-soothers -- the bear, the book, Father Tom's little speech about when he has insomnia. But yesterday there was a new script -- " You're right, you screwed up, you aren't perfect. That's ok. I am going to be there to cover for you." Sounds contrived. I first heard this script in the context of my favorite TV show -- Law and Order. Detective partners make a huge deal about "covering for you" or "having your back." I've always figured that the God of the Universe is usually there to fish me out of the messes that I get myself into. But to screw up, to genuinely screw up and believe that in the middle of the night, while I am asleep, God going through all the things I forgot; and preparing provisions to "cover for it" was enough for me to sit up in bed. What if this was true, I did forget, I did screw up but His grace is busy preparing to cover for me. It gave me a whole new way of facing the night. I was able to wake up listen to the "accusing thought of the day", breathe, agree with it, and say "It's ok, it's already taken care of." I can't tell you what the difference this concept is from the usual "trust God" except that it lets me agree with the accusations in the middle of the night instead of combat it. It lets me lean into the parts of me that I am ashamed of in the morning. The parts that I laugh at and scoff off. It gives me a compassionate way of holding myself in the middle of the night and validating my fears. "It's true, you did forget. You did drop the ball. You are imperfect." But God's grace -- which by definition means " undeserved merit" covers it all. I don't have to reach for my Kindle, my bear or Father Tom to validate my imperfection, I can be proud of it.
"His strength is made perfect in my weakness"
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