This last week we had our first incident of an accidental, inappropriate Internet click with one of our girls.
Accidental, but then, of course, as all humankind is, she was curious.
I was in my bathroom getting ready to leave to go somewhere when she walked around the corner and, with eyes down, confessed what had happened.
“I’m so sorry, Mama.”
“Baby,” I told her, “it’s okay.” My heart was sad, at first, but I knew that this kind of thing is inevitable in 2014.
And as we sat down on the floor of my bathroom and she was embarrassed and cried a little and I cried a little, I realized the mistake had opened a door.
We had already talked all about all the important things you talk about at this age, about sex and purity and marriage and what God has designed for all of us. We have talked about the Internet (Oh, how we’ve talked about the Internet) and about why we don’t go places on the Internet alone (It’s like walking through a war zone without any armor, in a sense.).
But still, we make mistakes. We accidentally click and then it’s a little too late for innocence.
This misstep, however, opened a deeper conversation for us, mother and daughter. We talked leaning up against the shower and the door, and then we talked again out in the yard. We held hands and I held her. And I prayed for the cleansing of her little mind and then we talked about what new boundaries we would place going forward.
Do I wish she hadn’t made the mistake? Naturally.
But there is always beauty from ashes and beauty from the dust.
Such rich conversation came from this accident. Such deep heart and spirit passing through between my daughter and myself. And this day, this was a day that I’m pinning to our hearts as perhaps a moving toward adulthood for her, but also a day that has breathed a little more life into each of us.
And we all do this.
Maybe we don’t make this exact mistake, but we fail and we fall. We shouldn’t do so on purpose to exhaust His grace, but we all make bad choices and decisions once in awhile. When we do, can we see the beauty in the dust? Can we look for that? Or do we hate our mistakes so much that the beauty that He is longing to show us in the ashes is lost?
He is longing to show us the beauty.
It’s so easy to loathe ourselves. We pile hatred onto our fragile souls. We fail and make mistakes and we hate what we’ve done. Even failures can open doors but sometimes we are too blind to notice.
My daughter and I? We will keep talking and we will keep seeking Jesus together and we will keep the boundaries close and the conversation open. We will find the gems in what was meant for wrong.
What is He longing to show us? That even in our sins, even in our mistakes and misjudgments, He is still there. He is always there. And He is close and good and He hasn’t changed. He is brushing His fingers in the dirty ashes, trying to show us the beauty there.