Have you ever made a mistake and beaten yourself up over and over again for it? I had an episode like that this week. I was minding my own business driving home like I do every day in rush hour traffic and bam! Just like that, I rear-ended the car in front of me in line for the stoplight. I wasn’t texting or on the phone, just driving in stop-and-go traffic and did a little more “go” when I needed to stop. That bump cost me (well, my insurance company actually) 4 bumpers: mine, 2 from the car ahead of me and then 1 from the car ahead of them. Ugh!
I was so mad at myself. I started playing the condemning tapes in my mind. How could I have been so careless? How did I let this happen? I expect more from myself at age thirty-nine (and holding). How embarrassing. I was so upset and unforgiving to myself that I pouted all that evening and some of the next morning. I blocked any comfort coming from my family as additional punishment for the accident. I just couldn’t let myself off that easy.
The next morning during my quiet time and prayer, I started reflecting on the circumstances. As I opened the Word, I heard that still, small voice say, “If I can forgive you, why can’t YOU forgive you?” Hmmmm, now that was a good question. If God has forgiven me already for all of my human mistakes, why was I having such a hard time accepting my fault and moving on? If God of the universe had already anticipated my every sin and mistake, paid for it, and restored it- then why couldn’t I rest in that? I began to realize that I was pushing away the comfort He paid for on the cross.
After that realization, I changed my self-condemnation into thankfulness. I began to thank God for how minor the accident was compared to what it could have been. I asked him to restore all the bumpers and lives involved, and bless the ladies in the accident with me. I asked him to completely restore my situation to whole again, like he is in the business of doing. My spirit lifted, like a wave of relief, when I rested in his forgiveness and asked for help. I allowed myself to receive.
I’m happy to report that so far, I’ve seen restoration. My insurance did not go up because I have accident forgiveness. The vehicle I drove has such minor damage that if you didn’t know it was there, you wouldn’t notice it. The most amazing part is that I found a new car that I wasn’t looking for a day later, and got a God-sized deal for it. It is now parked in my garage and dent free. He really did restore the whole situation once I began to receive.
If you’ve made a mistake in life, recent or long ago, that you won’t let go of- I encourage you to receive. Receive total restoration that God designed for you. It’s yours for the taking. He won’t force it on you, He will only offer. There’s nothing you’ve done that He didn’t already know about and anticipate in advance. You don’t have to punish yourself with condemnation- the God of the universe forgives you, so forgive yourself and begin to receive.
“We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of the God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.” Romans 3:22-24.
Stephanie Cameron author of children’s book Ella Mae the Courageous Cheerleader. Order your copy today.
Ella Mae’s love for cheerleading is strong, but so are the bullies on the cheer team. Ella Mae, the Courageous Cheerleader is a children’s book written in rhyme, sharing a personal story of dealing with bullies. It teaches children how to respond to meanness with kindness, courage and confidence. Ella Mae will inspire children who are dealing with bullies at school to turn to their faith in God. By responding according to His Word, they too can receive God’s promise of blessing and the confidence that they are doing the right thing.