Almost 10 years ago, I gave birth to Chloe Marie. And, for the first time, I was under the authority of training up a child.
Chloe was easy. Sweet. Cooperative.
I, on the other hand, was moody. Hormonal. Demanding.
I corrected her cleaning. I corrected her grammar. I corrected her.
I thought I was doing my job of training her up.
And, from outward appearances, I succeeded.
She is responsible. She strives for excellence. She loves the Lord.
I felt rather successful in my parenting.
Until last Monday.
Last Monday, Camilla made my bed. And she did a miserable job.
As I looked at the bed, I paused.
Almost 6 years ago, I delivered Camilla Rose. And my heart exploded with love for her.
And six years ago, if Chloe had made the bed like that, I would have had her redo it.
I was training up the child.
As I looked at the bed, tears began to well up in my eyes.
Truth began ringing out in my head. And as it did, the tears fell.
The Truth of Christ's love. He loves us. He loves Chloe. He loves Camilla. But only Camilla rests confidently in feeling loved. Only Camilla knows, always, that she is loved. The idea that the Lord loves is easy for her because she knows being loved.
But not Chloe. Chloe whom I've always loved, was "trained" not in the Truth of Love. She was trained in rigidness and legalism. She's spent almost ten years trying to attain favor. Trying to please me. She's never known I relish her sweet spirit. Her genuine heart.
As I stood there convicted by the decade-long mistakes, the Lord spoke again.
"Train Up A Child."
But this wasn't about Chloe. This was about me. And Him.
He loves me. He knows I've made big mistakes. Big parenting mistakes. And He loves me.
I'm undone by His love. By His mercy.
I'm His child. He's still training me. Training me to know His love. He's given me a taste of it. Holding newborn Camilla, I was almost overwhelmed by the love I had for her. He feels that way about me. All the time. Letting that find its way deep into my soul, I'm undone again
And He never let go of Chloe. She's His child, too. He's kept her heart near to Him. Soft. Open. The pureness of her heart is a testimony to His faithfulness. Not my training.
Friday night, Chloe and I were curled up watching FoodNetwork and eating cookies.
I looked over at my beautiful oldest daughter. And, with tears in my eyes, I told her that I loved her so much. That I thought she was amazing. That I was proud of whom she has always been and whom she is becoming.
She looked up at me with her Daddy's green eyes. "Mom, you are so weird. I love you, too." And she turned back to the television.
Not weird, baby. Undone.
Undone with my love for you, Chloe.
I'll train her up in that forever.