The Power of I’m Sorry

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Welcome to my Wednesday! I was startled, then pleased, then shocked by all the new readers who dropped by yesterday to read about depression. If you are new to Millinery, welcome! You can read my “About” page to decide if you want to get all tangled up in this adventure. But, I hope certainly hope you do, and I welcome the comments and conversations.

We leave to take my son college in 3 days. (2 1/2 to be precise, but who’s counting?) Last week we were talking about his high school years, some of the struggles he has worked through, when I asked him a loaded question:

What do you think was a main cause of that struggle in your life?

I sensed his hesitation, and when he finally answered, I understood why.

It was some of the ways you and dad dealt with it.

It’s like someone handing your spirit a load of the heaviest bricks when you realize you have failed a person you love. You feel yourself sinking under the weight of sadness and guilt. Regret is painful. As your mind rewinds time to find a way to undo and make amends the reality stings.

I cannot go back and change what has been done.

Sometimes, the only way out is through. We talked some more, but I knew what we both needed would take me a day or two to offer. Not because I wasn’t willing to offer it, but because he needed time to be ready to receive it and I needed time to process all the feelings that might tempt me to alter what needed to be said.

“I was wrong. I am sorry. Please forgive me.” -Derek Webb

I was thinking yesterday about all of you who read the post on what NOT to say to loved ones with depression, and something hit me: a whole lot of you reading that message were being handed a giant load of heavy bricks. You’ve already said the wrong thing. Messed it up royally. Not because you wanted to hurt your loved one, but because in your fear and concern for them you reacted.
I know you love them and it stings to know your very sincere attempts to make it better, have made it worse. But, there is power for healing for you and for them. When there is no way to undo what’s been done, no way to take back words spoken, no way to unhurt anothers heart- there is I’m sorry. I was wrong. Please forgive me.

It is a starting place for change. It is acknowledging your brokenness and how it came crashing into theirs. It is taking the weight of your wrong squarely on yourself- which really might undo us all if not for knowing Jesus already took all of it on His shoulders so we could be forgiven. Romans 8:28 teaches us that “God works all things together for the good of those who love Him…” which means even my failure God can, and will, miraculously work for good in my life and in my son’s.

I pulled him into the laundry room as I was sorting and folding a few nights ago. I offered my apology. He accepted graciously. We hugged and I cried. It’s painful, this process of failing and fixing. It’s the messy underbelly of relationship. And it is freeing. I have said many times, and will continue to proclaim, Jesus came for messy, broken sinners like me. And you.

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