when sorry was not sufficient.

Sometimes when I write, I have to search for words. I pull and I stretch and I make it work.

Not tonight.

Tonight these words were begging to be heard. Because I said that I was sorry, but it didn’t end there. No, not at all. But, baby girl, I am. I am so sorry. 

At church, we help the children memorize the Ten Commandments by showing them hand motions that relate to each. For each commandment, you use that amount of fingers. (sounds confusing but it totally rocks)

Tonight I am in tears with three fingers placed over my lips. They make a W.

“Watch your words,” we tell the children as we pat the finger-formed W against our lips as if we’re confused Native Americans.

A few months ago I didn’t watch my words. I used words that in no way glorified God, and they came back to me like ghosts that know your weaknesses.

The restaurant I waitress at is fabulous. I am blessed to work there, but part of the normal busy scene is chaos. Chaos leads to stress. Stress led me to snap at a co-worker.

It was the end of the night and we were cleaning up. She wasn’t cleaning as fast as I thought she should have, and my bed seemed like the only thing that would make my back stop throbbing.

I was tired, and I was ill. I asked her if she would come do her job, because we were tired of doing it for her.

Yes, I was tired and ill, but I was still a child of God in that moment. Praise the Lord, my identity will always be found in Christ.

But I did not act like it in that moment.

Weeks passed and I almost forgot about it. Then one night she mentioned the incident and even quoted exactly what I said.

Let me tell you, love, that was one of the worst moments of my life.

I wanted to crumble. Because hearing those words being said back to me made it all too real.

As much as I assured myself that the problem was over, she had been playing those words over in her head for months.

I said awful, discouraging things to someone who is also made in the image of God, who God loves immensely, who He created and redeemed.

Those words tasted like bleach the second time around. They sounded like nails on a chalkboard. They provided me with a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.

And as much as it hurt me to hear those words that had thoughtlessly came out of my mouth repeated, I think about the way they made her feel that night. She was probably just as tired and ill, but she showed grace and didn’t respond with hate.

So baby girl, I am sorry. I have said it to you before and if saying it a million more times made any difference, I would. Because you don’t deserve that. Especially coming from a follower of Christ. You need to be uplifted and encouraged. I am sorry I failed at doing that.

That night I learned the magnitude of words.

I wanna spend a few more minutes on Commandment 3 during Sunday School. I want to grab the attention of those precious children and say, please, please, please watch your words.

May our words reflect the way our hearts of stone have been removed. May they reflect that we are alive in Christ, and they we desire to love on people just like King Jesus did. Because I have been hurt by others’ words, and I am sure you know the feeling too. Because I have hurt others with my words.

I am sorry, baby girl. But thank you for being a part of my reminder that life is way too short and Jesus is way too worthy for me to go around tearing down people that he calls his.

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