Forgiving Myself for My Son's Circumcision (Kicking Mom Guilt)

In October, I wrote that my biggest regret is my son's circumcision.

Whether or not you agree circumcision is a mistake, it was my mistake. And I'm sure because you're human, you've made a mistake with your kid too. If you haven't, you will.

I've read about Mommy Guilt, but I didn't know how heavy it is until I experienced it myself. It's like regular guilt, but worse because your mistake impacts this little life who is counting on you more than anyone. And what if you directly messed them up for life?

The good news is that even though it's normal to feel this way after we've blown it, we don't have to live with the guilt. We have forgiveness.

The night I published the circumcision blog post, my husband saw that I was teary-eyed and stressed, so he suggested a bath. A hot bath all to myself while the guys catch up on some guy time? Yes, please! I didn't need any more nudging before I kissed my guys and made way for the bathroom. But my husband stopped me and said, "You should take a book."

"Yeah, I have Pretty Little Liars in the cupboard in there." (Yes, I said PLL. Don't judge me. haha)

"Not that book." And then he nodded toward the balcony where The Bible was sitting on a table.

Swoon. I love when my husband encourages me like this.

"Read about forgiving yourself," he told me.

Well, I was pretty sure there wasn't anything in the Bible about forgiving ourselves (correct me if I'm wrong), but there's obviously a lot about forgiveness. That's what Jesus is all about. So I settled into a hot bath with lavender salts. In the background, worship music played softly. I took some deep breaths, breathing in the life of the songs and breathing out all my stress. Then I cracked open the Bible to the index, found the "forgiveness" section, and picked Hebrews 9 and 10.

Hebrews 9 and 10 taught me everything I need to know about forgiving myself even though no part of those chapters says anything about forgiving ourselves. Let me explain.

"When Christ came as a high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not part of his creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God cleanse our conscience from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!" Hebrews 9: 11-14 NIV, emphasis mine.

The whole two chapters are worth a read, but that snippet pretty much sums up everything.

So what does this passage say about forgiving ourselves? Indirectly it says that the forgiveness of Jesus (because of his ultimate sacrifice) trumps ALL. Forever. No "making up for it" amount of being sorry can add to what Jesus did. How is there even room for me to forgive myself when I'm already so forgiven, there's nothing left to forgive!?

My guilt was washed away. Poof. Gone. I'm forgiven. Like, I can see a Facebook post about circumcision without feeling bad at all. This is new to me! I'm so free.

And whatever your mom mistake is/was, you're forgiven too. You're so forgiven, you can never add more to it.

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