Nikki Lamberg shares a prayer that helped her be more gentle with herself when she worries she may have made the wrong choice.
Have you ever second-guessed something you said or did, thinking that perhaps it didn’t come out right? Maybe you even have slight anxiety over the perception of that thing you said or did on some occasions, just praying that your intentions came across as well-meaning? For me, these situations tend to arise when you are in a new or “new again” situation.
This feeling is not to be confused with a lack of confidence, but rather a desire to be a good Christian with the most well-meaning intention. I always say that if there was a good and a negative way to take something I said, always know that it was intended to be the good way, because quite honestly, the negative way probably never even crossed my mind. In a world full of negativity, where society tries to train our minds to feel offended every time we turn our head, we have to keep shining the light of goodness and grace regardless of other’s opinions.
A short little prayer came to me in the midst of one of these questioning situations. “Father, forgive my ignorance.” It came to me when I was newly pregnant again. Although I had been pregnant before, you tend to forget all the things you can and can’t do. “Don’t eat this, don’t eat that.” “Lie on your left side, not any other way,” which let me tell you, although I get the reasoning behind this, laying on your left side to sleep for ten straight months is less than desirable and becomes quite the attributor to insomnia in pregnancy because you can’t stay comfortable sleeping this way.
I started to drive myself crazy with the worries and what-ifs after having two miscarriages. I wanted to make sure that I was doing everything I should be doing, and nothing that I shouldn’t be. However, that mindset proved pretty quickly to not be sustainable. I think if I asked my husband one more time if he thought a certain food was pasteurized or not, which is a more common question than you might think if you live in Wisconsin like we do, there was a very good possibility he was going to put me on a strict fruits, veggies, and dry cereal diet for the rest of my pregnancy.
In an effort to try and ease my mind, I decided to adopt the prayer “Father, forgive my ignorance” to calm my anxiety and PTSD from fearing something could happen. Now, this did not mean that I was going to throw all caution to the wind and intentionally eat or do something to “test the waters.” This prayer was reserved for those situations where I could have accidentally eaten something I wasn’t supposed to, not fully knowing the ingredients .
I began to think more and more about this short little prayer that I am convinced God provided me to help me chill out. I thought about how this could apply to many areas of life. How often do we find ourselves meeting someone new and saying something witty, but afterwards praying they didn’t cringe at dry humor? Or maybe it’s doing an act of kindness that went sideways because someone felt offended instead? I distinctly remember sending a good friend who I know is faith-filled, a postcard with words of affirmation along with a Bible verse when they were going through a tough time, and thinking it was odd that I didn’t get a message back. It turns out they were upset, thinking that I assumed they had never read the Bible before, when in fact I was just really moved by a particular story and I wanted to share my newfound love and hope. Unfortunately, it took months for me to learn they were upset, and I am glad we worked through it. But this was most definitely a situation where good intentions were taken the wrong way. Father, please forgive my ignorance. Or in this case, “Friend, please forgive my ignorance.”
I share these stories with you today to help you remember to try to see the good in people, because they are out there! Heaven help us if we all give up on being kind because of the way the world is going. Be that beacon of light, gratitude, and well-meaning wishes, and forgive those who are “ignorant.”
Copyright 2022 Nikki Lamberg
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About the Author
Nikki Lamberg is a born and raised Catholic, full-time working, wife and mom of three young children. It brings her great joy to read, write and help others as she can, especially when it comes to infertility and raising young children.