I have a black thumb of death when it comes to plants. So when I moved into a house that had an immaculate garden that required little of me to keep it alive, I was thrilled! Last spring when I saw the peonies bloom I was over the moon and I have been anxiously awaiting their arrival this year.

Every day I have peeked to see the buds getting bigger and bigger, ready to burst any day now. Yesterday I checked on my beloved peonies and every single bud had been chopped off the branches.

Y’all, I cried.

I screamed -- “Who would do this?!” and my six year old sheepishly confessed, and then showed me all of the other flowers in our garden he had destroyed.

I wept.

My sweet son, who had a traumatic encounter with bees the summer before last, decided that if we had no flowers we would have no bees, and so he destroyed them all. When he saw my tears he apologized profusely, and it took everything inside of me to forgive that boy. Every time I leave the house now I see those mangled branches and I feel a little sick to my stomach. I see everyone posting peonies on Instagram and I cry a little.

And I think that’s okay, it’s okay to be sad a little.

What is not okay is to bring the flowers back up after I have forgiven my son (which I have been tempted to do more than once). What’s not okay is to hold onto the sadness and make it a thing, to hold flowers up like they are an idol, to make peonies more important than the heart of my son.

What has passed has passed, and once it’s been forgiven the slate is wiped clean.

Just like with Jesus.

Our past is our past, He took the punishment so that we could be forgiven and we are washed clean. Jesus never mentions it again, in fact He forgets it.

So I am trying, I am trying to forget my pretty blooms, to focus on the sweet heart of my boy, to offer grace and forgiveness even when it’s harder than it should be.

And I am buying peonies blooms from the store. Because, peonies.

Amber is the founder of Beautiful & Beloved and Reveal Ministry.  You can find Amber as @ambervnewberry on Instagram or Twitter where she loves to connect with other mamas.