I sat back in my chair, exhausted. I closed my eyes and tried to take in the praise and worship music that was playing. Suddenly I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. Until that moment, I had no idea how burdened I was.
As moms we tend to do that, don’t we? We take responsibility for huge parts of our circumstances and relationships as we navigate our marriages, children, and ministries. Often it feels like more than we can bear.
As I talk to other moms along the way, the one thing we all seem to have in common is guilt and often a heavy dose of condemnation. Moms with babies worry about things like whether they co sleep, or cloth diaper, or what they feed their little ones. Moms of young children wonder if they are getting an early enough start on school, whether or not their child is keeping up educationally with others their own age or whether they are over protective or not protective enough.
Middle school and high school moms question whether or not they are being too hard on their kids, or not hard enough, letting go too soon or not soon enough. We worry that our kids aren’t going to like us or if we will ever have a peaceful relationship with them again. We say and do things we never thought we would and sometimes, in the heat of the moment, things we regret.
And moms with adult children sometimes see gaps in character or lack of maturity and are painfully aware that it’s too late to be the one to fix it. We feel regret.
Maybe you’re the mom whose family is undergoing great trials…trials you never expected or maybe even ones that you feel that you’ve brought on yourself? Life is HARD. It’s not what you had pictured for your family.
And then it comes…the heavy, wet blanket of condemnation. It’s suffocating. It’s debilitating. It makes us feel hopeless and alone.
And that’s EXACTLY what the enemy wants. Yes, you heard me right. This isn’t what it appears to be. It isn’t about us being the perfect mom, the perfect wife, the perfect friend. This is a spiritual battle that the enemy wages on our souls to do what He does best…steal, kill and destroy. He knows if he can disarm us, or at the very least discourage us, he neutralizes our effectiveness for the kingdom of God.
It’s time to declare war! We need to be persistent in taking back what belongs to us. God said, “So there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” (Romans 8:1,2)
Did you hear that? NO condemnation. What does He give instead? He gives us His Spirit. He gives us FREEDOM. “So if the son sets you free, you are truly FREE!” (John 8:36)
Free to what? Free to trust God! Free to believe that what He says IS TRUE…”And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28)
God knows we are weak. He knows we are dust. He has more than enough grace and power to cover our mistakes. And at the end of the day, when we doubt our decisions, we need to bring that doubt to God, repent if we need to, and ask for His covering. God is the GREAT Redeemer. He can even take what the Enemy intends for evil and turn it into good.
Maybe these feelings are really signals to pray over those specific realms. We need to take those areas we feel condemnation and make them part of our prayer strategy!
And we really need to stop being so harsh with ourselves. We are going to make mistakes. We are going to sin. But the minute we forget that we are saved by grace and are called to continue to live by grace, we give the Enemy a foothold he should never, ever have and, quite frankly, has no right to.
Jesus paid a great price for this freedom we have in Him. It’s ours for the taking. He loves to see us enjoy this gift just like we love to watch our kids enjoy the good gifts we give them.
Be kind to yourself, because HE is. His heart toward you is tender and it is good. Rest in it.