Wednesday, October 15, 2014

For Moms Who Struggle with Guilt and Shame

Last Thursday I spoke for a group of moms in Lisle, Illinois. It is always a joy for me to share my story with other moms who are struggling, and to show them that HOPE is possible - even in the hard times. Often when I am speaking I am able to make a connection with particular moms in the audience by noticing their body language (or tears...) and I will aim specific encouragements toward them.
When I was in Lisle last week, I was able to speak directly with one of those moms during discussion time at the end of the meeting. This woman shared with all of us who were sitting at her table that she loses her temper and yells at her children on occasion. And every time she yells, she is then filled with feelings of guilt and shame.


Feelings which leave her believing she is not worthy of love from her children, her husband, or God. The guilt and shame she feels over losing her temper threaten to keep her from receiving love, and equally keep her from giving love fully. Guilt and shame become paralyzing forces in her life.
I understand.
Because I have been there.
And the truth of the matter is, I know this mom and I are not alone. LOTS of moms have been bombarded with guilt and shame. Perhaps the mom who is reading these very words has also struggled.
Maybe you are right now.

I will be forever thankful for my mentor, whom God used to free me from the bondage of guilt and shame. She led me in a time of prayer and contemplation through which I came to understand that when I was frustrated and at my wits' end, God wasn't angry at me. Rather, I found that He knew my heart - my desire to love my children, not hurt them - and I finally "got" that He was able/willing/wanting to help me in those moments.
God was not throwing darts of guilt and shame at me. They were coming from my enemy, the devil. And in that moment, God showed me that He would be my Shield to protect me from those darts.
It was as I recognized my absolute inability to hold myself together, and as I surrendered all sense of control to God, that I was finally free from the terrible grip of guilt and shame. When I recognized I cannot do this mothering thing on my own, and when I believed God wanted to help me with every step and hurdle, I began my journey of trusting Him to deliver me from guilt and shame.

Soooooo, fellow mom, are you struggling with these burdens today?
Please hear me when I tell you, those feelings - those thoughts which say you are too awful to be worthy of love - are lies from your enemy. The One who loves you (And who always will!) doesn't want you walking around burdened by guilt and shame. Yes, Jesus died even for your failings as a mom and He will help you overcome them. Please accept this invitation to lay your burdens, your failures, your short-comings at His feet and take up His offer to help you.
"For I am the LORD, your God,
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.

~Isaiah 41:13

If you'd like to talk further about this issue and don't feel comfortable doing so in the comment section, please feel free to send me an email. The link is in the right-hand column.


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