Mom life is a marathon, isn’t it? We start out strong, spurred on by gushing love and admiration for a child who is perfect in our eyes. Then Guilt and Fear come along and we grow weary and weak.
Guilt keeps us company.
Chatting incessantly about all the things we should be doing, all the opportunities we have missed, and the times we let our temper slip, keeping before our eyes a picture of unattainable perfection.
Fear then does his part.
Showing us the possible futures if we continue to make mistakes, or if our children miss out or do not develop “normally.”
“Well-baby” check-ups are like parties to these fiends; development charts make for some wild conversations between our ears. Guilt and Fear also love the fog that comes over our brains as we stand in the baby food aisle reading a thousand labels trying to figure out what isn’t poisoned with additives and won’t destroy the ozone, deplete the rainforest, or melt the icecap.
Before long we gasp for breath, poured out until there is nothing left in the bottle. We continue to run, but we feel so low we are actually looking up from a crevice in the road.
Good moms know that there is no way to run this race on our own steam.
So we cry out in the darkness of the night as we monitor every breath of a child with pneumonia, and we hear Him answer us; the One who is closer than a brother.
He not only hears, He reaches down and grasps us with His hand and pulls us up.
It is a scarred hand, but it is strong and warm. It has been in the crevice, and the Owner knows what it means to be poured out until there is nothing left.
It is Jesus that comes to our aid.
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.
Guilt has told us it is impossible to escape. Fear has told us failure is inevitable. But Jesus shows us the way out, and He promises us victory over any and all obstacles that are thrown in our way (even our own sinful selves).
We are tempted to look back at our lives as mothers with a wince. We think of all the things we’ve done wrong, all the moments we’ve let slip, all the times we lost our tempers. How many, many ways we wish we’d have loved better.
That’s when we need to remember this:
There is none righteous, no, not one
We all need the perfecting power of the blood of Christ, no matter how many children we have reared, no matter how many books we have read or how much training we have received. There is no substitute for the grace of God, for His love that covers our multitude of sins.
And those sins are covered forever; past, present and future:
For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.
There is no reason to hide in the shame of our actions. Healing can pour down and cover every ugly, nasty part of who we are just like a warm bowl of oatmeal over the head of an ornery, adorable toddler.
Living with guilt and fear will only beget more of the same behaviors, but getting set free, telling those apes called Guilt and Fear where to get off because of what Jesus did, will cause us to do better as a natural result, without beating ourselves over the head every single moment of the day.
So, why not try and turn over a new leaf? Let’s give our entire selves to God, with all of our foibles and mistakes and meanness, and let His infinite love erase our past and open the door to a new future, a future walking by the Spirit:
The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
Have you ever met Jesus? He is so wonderful! If you are confused and have questions, send me a note and I will be glad to help you find answers.
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