For years, I allowed the enemy to steal my peace and joy. My thoughts ran wild, and guilt often overwhelmed me. Until, I learned to rest in Him.
On day four of a seven-day trip when the five kids and I were visiting my parents, it happened. I decided to make the trip without my husband, and was already feeling worn out when one of the children threw up in our brand new van (I know…yikes!).
I cleaned up the mess with the help of my parents, but all the while, was pretty upset, and did not act very kind to everyone around me. As I tucked this sick child into bed, he gently whispered, “I am sorry mommy for getting sick in your van.”
Talk about heart sinking.
I knew I had screwed up. I pulled him in, as tears streamed down my face, and said “I’m sorry, buddy. Mommy was not kind. Can you forgive me? I know it was not your fault.”
As I shut the bedroom door, I had a choice to make: allow the voice of the accuser to bring me to a place of guilt and shame, or let the truth of God’s Word to wash over me.
This was a place that I knew all too well.
There were days voice of guilt and condemnation so heavy on me that I never thought I would make it through the day. All my flaws and struggles replayed over and over in my mind. My thoughts told me that my children would become dysfunctional because of my faults. I believed every good mother was supposed to live up to the expectations I was flooded with. I played my children’s Savior. The cross of Jesus just didn’t seem to be enough. I thought if I did everything right, as a mom, then my kids would be the “perfect Christians.” I was living as a slave to my words and actions, and ultimately, as a slave to the lies and accusations of the enemy.
We link our children’s behavior to our faults and sin, but reality is our sins and short-comings are not their identities and not ours either. This is not our destiny nor our inheritance. What if instead of drawing a line to ourselves, we draw a line straight to the Cross? For those who have chosen Jesus, guilt and shame have been crucified. Our identity is no longer that of guilt, but instead our identity is chosen and set free. I hear the Father saying, “Not guilty!”
I hear the Father saying, “Not guilty!”
“For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the father’s, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish” 1 Peter 1:18-19 HCSB.
“Peter offers is beautiful symbolism of Jesus Christ as a lamb- a sacrifice lamb. He says, “Ye were redeemed.” Redeemed” means “loosed,” not in the sense that you would loose a man bound to a post or loose a horse, but loose in the legal sense of being freed from legal bondage. It is in the sense that a slave is loosed, it’s legally declared free. And Peter said, ” You were loosed from the vain conversation.” A.W Tozer in Living as a Christian.
I had to make a decision at that moment in the bedroom: Was I going to listen to the voice of guilt and shame or listen to God? I may not have been the best mom, the best example of showing them kindness, but I do teach them how to run to Jesus. Run to Him when you are hurting and allow Him to fill you; run to Him when you sin and allow Him to forgive you.
Our lives need to point straight to Jesus, not to our attempts to walk this Gospel out in the flesh.
Restoration came that night as I tucked my little one into bed. Peace washed over my weary soul, and I heard the Lord whisper, “Not guilty.”
God made it pretty simple. We make it pretty hard. I have felt the sting of guilt for days. Thinking I was an unfit mom and that I screwed my kids up in some way. Not anymore. God doesn’t want us to live that way. He didn’t send His Only Son to die on the Cross and rise again for us to live under the weight of guilt. If you screw up…apologize and move on and learn from your mistakes. Simple right?!