A friend who homeschools her kids was sharing her struggles the other day. I heard in her words such self-condemnation, such self-blame.
When I read it, it reminded me of the downward spiral of thoughts I’ve had at times. . . “I’m a terrible mother… I’m a terrible wife… I’m a terrible Christian…” These thoughts take hold and have such sway over me, because they are key elements of my calling in life. Feeling like a failure in areas that are so important to me go swirling in my head.
More often than not, when these feelings take hold in my heart, they have been amplified by hormones. My post-partum depression felt like PMS on steroids. Identifying that connection has helped me observe these thoughts and feelings for what they are — thoughts and feelings that are not the full sum of reality.
Do you ever feel that way? Like the things you value most as a mother are the things you struggle in the most?
Remember, YOU are just the right mother for your children. God has chosen YOUR children to be nurtured by you. Regardless of what you are or aren’t doing, YOU are JUST the right mother for your children. THEY are the children God has given to you.
Your strengths and weaknesses are being used by God, in His sovereignty, as they grow in to the people God has created them to be.
I heard my friend share words of frustration — and wanting encouragement to really press in to the effort needed each day.
And I heard her say words of condemnation — which is not what needs to be taking hold in our hearts.
In the context of struggling to do what we want to do, and the struggle not to sin, Romans 8 reminds me, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1 ESV)
Jesus calls us, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)
And for me, with all the failures (and good things) through the years, I keep meditating upon the the comfort,
“But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
(Lamentations 3:21-23 ESV)
This is the encouragement I need to hear each day.
Please be gentle on yourself, as you accept God’s gentleness. . .