This week I ran into an old friend. I reminded her that years ago, she told me that she had a dream, where God talked to her and said, “Katie is a good mother.” I told her that I clung to that statement after Sean died, as sometimes I felt like such a failure as a mom. We both started crying.
Feeling like a failure as a parent– is something with which so many of us are struck. We all have things that we truly regret and wish we had done differently. I know that there are certain areas of my life that God has asked me to turn over to Him, but I have struggled doing that. Why? Because these things are idols—they give me a sense of security, or significance or comfort. I turn to them, instead of God. I don’t want to give them up, because I lack the faith to believe that God will really provide for me or fill me with significance or comfort me.
I remember when the passages of Matthew 6 really struck me—Jesus was telling His followers—not to worry about food, or clothing or shelter—as our Heavenly Father knows we need all these things—but to seek first God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness, and all these things will be added onto us.
I thought—wow, Jesus, you really must be from Heaven, you really must be God, as everyone I know is worried about those things, everyone I know is seeking after those things, including me. You are looking at things from God’s perspective. You are trying to give us God’s perspective. The perspective that says—”Don’t worry, I’ve got this, just listen to Me, do what I am calling you to do and I will take care of you.”
Here’s the thing—when I trusted Jesus to be my Savior, He came into my life, and I was adopted as a child of God. 3rd Chapter of John I will always be God’s daughter, “our relationship” as Father and Daughter will continue throughout eternity. However, when I “sin”, it effects our fellowship—it separates our communication.
We see this in our own relationship with our children, my sons and daughters will always be my sons and daughters, but sin will hinder or stop our communication with each other. I will always love them, nothing can stop me from loving them, but things can stop us from really talking to each other, and they may not “feel” the love I have for them consequently.
So how do we deal with the guilt, when we know, we haven’t been listening to God, and we haven’t been following Him—we haven’t been obeying Him.
This is going to sound simple—it is simple—but it is so hard to implement—why? Because it means letting go of our idols and clinging unto God and agreeing with God about those idols.
Confessing—means to agree with God. That’s it—it just means to agree with Him, to stop justifying, stop defending our actions—just agree. I like to defend and justify and continue my actions. It is so hard for me to agree. It is so hard for me to yield.
However, scripture says, “ If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.
Sometimes when I agree with God, I “feel” forgiven, and sometimes I do not. Sometimes there is such a sense of relief and sometimes there is not. Whether I “feel” forgiven or not, God’s word says—when we confess, God is faithful, God is just—He does forgive us—as in things are right between us now– our fellowship is restored. Our relationship – He is my Dad, I am His daughter was never in danger—when I accepted Jesus all my sins, past, present and future were forgiven, but our fellowship was being hindered.
God’s word says, I am forgiven, and you are forgiven, therefore we take God at His Word, not our feelings, and we cling to God’s Word as truer than anything—truer than our feelings, truer than our circumstances.
I am learning to trust God’s Word over my feelings. When I do, I can look at the “feeling” of guilt and judge whether it is legitimate or not. If I have confessed and yielded my life to God—than the “feeling” of guilt is false, it is not legitimate. If I have sinned and not confessed, than the feeling of guilt is legitimate and is a tool to point me to God, who is faithful and just to forgive me and cleanse me.
Either way, I let guilt point me to God. I let His Word, His Spirit and His other children speak truth in my life. I find that if I let guilt point me to God, God will deal with the guilt—if it is a false guilt, or if it is the voice of “the accuser of the brethren”. I know that the enemy of my soul wants to use guilt to drive me away from God, so if I instead, let it drive me to God—it has the opposite result of what the enemy wanted to have. Yay!!
Don’t be afraid to let another trusted believer know what you are struggling with—they can often help you discern truth and help you in your struggle to hear God’s voice and receive His wisdom. My husband is a great discerner of truth, and he helps me immensely. He encourages me and tells me how I am succeeding as a mom, and with me, he fights the enemy who would love for me to feel hopeless and like a loser.
Mostly, my husband reminds me that we are in the middle of the chapters of our lives. The story isn’t over. He reminds me that God is in control and God loves our children more than we do. God’s love and mercy and forgiveness have no end!!
If that isn’t encouraging, I don’t know what is!!
**Picture is my husband and I surrounded by our nieces and nephews at our wedding reception.