It only took a week for the back-to-school meltdowns to begin.
Oh, not the kids’.
Maybe it was too ambitious of me to serve up nutritious smoothies for breakfast, after a week of solo parenting (Hubby’s been out of town for work).
Maybe it the fact that I’d been up since 3:45am to finish important work project.
Maybe it was just hormones.
Whichever “maybe” it was, my children’s lack of enthusiasm (and gratitude, ahem) struck a nerve. Apparently a very sensitive one.
So I snapped.
I saw it immediately on my Middle’s face: shame.
I wanted to stop, but my frustration-fueled words were like an unstoppable train.
I managed to compose myself and continue serving the tall glasses of frozen fruit (with a side of contempt), until Eldest informed me he wasn’t really hungry.
I won’t go into all the details of what shall henceforth be known as “The Great Smoothie Meltdown of 2019,” but I will say by the time I put my kids on the bus with a quick kiss *I* was the one who felt ashamed.
As I began my usual morning prayer walk, I didn’t want to pray. I wanted to hide.
How could you behave like that?
You call yourself a Bible teacher?
Did you see the look on his face?
You’re a terrible mom.
“Move on,” Holy Spirit’s voice interrupted my self-berating.
I took a deep breath.
Okay. I know. If I don’t stop this negative thought train it’s going to wreck my entire day. I need to acknowledge it and move on.
So I remembered that one bad moment doesn’t make me a bad mom.
I asked God to forgive me for my unloving words and actions and to help me remember the pain of the moment to fuel better self-control in the future.
I blessed my children—each one by name and made a mental note to ask their forgiveness as soon as they arrived home from school.
Okay, now I could move on.
Except I couldn’t.
As I began talking to God about other things, guilt and fear kept interrupting.
Towards the end of our walk, I heard Holy Spirit clearly, “You still haven’t moved on, have you?”
“No,” I admitted out loud, unconcerned with what the neighbors might think about the strange, sweaty woman talking to herself.
That was when I realized I was taking the wrong approach. Trying not to think about the events that had occurred only made me think about them more.
Case in point: If I tell you not to think about a penguin, is that not the first image that pops into your mind?
Instead of focusing on what I lacked, I needed to focus on what I had been given. Instead of declaring my failures, or just trying to forget about them, I needed to declare the victory.
“I have the mind of Christ,” I said. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
It was, admittedly, a slow start. Until I asked God for help. Then He reminded me--
“I am God’s workmanship. Created for good works, which God has prepared for me before I was ever born. He chose me to be Avery, Emory and Bethany’s mom.” (Ephesians 2:10)
“I am forgiven. Every sin- past, present, and future- is under the blood of Jesus from the moment I confess them.” (1 John 1:9)
“I am adopted. My Father helps me and provides everything I need.” (Romans 8:14-17)
“I am the righteousness of God, in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
As I began to declare what God says about me, instead of what I felt about myself in that moment, the shadow of shame left. I began to be filled with hope and encouragement.
I returned home to a sink full of dirty dishes.
“Remember this morning?” they seemed to taunt.
Yeah, I remember. I smiled to myself.
But I’m moving on.
The memory was still there, but it lost its power over me.
It wasn’t that I forget, I just made a decision: to move on, like God did.
I love what the author of Hebrews wrote— “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1)
You see, it’s not just sin that Satan uses to keep us from running our race. When Satan can't keep us entangled in sin, he'll throw guilt, fear, and shame at us in an attempt to hinder us from moving forward.
Friend, I don’t know what your “Great Smoothie Meltdown of 2019” is.
Maybe you snapped at your husband this morning.
Maybe you bombed an important project at work last week.
Maybe you found yourself gripped by an unspeakable sin years ago.
No matter the failure, no matter how long ago— God doesn’t want you to be stuck in your guilt, shame, or regret another second. He's got a race marked out for you and He sent me here to tell you— today is your day to move on.
His love and forgiveness know no bounds.
Guilt and shame have no place in you, child of God.
He is the great Restorer and Redeemer, able to make beautiful things out of the broken.
If we’ve confessed our sins and been obedient to take the appropriate actions, He’s already moved on--shouldn’t we, also?
I know it’s hard to fathom, but when God looks at you, he doesn’t see your failures. Not a single one of them.
He sees you as His beloved.
So revisit the Book, and let Him remind you who you are.
And remember this, friend:
God doesn’t need our perfection— He just needs a heart that is after Him.
So set your face like flint toward the one who called you out of darkness and into His marvelous plan, and move on.
A little about me...
Hi, I'm Katie!
Wife to Craig, mom of three, author, writer, Jesus-follower, Bible teacher, and coffee enthusiast.
Follow me as I follow Christ and share my heart throughout the journey.
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