Dear Christian Mom who feels guilty (all the time),
I know what it’s like — to feel the way you do.
You can’t seem to get anything right.
Sure there are those moments when things work out, the kids get along, you feel like you’re on the right track, but inevitably, the guilt creeps back in.
Nothing you do is ever enough.
You work too much; you don’t work hard enough.
You should spend more time with the kids, but you also need to find time for self-care — but is it selfish to want, need, long for me time???
And what if I’m spending too much time with the kids, and they don’t learn independence? Am I solving too many of their problems, hovering like the dreaded helicopter parent? Or maybe I’m not involved enough. Maybe I should be more like that mom over there. She seems to get it right, and her child looks so happy.
On and on we ping pong, bouncing from guilt to guilt.
You’re too strict, and too lenient.
You shouldn’t have responded that way.
Your thoughts are too negative or too positive — or just need to change, for crying out loud.
Even when you get something right, there is some hint of remorse or doubt or thoughts of how it could have been done differently.
Never enough is a heavy weight to carry.
We counter it with these feel-good statements; maybe the most popular flying around the inter webs — You are enough.
Plastered on Instagram and shared on FB, flying on the wings of twitter and diy’ed over on Pinterest.
But “you are enough” is a lie, dear Mama.
You are not enough.
You are going to mess up, make bad choices, even willfully choose to be selfish. Your kids will have issues they need to work through and burdens they carry, and life really might fall apart. In this world, you will have trouble, and you can not solve it all.
You, dear mama, are not enough. But the good news is “Jesus is.”
Jesus is enough, and this isn’t just some trite, Christian answer. This is some Scripture-infused, truth your heart has forgotten or your mind hasn’t believed.
You can’t do all things, but Jesus can, and IN HIM you can, too.
You are not enough, except in Christ.
Jesus is enough. In HIM you are a new creation, the old is gone and the new has come. To all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. You don’t sit outside the gates as a beggar, pleading with the King to give you what you need – hope, peace, patience (for mercy’s sake! I need more patience!).
In Christ, you have everything you need. You are seated IN the throne room, as a daughter, a beloved child of God, and you already have everything you need. No begging, no waiting for it to show up. You have it already. You don’t need to muster up something inside of you, you can declare your identity as a child of God — you are enough through Jesus Christ!
Now, of course, we work out that salvation — we renew our minds, take captive our thoughts, choose to walk with the Spirit. And of course, we’ll mess up. We’ll dwell on our shortcomings, believe the lies, gratify the desires of the flesh, but there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Nothing, not your guilt, your bad choices, your lack of seemingly everything — no thing can separate you from the love of Christ. You have been bought with a price.
When you screw up — when you fall into the pity party pit, yell at your kids, hold a grudge against your husband, and seem to make all the wrong choices, run to Jesus. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. His mercy is new every morning — how great is His faithfulness! (Do you believe it?)
And our kids? Our marriages? Our jobs, our work, our homes, and our world? We commit those to the sovereign, just, tender care of our Abba Father. We pray like crazy, and trust Holy Spirit to work – to do what He does best.
It’s not up to us to save the world, warrior friend. We can take off that pressure and let go of that weight. We don’t save our marriages, our children, or our worlds when they’re spinning out of control — we trust Jesus to do the saving work. We believe God’s Spirit to do the inner work. We trust God to save. We do all we can, but we trust the result to God. We believe Him to do the work we cannot do. We rejoice in our weakness, knowing it’s God’s strength that’s really needed.
So when you feel guilty again — when the crushing weight of not enough hinders your walk and pains your heart, you can admit that you. are. not. enough.
You’re not enough. Admit that you’ll mess up and make mistakes and maybe never figure out the right decision, but then you assert who you already are through Jesus Christ. Take captive those thoughts and proclaim your identity in Christ. Become who you are, dear sister in Christ. Become who Christ has redeemed you to be.
You are so loved. Let’s live that way.
With deep affection,
Erika // erikadawson.com
ps — I’ve created this little resource for you. I pray this Truth reminds you of who you are and give you the courage to live out that identity. CLICK HERE.