Regret. Shame. Guilt.
These are just a few emotions that I’ve felt throughout my life. Even into adulthood.
I remember a day so vividly when I was a young mom. We lived in a home with two staircases. When you walked in the front door, you either went up 8 or 10 stairs, or you went down 8 or 10 stairs. There was only a landing at the door.
As I went into my bathroom to put on a little make up for the day, I placed my young son into his walker. We always fastened a baby gate at the top of those stairs, we felt like prisoners at times in the second story of our home.
I’ll never forget hearing the sound of that walker bouncing down the stairs BAM, BAM BAM, BAM…all the way to the landing. By the time I exited my bedroom and flew down the stairs, the walker was on its side on my left and my precious son was laying on his back on my right. He had been ejected and I still have no idea how his neck wasn’t broken. He rolled over on his belly while crying and I could see he was ok. I scooped him up with trembling arms and by the time I reached the top of those stairs, he had quieted down. He was fine.
I know what could have happened to him. The absolute worst. But, I don’t go there anymore. He’s OK. And I learned a very valuable lesson. One I never repeated again and one I share with other new moms if given the opportunity.
God had given me this precious gift to raise and care for and my neglect nearly cost him his life. I confessed to the Lord that I was sorry, remorseful, regretful…I can tell you without any hesitation that He never made me feel like a terrible mother. Never. Ever.
He wants us to know that when we mess up, He provides a way to escape that guilt and turn something negative into something that can be used to shine a light on Him and His mercy.
When part of our story carries the weight of regret, let’s be careful.
I learned long ago that condemnation doesn’t come from God. It does not. It comes from the enemy…satan himself. With condemnation, there is no escape. No way out. We keep quiet, suffering in silence.
If you are a follower of Christ, there is never condemnation from the Father. Only conviction.
: the state of being convinced of error or compelled to admit the truth
We have to admit that something is going wrong before we can come up with a new plan. A better plan. Conviction provides a way of escape. It is temporary. It is in place only to point you in the right direction so that you can leave whatever you regret behind and move on.
He is a good father. A good, good father.
If you had your father, or a father figure growing up, you know full well the difference in conviction and condemnation. Do you remember how you were made to feel when you were caught up in something wrong? Were you made to feel as if there was no way you could ever make right one of your mistakes? Or, were you lovingly scolded and encouraged to make a different choice next time? See the difference? Can you feel it?
Do you ever feel weighed down with regret? Shame? Guilt? Perhaps it’s not even over anything that you did, but something that was done to you. Something that someone else did and they’ve shifted the blame onto your shoulders. Maybe you’ve shifted the blame onto your shoulders all on your own.
When we are talking to God, confessing the weight we are carrying, it’s natural to feel embarrassed or ashamed. Like a child standing under the shadow of his father. Our head is down, we are looking at our shoes, shoulders stooped, voice mumbling.
There is a song that describes how a lot of us feel when we are carrying guilt. Click the link below and give yourself just 5 minutes to listen to the words. I hope it speaks to you. Believe what it says. Hide these words from Romans 8:1 in your heart and when satan tries to make you feel ashamed, quote it back to him.
Afraid I’ve let you down, inside I doubt
That You could love me
But in Your eyes there’s only grace now
In the days that followed my son’s walker incident, God comforted my frazzled spirit. He reminded me to always be thankful. He asked me to share that story when necessary, even though it embarrassed me to do so. It could save a life. It could encourage another mom who has made mistakes of her own.
We all have stories like this. Ones that might make us feel a little uncomfortable to tell, but could bring comfort to someone else. Satan would have us keep these stories to ourselves, but our Heavenly Father means to use them for good.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
I’m praying for us all to tuck this in our hearts. Hand Him our guilt and shame. Live thankful lives. Be willing to share our stories.
We’ve been forgiven. Let’s believe it. Let’s live like it.