To the Mother Struggling with Failure

To the weary mom, tired from trying to earn your way into forgiveness, God’s grace is enough Click To Tweet

I walked away in the middle of life, left a husband and three kids, and never returned.

You and I both could use a lot of words to describe myself and they would fit accordingly. Mothers do not run away. For fifteen years, I have kept this secret. By those who found out, I have been mocked, judged, cursed, and left to drown in my shameful sin.

Asked to define my life in one word, I would say, “failure.” That one little word, heavy with weight, set the standard for my life and permeated every fiber of my being. I allowed failure to pull me down and drown me under the waters of anxiety, depression, and fear.

Then God said “enough!”

Maybe you’re not like me. Perhaps you live at the corner of Betty Crocker and June Cleaver; your crown of faultlessness untarnished. There is a possibility you are the mom whose children set the bar of impeccability and “failure” never crosses your lips. I admire and applaud you, but that is not me.

Hearing the stories that adult children tell of how their parents ruined their lives and harmed them spiritually, emotionally, and mentally in one way or another, and ladies trying to recover from the scars of a “failure mom.” I hear the horror stories and see the statistical devastation. I know the aftermath failure moms leave upon society and all I can say is, “I am that mother.”

Maybe you are like me. Perhaps you struggle with failing your children in one way or another. Perchance you’ve not been the mom God called you to be. It possible that you’ve harmed them and left them out to dry.

If you struggle, if you answer to “failure” please hear me. God is still in control; hope is not lost.

It’s Not All Your Fault

I am the mother of an alcoholic, drug-addicted daughter. I know she lives in North Carolina and she is a waitress (Thank you, social media.) and that is all I know. Yes, part of this is my fault, and I accept the natural consequences that abandonment causes. However, I did not make her pick up the bottle or force her to do drugs.

Even as I write, I struggle with accepting the entirety of this blame. “It’s all my fault,” haunts me and “shame” keeps me in the realms of guilt. Had I continued to raise my daughter in the way I began to raise her, she might be a different young lady. I made choices. She made choices. None of them good.

To the mom who is defined by failure, accept responsibility for your actions and yours alone.  The evils of this world will try to convince you that it is ALL your fault. The sins of the whole world are not yours to bear. Take your faults and hand them over to Christ, lest His death is in vain. He did not die for nothing; He died for your failure.

.To continue reading, (please do) click over to Unmasking the Mess

Through His Grace, you are forgiven. By His Grace you are set free. Click To Tweet

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Get out of My Way — Learning to Forgive Myself

Mean people suck and I don’t like them.  Period.

I met up with Mrs. Meanie the other day and found I still can’t stand that lady.  I walk right into an awkward situation with her frequently; she needs to just go away permanently.  Trapped in a never-ending conversation, I squirm and wiggle trying to weasel my way out.  Feeling cornered, I give in.  I surrender to my fate and roll with the punches.  I tell myself that I deserve what she has to say and that my situation is my own doing and I need to accept this as a part of my life; this is my punishment.  Walking away with my tail between my legs, I slink into that dark place in my cave and plan to resurface someday, maybe.

I am mean, I am ugly, and I am certainly my own worst enemy.  Yes, I am Mrs. Meanie.

Like many, (anyone else cares to raise your hand here?) my past is filled with shameful events.  I convince myself that I am the worst of all evils, that no person on the face of the planet would ever stoop as low as me.  I cower in shame, beating myself up with a barrage of insults.  I remind myself to look down, “don’t let anyone see you.  Don’t let anyone see who you are.  You are a vile evil creature.  Speak to no one.  If you talk, they will realize you are a fake.  You are about as worthless as they come for what you have done and you will live with this shame for the rest of your life.  Don’t tell your story.  Don’t talk about your past.  Bury it deep within yourself and cover it with shame.  Live in this guilt, because it is what you deserve.  You deserve to live in hell.”

I would love to tell you that Mrs. Meanie’s words are exaggerated to make a point, but that would be a lie.  Those words and much, much more (too viscous to speak in polite company), run on a continual loop between my ears.

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On the journey up the mountain of forgiveness, I have found it is me who needs forgiveness from myself.  This doesn’t mean I am condoning what I did.  This does in no way make my actions correct or remove any and all fault.  Simply put, it means that it is time to say “His grace is sufficient for me.”  Bigger than saying it, is believing it.

His grace–the grace I do not deserve.

I confess I look to others for forgiveness–begging and pleading and come up empty time and time again.  But God, He offers it freely with no strings attached.  He writes in the sand for me.  He writes words that speak directly to my heart and says “Your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more.  You’re my little girl, I created you.  My truth is all that matters in your life.  Who does my Word say that you are?  What does my truth say about you?”

What does His Truth say about me?

“But He said to me, “MY grace is sufficient for you, for MY power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  Be strong, little girl, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, remember you are not saved or forgiven through anything you can do or earn.  This is a gift, from me to you because I love you so much.  Get up out off the ground and stand here beside me.  Don’t be afraid to tell your story because it has a happy ending, MY ending!  Set the suitcases of your shame and guilt here for me to carry, lighten your load by accepting my grace and taking my hand.  Let’s walk your Journey of a Million Miles together.  My yoke is easy, and my burden is light! (2 Corinthians 12:9, 2 Timothy 2:1, Ephesians 2:4-10, Matthew 11:30 in my own words.)

It’s easier to climb the mountain of forgiveness without a heavy pack. Click To Tweet

my grace is sufficient

The beauty of Christ–every word written is Truth.  He will never change His mind.  He is the only one who can forgive and forget, as far as the east is from the west.  If you’ve ever run east to get to the west, you know that the distance between the two is impossible to span.  Basically, He places what we offer to Him for forgiveness in an unretrievable space that doesn’t exist.

And His grace?  Well, His Grace is just enough for me; forgiven and forgotten.  Go and sin no more!

 

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