Saturday, February 03, 2007

His Purpose is Forgiveness

There was only 1 response to the first Mom's' Coffee Break meeting scheduled for Thursday, February 1st. It was from DearFriend Deb who called to let me know she couldn't make the first meeting. Aside from DearDeb's voicemail, there was no other response.

I was disappointed, but rather than stay disappointed, I did call another DearFriend over for lunch. It was nice having that one on one opportunity to just be transparent with one another. We shared our challenges about juggling the role of being a mom and a wife. It was very encouraging to hear that I am not the only one struggling.

There was no dominant theme to our conversation, but one subject we talked about was the difficulty of always reacting the right way when we are already frustrated and the guilt we feel afterwards when we have done wrong, both to our children and to our husbands. We identified the problem, but we really didn't come to a biblical conclusion.

Later that evening, I had some time to browse the internet and I went into a bookmarked blog, A Gracious Home. Then, tonight I read from Professionalizing Motherhood by Jill Savage. Following are excerpts that is helping me work through this issue of "guilt":
I was blessed by these verses in my reading today:

Then Job answered the LORD and said: “I know that You can do everything. And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.”Job 42:1-2

I know God CAN do everything, but that He doesn’t choose to do everything the way I think He should. Such a simple concept, but one I find I must learn in new ways over and over again. At times over the recent months I’ve been sorely tempted to think that God has failed us and that He hasn’t come through. I am still struggling to understand why He has allowed some things to unfold in our lives the way that they have when He could so easily have made things turn out differently. But as Job said, no purpose of God can be withheld from Him. If things have not gone in a way that makes sense humanly speaking, there must be a greater purpose behind God’s actions. Such a basic lesson I’ve learned time and time again, but one I face yet again as God trusts me with harder and greater trials.

From Professionalizing Motherhood:
[Earlier] I shared with you that I have often reflected on my life as a mother these last 13 years and have many times been disappointed with myself. I haven't always been loving, forgiving, caring, or selfless. Sadly, many times I have been just the opposite.
In those times, I remember feeling like the worst mother on the face of the planet. I would go to sleep at night on a tear-stained pillow, regretting my decisions. Regretting when I raised my voice, when I said no too frequently, when I did what I wanted to do instead of playing ball or watching them ride their bikes when they asked me to.

I would become lost in my grief to the point that I would continue to make wrong choices because I believed the lie that I was a bad mother. Have any of you been there?

...Jesus came to give us freedom from negative guilt. it its place He gives us hope, newness, and freedom! He believes in you and He believes in me! And He can certainly empower us to make good choices! And all the while, He stands right by us.

From these two excerpts, I recognized again that everything is purposed by God, even the wrong decisions that I make. The purpose in allowing me to make those wrong decisions is not to remind me again that I am a sinner because I already know that. The purpose in allowing me to make those wrong decisions is to remind me again that though I am a sinner I am also forgiven by God's grace because HE loves me and though I AM weak, HE is strong and HE can help me.

Therefore, when I have reacted in a way that is not pleasing to God, rather than fall into the guilt that I am a bad mother or wife, I must continue to remember the cross and the forgiveness Christ gives, remember that I am no longer bonded to sin, and that I do have the power by the Holy Spirit to do what is pleasing to God. I must get up from the fall and press on to the goal of godliness.

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