Are you burdened with mom guilt?
Mama, I am all too familiar with the sleepless nights associated with guilt and shame.
Yes, those terrible nights where I either went to sleep crying or woke up fearing that I had completely ruined my kids for life because of how I treated them the day before.
I remember promising myself I would be different in the morning – that I wouldn’t yell at my kids or get angry. But alas, the next morning came, and inevitably the first things out of my mouth were words of anger, and the cycle of guilt and shame continued.
Thankfully those days are days past, not to say I never get angry or use destructive behavior now, I certainly have my moments.
The difference between today and years ago is my spiritual and emotional maturity.
Today I know that it’s completely possible to be outside of the guilt/shame cycle, and let me tell you, Mama, it’s a life full of peace, joy, and gratitude!!!
When I make a mistake now, I recover and move forward before nightfall!
Yes, it is possible to end the shame cycle! YES, it can happen for you too!!
It takes some work to get there, but the work is SO worth it! I want to help you start that journey today.
Before I share the first step, you must understand something…
You’ve likely been praying and asking the Lord to help you overcome your guilt, burnout, and anger.
First – don’t discredit the fact that if you have prayed that prayer and you are reading this post, it may be part of His leading you to the answer.
Second and most importantly – it’s important to note that we can’t just pray our guilt and frustration away…
We must take time to understand why we are feeling the guilt and process our feelings around it.
Okay, so the VERY first step to overcoming mom guilt must always begin with the Lord!
The Lord is the only one strong enough to break the guilt-shame cycle, and he gave us a way out of this deadly cycle!
First, He gave us Jesus so we can be made right in His sight.
Second He gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit to convict us of our sins so we can turn back to the Lord and His ways. (See Romans 8:1-39)
But remember we can’t just “pray” it away – we must dig deeper…
A big problem with mom guilt is how we translate it…
We often translate Holy Spirit conviction into shame.
The Spirit isn’t here to shame us to death, he is here to lead us to life!
“Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” Romans 8:12014 NLT
The purpose of conviction is to repent!
“For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things, you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.” 2 Corinthians 7:10-11 NKJV
Both worldly and Godly sorrow feels like guilt. It’s likely you will experience all the negative emotions when feeling guilt; feelings of fear, sadness, anger, and disgust.
All too often, we hold on to guilt as a way to punish ourselves for the wrong we have done.
(This is one of many reasons why it is imperative to spend daily time with the Lord.)
We must ask Him to search our hearts, help us to repent, and let go of our shame by accepting His grace and mercy.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 139:23-24 NLT
Just in case this hasn’t sunk in yet, I am going to keep going…
YOU HAVE A CHOICE!
You can give your burden to the Lord, repent, and be freed from the shame.
You can carry your shame and stay stuck in a shame/destructive behavior cycle.
The Lord leads us with conviction, and it’s our choice to carry the burden of guilt or choose the gift of grace that Jesus freely gave us.
Godly sorrow is the conviction that lets us know we have grieved the Spirit through our thoughts and actions.
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:29-30 NKJV
Worldly sorrow is shame. We are convicted the same as Godly sorrow, but where we take a wrong turn is by not repenting and taking responsibility for our thoughts and actions, we will continue to carry the burden of our guilt.
But HOLD UP – maybe you DID say sorry and take responsibility and are STILL carrying the burden of shame….
We may even say sorry, but we do not give it all up to the Lord and continue to belittle ourselves by saying negative things to punish ourselves because we feel so badly, this all leads us to a cycle of destructive behaviors.
Often I will tell my clients that when we choose to carry the shame, we are really looking up at the cross and telling Jesus that what He did wasn’t good enough for us because we still have to carry it. But that is a lie from the enemy.
The truth is Jesus died for us to set us free from shame!
So what will you choose?
Choose shame, you choose death.
In this case, it is the death of your joy and relationships.
“When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.” Psalm 32:3-4 NLT
Choose conviction, you choose to repent and accept the grace, forgiveness, and blessed gift of grace from our Lord because of the work Jesus did on the cross.
Choosing conviction and repentance leads to restoration and life!
You’ll begin to see your joy and relationships being healed and renewed.
“Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.” Psalm 32:5 NLT
Okay, I ONE more time now… I REALLY want you to get this! 😉
Worldly sorrow is shame.
It produces death. We continue to turn from God and try to do things on our own. Choosing this is rejecting God’s grace and salvation.
Godly sorrow is conviction.
It produces repentance. We find grace, forgiveness, and willingness to be diligent with change. It’s not simple, but with God’s help, we are able.
“Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah.” Acts 3:19-20 NLT
To end the mom guilt and shame cycle, you need to begin with a prayer of repentance and ask the Lord to search your heart to help you recognize any sin that has taken root.
Repent of this sin and fully accept the gift of salvation the Lord has given you through the death of Jesus.
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.
So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NLT
Accept the gift of salvation, the gift of grace, and ask the Lord daily to come into your heart to cleanse you of sin and make you new every day.
The next step is to recognize the difference between conviction and shame.
Remember – because of Jesus, you are no longer bound to shame.
When you fully understand what it means to release shame, you will take a HUGE step out of the mom guilt cycle.
When you walk away from that guilt/shame cycle, you will begin to find joy because you will stop telling yourself you are a bad mom.
You will begin to see the blessings from the Lord, which will increase your energy, and you will be delighted in your motherhood journey, which will increase your joy and restore your relationship with your kids.
You have this choice mama, I pray you will begin to find your joy from the gift of salvation and walk away from the guilt-shame cycle for good.
If you need help walking through this, Click Here to learn how to work with me. Don’t hesitate to Contact Me if you have questions.
May the Lord continue to lead you down the path of healing.