Dear Sisters, as Mother’s Day approaches I’d like to share a word of warning and encouragement with you.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
Satan knows how influential we are. He hates God-fearing moms. He wants to destroy us, kill us, and stop the powerful eternal impact we are having in our world. Without tiring the enemy attacks us with struggles not limited to:
1. Image and Self-Condemnation
You’re not thin enough, fit enough, strong enough, pretty enough, successful enough, homeschooly enough, Proverbs 31 enough.
You will never be as good a woman/mom as so-and-so; why do you even try? Your kids must wish they had a different mom, because you are a loser.
You hate going to other people’s houses, to see all of their fancy remodels, when your house is falling apart and unfashionable. You will never have a clean, beautiful home – until your kids are grown and gone, and then you will be lonely and haunted by regrets.
4. Fatigue and Illness
How can you do this? You can barely make it from day to day! You’re a bad mom because you don’t have the energy and vitality to be a good mom. So alone. You may never be well again. How can you continue to do most everything around here while your husband has chronic illness? You’re going to burn out, never making it through the long road ahead! You’re in a bad sleep pattern – and you’re never going to have a good night of sleep again.
Look at those wrinkles, bags and sags! Prov. 31:30 sounds so virtuous, but what does inner beauty really do for you? Your youth and beauty are fading, and people are starting to look at you as middle-aged and lackluster. You feel frumpy because you are frumpy. You can’t handle being a mom because how can you help emotional growing children when you can’t even handle your own emotions?
6. Overwhelm and Self-Pity … Suicidal Thoughts
You never wanted to be the mom who had a martyr complex, but life is so demanding and frustrating!! Sometimes you would just rather be dead, rather than live this stressful life. Your husband and kids must be so disappointed in you. Maybe you should leave.
Do any of those lies sound familiar?!? Whether we give birth or not, we women are nurturers making a huge impact (+ or -) on everyone around us. And the One Who gave us life and spiritual life, is THE ONLY WAY WE ARE GOING TO MAKE IT – – – STAY CONNECTED TO THE LIFE-GIVER.
“But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” Psalm 1:2-3 NKJV
Just last week I cried my guts out and didn’t see any way forward. The demons were screaming in my ear, and I had no desire to read my Bible. I still believed God is real and knew He is my God. But, I felt ticked off – my life stinks and God isn’t answering my prayers. Tired, so tired.
So, I contacted three women I knew I could trust to give encouragement, prayer, non-judgmental godly advice – a safe place of truth and grace. HELP!!!
Each one stood beside me in prayer through my crisis. One (a pastor’s wife) graciously told me I don’t have to try to be a perfect Christian for a couple days. Sigh of relief. Another correctly told me that I was getting lies straight from the enemy, that old devil. And she tried to breathe Scripture into me. I couldn’t read it for a day, but the next day I was able to rest my eyes on it. Another held me with words of encouragement and support. I went numbly through my day, recalling from time to time the passage that talks about the Holy Spirit praying with moaning and groaning when we can’t (Romans 8:26-27). Thank God.
The following morning, I skipped my usual “greet the Lord first thing” and was considering how I could help my sick husband that day. Then I had what you could call an imagination awakening. It wasn’t a vision, and it was Scriptural in content.
I imagined I saw Jesus standing at a slight distance, in the same room, but facing the other direction. I weakly called to Him, and He immediately turned His dear head and gave a look of extravagant love, deep relief, and true excitement that I was calling Him to come close once again. I ran into His strong arms and was safe, loved, and knew it was going to be okay. He reassured me that everything I needed to do that day, He was going to do with me.
Through His Word, His Spirit, His daughters, and through sanctified imagination, God gave me a huge hug. God also gave me an idea of something that could help my husband feel better. We tried it, and he has definitely noticed improvement!! Praise You, Lord!
God showed me it is going to be okay. He released the power of the enemy and was my refuge. He showed me that the only reason Satan wants in is because he sees something valuable.
Our contentment and endurance are inextricably linked with Christ – being connected to Him, hearing His realities (in His word) that block out and disarm the enemy, and the encouragement of His people who speak His love, grace, and truth to us.
“Let brotherly love continue. And be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The LORD is my helper; I will not fear what can man do to me?'” Hebrews 13:1, 5b, 6
You and I have figured out that this Christian life isn’t easy: be a good little girl and all will be well. What is completely miraculous to me is that when Satan does get us down, and we reach the bottom (like I did last week), the outcome is counterintuitive to what Satan devised!! Instead of victorious, he is defeated!
In our crisis of faith, God deepens our confidence and we are so closely bonded to Him, that we can’t help but tell others, GOD IS REAL – GOD CAN GET US THROUGH – THERE IS HOPE AND STRENGTH IN CHRIST.
Don’t be afraid to cry your guts out from time to time! There will be days when you don’t feel like reading your Bible. That’s okay. But, don’t stay there long. Don’t isolate yourself – reach out to women of God, talk to me or someone you know who will uphold you in love and breathe truth into you with grace. And know that God is with you and will accomplish His perfect will in and through you! You’re going to make it! We are going to make it, praise God!
“I waited patiently (or impatiently in my case 😦 ) for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth – praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD.” Psalm 40:1-3
Love you, Sara