How do you see your story?

we all have a story to tell.  For some, our story may be one of much joy and sweet memories; and yet, for others, their’s may be a story lined with sorrow and grief.

 

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Whatever our story may be, it’s our story, and it’s one that we shouldn’t be ashamed to tell.

i think that sometimes we can look at our lives, and feel that because of what’s happended to us, we have nothing to give.

and yet, quite the opposite is true.

 

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sharing our story can actually bring healing and encouragement to someone else who may be going through a similiar thing, allowing them to see that they’re not alone.

and it allows us to look back and see all that God has done.

 

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But often times, I think its the way we view our story that keeps us from really sharing.

for myself, I used to look at the trials in my life as awful circumstances that brought me down.

I would see the pain and the heartache and sometimes wonder if God would come through.

 

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To to be honest, there have been times in my life when I’ve actually been angry and hurt that God would allow yet another tragedy to occur.

when the bottom fell out of my world three years ago, I thought I’d suffocate from the pain.

And the hardest part, I think, was not just dealing with my pain, but it was trying to comfort my younger kids through their’s.

i mean, how do you begin to walk them through the hurt, when you yourself don’t understand what’s going on?

 

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It’s been three years now since this trial began, and though it’s far from over, I can now look back and see God’s loving hand.

i can see where he brought friends into our lives to help ease the pain, and to carry us when we couldn’t carry ourselves.

and as I look back, I am amazed at the strong bond God has formed between my husband and I with our younger kids.

He’s changed my heart in so many ways, and has made me into someone who I wasn’t before.

 

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There have been many times when I’ve hesitated to share my story, for fear that someone will judge me or grow tired of listening yet again.

but you know, it’s those times when I’ve almost not shared that I’ve had people tell me that my story blessed them and that God used it to help them in their current trial.

Hearing those words of encouragement have helped me to see my story in a different light.

Rather than focusing on all of the pain and the hard, I can now look at this season as a time of growth and change.

and as other struggles have come my way, rather than wondering why God is allowing more pain, I am now able to ask God to show me what he wants me to learn.

 

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While this isn’t the story that I’ve would’ve chosen, I am grateful for all that I’ve learned and continue to learn along the way.

And though I still don’t understand why I’ve had to know so much pain, I do know that God is faithful and that I can trust him to work all things together for good, just as he always does.

The guilty mom

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If there’s one emotion I’m familiar with as a woman, it’s guilt.  And I’m pretty sure I am not alone.

it would probably take me all day to list the many, many things a woman can feel guilty about—all in the course of a day.

there’s the guilt over sleeping in when I could’ve been working out, or the guilt over the fact that I haven’t worked out in weeks.  Then there’s the laundry that’s been piling up for days, waiting to be washed, or if you’re like me, there’s the laundry that’s been clean for days, but is still sitting in the dryer waiting to be folded and put away.  Please tell me you do that too?

there are times when my husband will point out something that the kids should or shouldn’t be doing, and instantly, I will feel guilt, thinking that it’s my fault for not addressing that sooner.

oh, and we mustn’t forget the guilt that hangs over us when we’ve gained those pesky extra pounds that just won’t go away.  Or maybe they would go away if only I’d start eating the way I know I should. Or maybe not.  Either way, I feel the guilt.

and what about those friends from church who I suggested we have over months ago, and we never did.  Or the new mama that I intended to call or make a meal for….but never did.

and don’t get me started on the “mommy guilt”.  Ugh.

 

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Guilt is awful, and it can totally paraylize you, robbing you of the joy that ours to claim.

We’re so hard on ourselves as women, setting up standards that we can’t begin to realistically keep.  And yet, when we don’t keep them, we beat ourselves up and feel inadequate and unworthy.

Please hear me here: it’s only when we begin to see who we are in Jesus that we will be free from the guilt that binds us.

it’s only when we see that His death on the cross was enough, and that we can’t add to or take away from who we are in Him.

We are his children and he delights in us!  Did you hear that?  My friend, he delights in us!  And he rejoices over us with singing!

He hasn’t put us where we are, just to leave us on our own and go on his merry way.  No, he has gone before us, preparing and equipping us for good works; for the work he has for us to do!

and you know what?  There’s NO guilt in Him!  He doesn’t look down on us with shame, pointing his finger and shaking his head when we mess up.

And he doesn’t frown on us when we’re weary and just can’t seem to take the next step.

1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:1-2

 

What at a beautiful reminder we have in Romans 8:1-2, that we are free!

we are daughters of the King, and there’s no condemnation for us, my friends!

Jesus was perfect in our place, so we don’t have to be!

so the next time you mess up and guilt starts creeping in, remind yourself who you are in Christ!

No more guilt, my friends!

 

** what areas do you easily find yourself feeling guilt?  

 

 

 

 

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