By Rachael Varblow
I remember Mother’s Day 2012 quite well. We were sitting in church with our five kids and two two month old foster babies. Our three older boys were in the pew in front of us. One by one each clambered over the back of their pew to join us in our row.
As each did this, he was corrected by his father, but it didn’t stop the next one from doing the same thing a few minutes later. By the time the third son vaulted the pew, another congregation member asked my husband to please tell our kids to stop climbing over the pews. And that feeling swept over me quick and raw: Failure.
The inner voice began: What was I doing bringing extra kids into my home when I was already failing with the ones I had? I couldn’t even get them to behave during church. What kind of mom devoted so much energy to two newborns when she couldn’t keep her own children in line? I was spreading myself too thin and my kids were suffering from it.
And that feeling swept over me quick and raw: Failure.
I didn’t listen to the sermon at all that morning. I sat and thought about all the ways I was constantly failing as a mother. Mother’s Day became a mockery, a day to reflect on how badly I was doing this job, a day to feel sorrow and shame and most of all FAILURE.
That is the voice of Satan to us mothers. Always telling us we’re failing. We’re not doing enough. We need to try harder, pray more, read more parenting books.
If only we had homeschooled, our child wouldn’t have fallen from Christ. If only we had sent our child to school, he wouldn’t be so painfully shy. If only we had been consistent, he would have developed stronger character.
The lies the devil feeds us mothers are shameful. We sit in silent mortification, thinking that if others only knew all our failings, they would never accept us, afraid that as soon as our children realize how flawed we are, they will withdraw their love.
The lies the devil feeds us mothers are shameful.
Of course, mothers are susceptible to feelings of failure! Mothers care so much and try so hard. In mothering you have to give your all, but being human, our all can fall painfully short. This is okay. A lot of our perceived failures aren’t really failures at all. They are just lies the devil feeds us.
Other times we really do fail and fail badly. Our kids fight; we yell. They speak; we ignore. They bully; we criticize. Failure. Failure. Failure.
Praise God that we are not in this alone! In our weakness, God grows us. We come to Him when we see our desperate need for His help. He draws us close and it all fades away in the face of His glory. He teaches us. We become wiser, we move forward.
He draws us close and it all fades away in the face of His glory.
Romans 8:1 tells us, “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Satan can’t condemn us, and we shouldn’t condemn ourselves.