Saturday, October 8, 2016

Forgiving the Big Mom Fails.

We've all used the #momfail hashtag for the silly things our kids have gotten away with, whether it's lipstick painted on a toddler's face, or messy hands and a floor covered in flour.
Everyone clicks the laughing emoji, and then life moves on.

But sometimes those mom fails are too big to post with a hashtag. In fact, they aren't even posted online at all. No one is laughing, or taking pictures, and life seems to stand still and point a finger at you with #failure hanging over your identity as a mom. You start to second guess where you went wrong, and wonder if you're really good at this mom stuff after all.
I've always thought of myself as a good mom and worked really hard to be that for my kids. I'm not perfect, by any means, but I try to be. I can't even begin to describe the love I have for my children and the intense desire that I have to love and raise them well and protect them from ever getting hurt.

I don't care to share the details publicly, because I don't need everyone's opinion on what happened, but I admittedly made some mistakes that resulted in my child being hurt. It could have just been a mess of flour on the floor, but it wasn't. He's going to be okay, thank the Lord, but it shattered my world, regardless. It was an accident that could have happened to anyone, but when it happened to my child, on my watch, the condemnation and guilt I felt was overwhelming. 

In the moments and days to follow, I defined myself by my failure and felt like because of my mistakes, I was no longer a good mom. I didn't think I deserved that title any longer. I knew that I was forgiven and loved by God, but I didn't want to accept that love and forgiveness because I needed to feel guilty in my attempt to pay for what had happened.

I'm so grateful for the people God has placed in my life who reached out to me to remind me that I am not defined by my failures. I belong to God and He loves me regardless of my mistakes. Even when I struggle to find forgiveness and grace for myself, He offers it overflowing.
 God doesn't love you because you're a good mom, He loves you because you're His. His love can permeate your brokenness and out of your failures display His beautiful forgiveness and grace.
I know I'm not the only mom to make a mistake bigger than a hashtag. In our culture where it seems like everyone is just waiting for us to mess up, the accusations, judgmental looks, and worst of all, the self condemnation can be debilitating. If you are struggling to forgive yourself for a mistake you made, whether you are a mother or not, I want to remind you what I have been reminded of by so many over the past few weeks. You are not defined by your failure. Your identity is not in what you do or how well you do it, it is found in who you are called beloved by, your Father in heaven.

It is because of that identity found in Christ that I pray God's grace is displayed in my life through the sweet moments of motherhood as well as the heartbreaking failures. I'm so thankful that He loves the same in both.

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