If I was your enemy I would constantly remind you of your past mistakes and poor choices as a mother. I'd want to keep you burdened with shame and guilt, in hopes that you'll feel incapacitated by your many failings and struggle to keep your passion, focus, identity and even your family on a Christlike path ~
I was watching Mama Mia last night and the song came on where the lead is singing about wanting time to slow down with her daughter. The lyrics are so vivid about the time that has past that I cried. The lyrics are how I am already feeling with my daughter. Now, I love my boys but there is a special bond between Briseis and me. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact I had not wanted a daughter, especially as my first child. But God has a sense of humor and to this day, the feeling I got when the doctors set her on my chest and her big blues eyes looked up at me, has never been repeated. Anyway, as I lay crying after the song I tried to sleep but a flood of my failures as a mom to her came washing over me. I have to be careful when this happens because if I can't stop it, it will overflow to the boys and Lance and before I know it I just want all of us in one bed together where I be close to them. LOL! But I did stop it before I got to that point, but it was too late for the attack on my failing of Briseis. Needless to say I couldn't sleep until I snuggled up next to her and prayed for the memories of past failures to be veiled.
The devil is crafty like this. He loves to make our hearts ache with regret and to force us to relive failures like on a movie reel. But here is the thing; he really holds no power over this, he just wants you to think he does. So lets look at how he does this to our worn and weary souls.
The first way he will attack you, is through your past. Whether it was something small, like punishing one of your children when they actually had done nothing wrong; to something big, like snapping at them to the point they cried just because they accidentally spilled their drink. The devil IS going to use this against us at every turn. He will use it to poke holes in our future with our children. He will make it a rerun in our minds that is nothing short of a horror film. He will convince us that our mistakes with our children are worse then everybody else.
The second way is, judgement of other mothers. Watch out for this trap!!! If the devil can't rattle our confidence, can't make us feel judged, he WILL try turning us into judges of other mother's mistakes (now a days we call this the comparison game). He is very good with this one. I have caught myself doing it multiple times, even when I know better, "Oh she has no idea... If she doesn't nip that now then ... I'm glad I was able to stop doing that unlike her..." It is wrong, always stay humble, and offer help.
The last way is what I like to call, The Merry-Go-Round Effect. This is another tactic he is great at luring us into. We see a mom that has something together we don't, we lose years off our life trying to get to their point, and when it happens we then see another mom ahead on something else and the cycle starts right back over again. He wants us to waste so much of our valuable time with our kids trying to get them caught up to the kid down the street. Sadly he wins at this a lot. He puts a veil over our eyes to the areas our children are excelling at, draining us of our joy of where they are in THEIR lives by having us obsess with someone else's child.
The past is the past. It doesn't have permission to touch us anymore. We are confident in who we are as mothers and what our goal is! We have tools to help us, we have our passion as mothers, our focus as mothers, our identities as mothers, and because God's wisdom we have our families to hold us accountable to falling into these "pity parties" ~
So what are OUR ways to fight back against the devil's assaults in this area? In a nutshell is boils down to being CONFIDENT in who we are as mothers! Our past mistakes may have left a scar but we know how to use that to STRENGTHEN our confidence. You, mother, can do this by breaking it down into 3 steps.
Step 1: Pray, pray, pray
At this point it is pretty obvious in all things we need to talk (because that is all prayer is, simply talking to our Father) to our Lord. Yes, He knows what we are thinking already, but he LOVES to hear us say it non the less. Give thanks to our Father who lives outside of time and because of that sees the past as obsolete. Ask for forgiveness when we do make mistakes. And then mediate on what you were able to gain in wisdom out of the failure.
Isaiah 64:8 - But now, Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We are the work of your hands.
Step 2: Learn from the failure
We may be grown adults, but we are still learning how to do this parenting gig every day. It will never stop so we need to be prepared to remain teachable pupils. Be eager to learn so we may pass down that knowledge to our children and they to their children and so on.
Ephesians 1:7-9 - Through the blood of his Son, we are set free from our sins. God forgives our failures because of his overflowing kindness. He poured out his kindness by giving us every kind of wisdom and insight when he revealed the mystery of his plan to us. He decided to do this through Christ.
Step 3: Share your revealed wisdom
In the movie "War Room" there is a point when the young mother realizes that her mentor prayed for God to send her someone she could pass down her knowledge and wisdom to. To keep that person from "stepping on the same land mines" she had. Our confidence as mothers needs to be so great that for EVERY FAIL we make we can hold our heads high because that becomes a teachable moment to other mothers (and our own children). They need to know we are CONFIDENT in our failures because of the grace and love God has for us! "So talk it up, devil. Because as high as you choose to ratchet it up, you're only showing off ' the breadth and length and height and depth' (Eph. 3:18) of the love of Christ extended toward me!" ~Fervent Do you see??!! For every attack we lose against the devil, every single one, it only further proves HOW MUCH WE ARE LOVED BY GOD AND HOW CONFIDENT GOD IS THAT WE ARE THE MOTHERS FOR OUR CHILDREN, NO ONE ELSE WOULD FIT THE PART. How awesome is that? It is like the coolest episode of Law and Order because the two lawyers are Jesus and Satan and they are both fighting for our souls, but no matter what the tongue of the serpent utters, it only makes him further lose his case. Have confidence in that if nothing else!
Isaiah 43:16, 18-19 - Thus says the Lord...Do not call to mind the FORMER things, or ponder things of the PAST. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.
***Our past mistakes as mothers do not define us as mothers, instead they are like the wrinkles on an old lady. Proof of a life well lived and good lessons learned along the way. She walks with confidence down the street, proud to share her life story to a willing ear.***
Hebrews 10:35-36 - So don't lose your confidence. It will bring you a great reward. You need endurance so that after you have done what God wants you to do, you can receive what he has promised ~