I’m hard on myself these days.
I eat a brownie, I feel guilt
I eat a carrot, I remind myself that one carrot doesn’t equal ten pounds of weight loss.
I get grumpy with my husband, I feel ashamed.
I get impatient with my children, I’m a failure.
I spend too much money at the grocery store, I agonize over it for days.
I don’t feel the same way about a friend’s political rant on Facebook, I question myself.
I feel lazy and choose to lounge around my house on a Saturday instead of tackling my laundry list of chores, I feel as though I’m wasting time.
I forget to post on the blog on my designated day, I want to hide from my sisters.
I catch a glimpse of my soft, lumpy body in the mirror, I recoil in fear.
I’m hard on myself these days.
There’s a voice in my head saying, “Dude, let it go.” I ignore it.
There’s grace in my heart saying, “It’s forgotten.”
There’s the Holy Spirit shaking me within saying, “You’re better than this.”
There’s even my brain firing on all cylinders saying, “You were made for more than this.”
But even with all of the voices and all of the truths I still come back to …
You’re failing. You’re unworthy. You’re not measuring up. You’re not pretty. You’re not successful. You’re …. Worthless.
I wish I could say it was just me, but it is you too, isn’t it?
Even in our most confident of days we find ourselves there. We may have a few good months. We may lose some weight. We may be so politically neutral and so full of Christ’s abundant love and grace that we are vomiting rainbows of Jesus on everyone.
Then we settle into bed for the night. The day was difficult. The day was long. We’re tired.
He swoops in. He reminds us. He tells us of our failures. He reminds us of the extra pounds. The inorganic produce we fed our children. The time we said the f-word in our head. The time we accidentally took a second glance at the young, cute Marine in the commissary. The moment we lost it on our kids in the middle of Target. The moment we lost it on our husbands and we said something we will never, ever, ever be able to take back.
He seeks us out to destroy us. In those quiet, should be peaceful, moments – he wrecks us. He steals our peace and our quiet. He steals our sleep. I envision him climbing in through the cracks of the windows. I imagine Jesus trying so hard to make me snap out of it. “Stop, no. Listen to ME. Stop!” But I go towards it. I walk back into the darkness and I let it claim me.
I let him win.
Growing up when I would hear pastors and speakers teach of the war between God and sin, I assumed it was an exaggeration for more souls saved. Along the lines of “scaring them into hell” sermons.
But something happened when I became a woman, a wife, an adult, a mother.
He seeks to destroy. He roams the earth with only one goal … My demise. Your demise.
The unfortunate part is … I’m allowing him to.
So are you.
We can attend women’s conferences, church every Sunday, women’s retreats, bible studies, be religious in reading our She Reads Truth devotionals. Our prayer journals can contain the most eloquent words and fantastic doodles in multiple colors. Our marriages can be perfect, our children the same. We can read blog posts that try to point us towards the light.
We could do it all … But it doesn’t change that in the darkness of the night, the idleness, the lows, the valleys, the barely-crawling-dragging-yourself moments – – He appears. He seeks. He destroys.
For the past four years I have clawed my way up sides of mountains, stood at the top in victory and praised the name of Jesus, and then tumbled my way back down into the valley.
I know what you’re thinking – “Wow, you’re clinically depressed.”
Homie, hear me. I had postpartum depression. I KNOW the woes of depression. I KNOW that anxiety. I KNOW those feelings. I KNOW that darkness. This isn’t it.
What I’m describing is every single woman who knows and loves Jesus. Every single mom who is trying to raise a kid in this world where kids are stolen out of gas stations and get cancer left and right. In a world where men and women leave each other 10 years into marriage and 3 kids deep into family making. I’m a Marine spouse trying to juggle my house, my kids, my cars, my personal life, and my marriage … seemingly (and sometimes actually) on my own.
I’m especially hard on myself because I’ve allowed the darkness to overshadow the light.
I’m especially hard on myself because I’ve stopped accepting the grace, and each day I wake up and I put on the cloak of shame.
Lisa TerKeurst wrote, “Guilt wrapped in shame is a terrible burden to carry.”
But how easily we as women step up to the plate to do so. How easily I wear that shame. How easily I let the guilt permeate the inner parts.
Kelsea, let it go.
Kelsea, it’s forgotten.
Kelsea, you were made for more than this.
Kelsea, you’re worth more than this.
Before I wrote this post I asked God simply to give me words. I had no idea what I was going to post today. This is where it led.
Friend, can I tell you something? Can I be raw, and honest, and treat this little corner of the internet as Holy Ground?
You. Are. Worth. So. Much. More.
Untie the garment of guilt cloaked in shame, place on the armor of God.
The beautiful grace of God. That somehow, amidst all of this … crap, He willingly gives. Willingly.
Sin. Forgiven. Forgotten. Moved as far as the east is from the west.
Tonight, when the darkness closes in and you’re recounting every shortcoming of the day. When you’re promising yourself that tomorrow will be better. Rest yourself in this solid truth … Satan may seek to destroy but Christ, oh the glorious Christ, He seeks to save.
We no longer need to hold onto that guilt wrapped in shame.
We no longer need to be especially hard on ourselves.
Friend, Let it go.
You were made for more than this.
You, beautiful you, are worth more than this.
“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the Kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14