It was one of my worst mom moments ever.
I was so upset and had yelled so loudly in my son’s face that he started crying. Hard. And he’s not a crier.
Ugh. I feel sick admitting it. It’s something I’d rather never remember or talk about again. God forgives me. I later apologized and my son forgave me. We’re okay.
So why share such a painful moment in my life—frankly, one of the more humiliating and painful ones?
I share because many moms experience this and go one of two ways. One way is to go into denial, saying things internally like . . . no one needs to know, it doesn’t matter, they deserved it, had it coming, it won’t matter in the long run, etc.
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The other way is to fall into crushing shame and defeat with internal accusations such as . . . I’m a terrible mom, I can’t tell anyone what I’ve done, my kids deserve better than me, I’m ruining them, I don’t deserve forgiveness, I am the worst mom, etc.
Both responses are like ditches at the side of a wide road—falling into either one of them is a trap.
One commonality between both responses is the silence. No one needs to know or no one can know. It is hard to admit to anyone, ourselves, or God that we’ve hurt someone—a child no less—like that.
Rather than hardening our hearts against the painful reality of what we’ve done or burying ourselves alive in shame, I have found a way out of the ditch. As a Christian, it seems so obvious, yet sometimes I run and hide from the very thing I need most.
It means coming clean—confessing my sin.
Not a popular word in our culture—pointing out others’ sins is quite popular. Taking personal responsibility not so much.
Yet the truth remains, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). Confess first to God and be willing to confess it to someone else. Someone solid who will speak truth with love.
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For me that is my husband—telling him was hard enough. They are his children just as much as mine. I have found there is something so freeing and wonderful when I come into the light of truth.
Painful as it was to admit out loud and pray about it together, it was the turning point to get out of the ditch and walk upright on the wide path of His grace and truth.
So if this simple story is resonating with you, I encourage you to share your heart with someone you trust so that you may be free of the hard heart or shame that will only hurt you and those you love if it’s left to grow unchecked.
If you are stuck in fear of what they will think or say feel free to check out my Christian Woman’s Guide To Overcoming Fear. You can grow in God’s grace and become better every day. It starts with being honest about where we need help so we can lay hold of God’s amazing grace that covers the sin of our worst mom moments.
Originally published on the author’s blog