When my head hits the pillow each night, my mind fills up with all the mistakes I’ve made that day, all the ways I’ve fallen short, and all the things I should have done. It’s filled with the time I was too hard on my son for something he didn’t even do or the moment I snapped at my daughter for making a mistake or the fact I didn’t spend enough quality time with one kid or the effort I didn’t put in with training another.
Sometimes, even by noon, I’ve exhausted myself with all the ways I’ve failed. I’m filled with the heavy burden of all my mistakes. Impatience here, a wrong tone there. Failing to be present, failing to respond lovingly, failing to make meaningful progress on school. It’s a burdensome load to bear.
And then I feel stuck. I feel like I’ve already ruined the day. I feel like I’ve already ruined my kids.
It’s hard to move on from there when you are carrying the weight of your own transgressions and shortcomings.
I feel like David when he said, “My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear” (Psalm 38:4).
God offers so much grace.
And God’s grace is sufficient in so many different ways:
God’s grace is sufficient to completely remove our sins and empower us to change.
How often do I forget that I can turn to Him? How often do I forget that He died for me? When He died on the cross, He took on the punishment of all my sin and shame. I have been made righteous by Him. I am forgiven.
The Bible tells us that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Instead of feeling guilty, we can confess our sins and receive forgiveness. Rather than carrying the burden of all our mistakes, we can confess and be cleansed from all our unrighteousness. Look at the price He paid so we can be forgiven and free from the weight of guilt: He gave His own life!
The Bible states “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrew 4:16).
We can boldly go to God with anything—even with all our guilt and all our mistakes. And we will always be welcomed and shown mercy and grace. We will always find both forgiveness for our sins and help for our future. His grace covers our sins and His grace empowers us to change and do better with the help of the Holy Spirit.
God’s grace is sufficient to cleanse us from a guilty conscience.
Oftentimes, I know God can forgive me. But deep down, I don’t believe I’m really, truly forgiven. It’s hard for me to really accept that the terrible things I’ve done are really no longer on my record or that my slate has been wiped clean. I don’t actually receive the mercy and grace that’s been offered to me.
But nothing is too big for God to forgive. Nothing is too terrible for Him to wash away. To really accept this takes faith. God wants us to walk in freedom and assurance of our forgiveness. John 8 tells us “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). We don’t have to be enslaved by guilt. We can go to Him for that too.
Scripture tells us to “Draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10: 22).
Let us draw near to God in faith and not only be washed of all sin but cleansed from all guilt. Remember, the Bible tells us “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1).
We will constantly make mistakes. We will always fall short. The weight of our sin will crush us if we don’t truly believe we are forgiven. We will be completely overtaken if we don’t truly receive and accept the gift of salvation that God has so graciously given us. This grace and forgiveness were offered to us at the great cost of the life of Jesus. It’s a gift—there is nothing we can do to earn it. We need to just take it and give Him praise and move on in the power of the Holy Spirit.
If you lost your patience, there’s grace for that.
If you didn’t respond lovingly, there’s grace for that.
If you weren’t present with your kids, there’s grace for that.
If you were inconsistent in your discipline, there’s grace for that.
For any mistake you’ve made, there’s grace for that.
Will you receive it?
God’s grace is sufficient for all of our limitations, shortcomings, and weaknesses.
Some of this mom guilt is coming not from the weight of our failures and our mistakes, but from the recognition of our limitations, weaknesses, and shortcomings of our humanity. The world likes to tell us “you are enough” but the truth is, we are not enough. I’m not. You’re not. We are all not enough. We are limited. We have weaknesses. We are human. I don’t say this to discourage you, but rather to encourage you: We need the grace of God.
Because God says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
I’m still carrying around the guilt of not being able to be fully present all the time for four different kids. I feel guilty that I can’t look them all in the eye at once, or guilty when I can’t respond to them all at once, or guilty when I can’t help them all at once. But there is only one of me and four of them. I feel guilty about not being able to be four places at once—a physical impossibility.
But my human limitations have made space for that grace of God to go to work. I’ve had to employ the help of my mother-in-law. Now my girls have learned to crochet, garden, and cook—not skills they would have ever learned from me. I constantly have to ask the older kids to help with the younger kids. Now my older kids have learned how to be responsible, caring, and helpful. My weaknesses have made so much room for the grace of God to show up in amazing and unexpected ways.
What ridiculous expectations are you not living up to? Will you allow God to work through your limitations and weaknesses?
Moms, we can go to God with all our mistakes, shortcomings, and weaknesses, because our God is a gracious God, and He wants us to come to Him and receive grace upon grace.
God is gracious. That’s who He is. That’s His character. We can turn to Him without fear, because “The Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion” (Isaiah 30:18).
Sometimes when I feel all this mom guilt, it’s hard for me to go to God. But God is waiting for us to turn to Him and be loved. The Bible says, “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (Psalms 145:8).
He’s not rehashing every last mistake. He’s not looking down on us for all the ways we fall short in our humanity. He’s looking at us lovingly, “waiting to be gracious to you” (Isaiah 30:18).
Our God is full of compassion, love, and grace. Let us turn to Him and receive it.
And if the Lord of all Creation, who knows everything about us, can extend grace to us, maybe we can show a little grace to ourselves too.
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).
Originally published on the author’s blog