If you’re a mom I would guess that at one time or another you’ve felt “mom guilt”. You know, mom guilt, like when you disciplined your child only to find out later he didn’t do what you thought he did. Or when you forgot a very important activity and your child had her heart set on going and she cried for hours because she missed it.
There’s another kind of guilt that’s common these days and that’s the guilt that weighs heavy on you because you have a chronic illness.
Deep down you feel like you’re failing your children. You don’t have the energy to keep up with them, you have to rest more often than you’d like to because your fatigue is just too much to handle. You miss your child’s games, you’re always telling them you can’t play and when you do feel well you’re overwhelmed and feel like you have to catch up on things that are falling by the wayside.For the woman with chronic illness, self-care is not a luxury but a necessity. #chronicIllness #Lymedisease Click To Tweet
Self-care takes up most of your time because for you, it’s not a luxury it’s a necessity, and you feel you rarely have the mental faculties to read a story much less homeschool or help with homework. Quite frankly you feel like you just can’t be the kind of mom your child needs, you begin to feel sorry for him and the guilt mounts up and overwhelms you.
Another form of mom guilt comes because your child is sick.
You may be a healthy mom but you have a child who’s sick with Lyme disease or some other chronic illness. You’re feeling guilty because you think somehow it’s your fault he’s sick. You think maybe you didn’t take good enough care during your pregnancy or maybe it was the candy you allowed your child to eat on a regular basis. You might think it’s because you didn’t pray enough or you didn’t protect your child or you feel overwhelmed with guilt because you don’t know how to get them better.
It seems like Moms have a tendency to feel guilty about things we can’t control or things we think we should control.
I’m pretty sure that throughout my 22 years of parenting I’ve experienced all of the above and then some. Guilt can be paralyzing. It can keep you from moving forward and it can definitely keep you from all that God has for you.Guilt can be paralyzing. It can keep you from moving forward and it can keep you from all that God has for you. Click To Tweet
When overwhelming guilt hits what do you do? Are you letting it keep you down? Or do you recognize the source of your guilt and reject it?
God doesn’t want us to be held down by guilt, He wants us to live in freedom and He wants us to trust Him.
Nothing that happens in our lives is by accident. Each thing that comes into our lives must first be sifted through the loving and perfect hands of God. He loves you, He loves your children and He loves your spouse. He chooses what reaches you and He will continue to be the strength that you need to get through every trial and difficulty and while we may think our circumstances are a living nightmare and that we can’t handle another second, He promises to carry us, to strengthen us, and take our burdens.
Consider these passages from scripture –
Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Colossians 1:11-12 Being strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
Galatians 6:9 Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.
James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose.
Regardless of whether you are a sick mom or you have a child with sickness, God is involved in your life and in your relationships. He gave you your specific children and He gave them you as a mom. He created each of you and knit you together in His perfect way.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made even with your illness. God wasn’t sleeping when you became sick. He’s not distracted, he hasn’t turned aside and He’s definitely not ignoring you.
God is always available, He is always working and He is always faithful!
Sometimes we create so much noise in and around ourselves that we can’t possibly hear from God. Sometimes He appears to be silent but He is very much working things out in our lives. We don’t always see what He’s doing and so we think He’s abandoned us. Have you ever left your baby in their crib so that you could run to the other room to grab more diapers? Your baby didn’t know what you were doing or why but he may have cried hysterically because he was wet and uncomfortable and all he wanted was for you to come back and make everything comfortable for him. God isn’t running to another room to grab diapers but sometimes He’s out of our view, working in areas of our lives that we don’t see. The beautiful thing is that we are never out of His view!
He promises that He will never leave or forsake you. He promises that He will use every circumstance for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
When those negative messages and lies come bombarding in on you, trying to bring you down, trying to make you feel guilty, less than you really are, remind yourself whose you are! Remind yourself that God is your defender, your healer, your provider, and that He is your loving Father.Your life can change when your attitude towards your circumstances change! #livinginfaith #aboudinginhopewithlyme Click To Tweet
You will be a much better Mom when you live and walk in the grace that God lavishes upon you even when your circumstances look bleak.
Spend time with God each and every day. Say breath prayers throughout the day so that you can stay connected to Him. Praise Him, read scripture, and sing hymns or worship songs. Have faith in Him that He is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do.
Stop saying, “But this or but that” and say I have a mustard seed of faith and that’s all I need because God loves me!
And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. Luke 17:6
I know how very difficult it is to manage your thoughts and to not allow guilt to control you. I know that sometimes it takes work to live in a place of faith and trust in God. I’ve been the very sick mom with chronic Lyme disease. I felt weak, lonely, desperate, hopeless and boy did I feel the mom guilt. I also had to parent my very sick children during my illness. I felt so guilty that my children were so sick and suffered so much and I felt that it was my fault that they got sick in the first place.
I struggled with my faith, I struggled to believe that God was still there because I didn’t see what He was doing all around me. I took my eyes off of Him and focused on my very bleak circumstances. The guilt mounted up like nothing I had ever experienced. Somehow, I placed all of our circumstances and the potential for healing onto my shoulders and it was too much for me because it wasn’t mine in the first place.
I know for a fact that I made it through those very difficult years of illness because God carried me through, He provided for us and guided us, and He has never left us for a moment, even though there were times I felt like He had.
God can do miracles in your life with your thorn!
If you’re struggling right now with this false guilt, I want to encourage you not to lose hope but to firmly fix your eyes on the Lord, trust His word and not your feelings. If you don’t know the Lord, now is the perfect time to grab a Bible and begin a new relationship. You will never go wrong when you place your faith in Jesus Christ and trust Him for each and every day.
Thank you for this post- reading it felt like the words that have been on my heart. I just came upon your blog yesterday and it is helping me so much. I am currently 6 months into chronic Lyme treatment for myself and my 3 kids and although I am so thankful that we found the right doctor and that we are making improvements,it is slow. And frustrating, with a lot of tears from my kids and myself. The mom guilt thing is so very real and hard. My baby was born with Lyme disease that I didn’t realize I had while pregnant and it is so hard not to blame myself for that.
I will continue to pray and spend time with God, and focus on the verses you provided on getting through trials and having faith. Making time to heal myself is a struggle I know you understand. Thank you again for your words and just knowing that others truly understand what my family is going through helps so much.
Aww, Tiffany, I’m always sad to hear that others are suffering and especially Moms who are sick at the same time as their children. It’s so difficult but God will give you the strength you need for each and every day. I passed Lyme to my son and the burden of guilt is real but always remember that nothing happens without being passed through the loving hands of God first. Our struggle with Lyme has made us stronger, increased our faith and given us a greater compassion for others. God bless you and tight hugs! xoxo Tricia