So here’s a bit of honesty straight up…I feel like a failure. Often. A lot of the time in fact. Mostly as a mother. I feel like a big fat failure. I feel like I’m failing at life, failing at motherhood, failing my children, failing my husband, failing God’s call on my life, failing my hopes and dreams and desires, and worst of all, failing the little girl I used to be who dreamt of growing up and achieving great things. I feel like a failure.
And here’s a little bit of truth….it’s all lies.
You’re not a good mother.
Your kids are ruined.
You’ve let your children down.
You’re never going to be the mother you dream about being.
You’re a bad wife.
You’re a disappointment.
It’s all lies from the enemy, because he knows (to a degree) the call upon my life, he knows (to a degree) the power I have to overflow onto my children and shape and mould them into world changers, he knows (to a degree) the ripple effect this could potentially have if I rise up and live up to the calling God has placed upon me. He knows my desire to mother and parent and raise these children who I have fought to bring into this world and he knows my raging passion to do it bloody well. And it scares the crap out of him. So he tries to stop it. He tries to stop me in my tracks; he tries to snuff out the little flame before it turns into an all consuming bushfire. He tries to stop all he can so that I give up because I feel like a failure. Because I’ve believed his lies.
But I don’t.
Ok…maybe I do.
For a moment.
Usually at he end of the day, a really difficult day.
Some nights I put my kids to bed and then go to bed myself and cry because I feel like I’ve been on the battlefield all day long and the enemy has won this battle. It is a battle. There is a battle for my call, for my role as a mother, there is a battle for thier salvations, a battle for their lives, their dreams, their destinies. There is well and truly a battle going on here. But I’ve won the war. I’ve won the war because the victory is already mine through the power of the cross and through the name and authority of Jesus Christ.
There is a battle for my call, for my role as a mother, for my children’s salvations, for their lives, their dreams, their destinies. But I’ve won the war.
I believe the reason I’m so constantly attacked in this area is because it is the area of one of my greatest callings; motherhood. The enemy knows that this is the way to get to me and when I am feeling worn down, tired or unwell, he sows these little seeds of doubt in my mind, telling me how much of a failure I am and how I’m really not succeeding at this whole parenting gig. He likes to really get the knife in where it hurts and slowly twist it around a little. The fact that I am aware of his tactics and ammunition means I have an upper hand on him, but it’s often when I’m feeling like this that I’m not wearing my armour and my shield of faith is heavy and weighed down, and the sword of the Spirit, which should be in my hand and ready for use, is limp by my side.
I’m preaching to myself here when I say we have to take every thought captive and submit it to Jesus and his truth (2 Cor 10:5), because otherwise, this is where we end up! We give the enemy a foothold and an open door, and once that door is open, he likes to invite all his friends and have a party. He likes to invite doubt, self-loathing, self-condemnation, hopelessness, discouragement, guilt, shame, fear, the list goes on (he has a lot of friends). And if we don’t shut that door and boot him and his posse out, we’ll find ourselves playing hostess to the ghostess and giving them everything they came for, right here in our hearts and minds.
A few months ago I celebrated my birthday, which, due to difficult circumstances, turned out to be one of the worst birthdays ever. At the end of the day I felt so crap in myself, so unworthy, so undeserving of good things, so selfish to be celebrated and honoured as my family and friends were doing, that I couldn’t even read the beautiful cards that my husband, children and friends had given me. I knew there would be encouraging, loving, generous, kind, beautiful words within, and at that moment I despised myself so much that I couldn’t face it.
Face what? Why was this such an issue for me?
I couldn’t face it because I knew deep down that these words of family and friends were the truth. I couldn’t face the truth. I was choosing to believe the lies and be a victim to the lies because as I said, I didn’t have my armour on, and trying to do battle with no armour and no weapons is freaking difficult!
The day after my birthday my husband sent me out to enjoy some quiet time by myself (to potentially make up for the bad birthday!). I went to a nearby cafe, snuggled up on the lounge with a coffee and just spent time with God. I prayed, I journaled, I worshipped (in my heart with headphones on at least!), I stopped and listened for His voice. I stopped to let Him speak, and let him tell me who he says I am and who he has made me. After a while and through a lot of processing, I was finally able to open my birthday cards and read the words of truth written in there; the words of life.
Word after word, line after line, paragraph after paragraph, card after card, they were all filled with life giving words. TRUTH! At first I couldn’t handle it because I didn’t believe it. I didn’t feel it. I was reading the most precious treasures from my husband and my children, but it just couldn’t crack my stone cold heart. I knew these words were the truth, I knew what they were saying and speaking wasn’t just flattery or something nice you say to someone on their birthday to make them feel special. I knew they were genuine, heartfelt and true. I knew that in my head, but I just couldn’t feel it in my heart.
Read them again, I heard him whisper.
And then read them again.
And read them again after that.
Sit here and keep reading these cards, reading these words, reading this truth until you feel it, until you know it, until you open your heart and receive it, until you take these words and clothe yourself in them. I do not want you to get off this lounge until you have been transformed by these words. These words are the truth. These words are MY truth about you. I want you to arise in truth and walk out of here clothed in your true identity. Leave the lies of the enemy here. Shed the sackcloth and put on my garments. I offer you beautiful, decadent, majestic, regal gowns of glory, yet you choose to wear a heshan bag? Close the door to the enemy. Close the door to your mind and close the door to your heart. Take every thought captive. Take every word, every lie, every deception, take them captive and put them in submission to me. I am the authority, not them. I am the truth, not them. I am your identity, not them. My words bring life, not death, so arise in my truth and you will walk in abundant life. Pick up your weapons and put on your armour. Yield your shield and sword. I will do the battle for you, by my power, in my glory, you already have the victory. But I need you to stand, I need you to align yourself with me. I need you to position yourself so that I can fight for you. The battle is mine. The battle is already won. I am the victor. I have beaten death and I have given life. So arise, into abundant life.
Two weeks later we celebrated Mother’s Day. Although we did some lovely things as a family that day, the most precious gifts I received were the sentimental handiworks of my children and husband who had been sneakily conspiring behind my back for weeks on end to produce the most tear-jerking morning welcome for me when I walked up the stairs for breakfast. Picture after picture of beautiful memories with my children were sprawled across the floor and up the stairs leading like a pathway to the elegantly set table and welcoming party. I got given presents, I got absolutely spoiled for lunch, but far above all of this, the best part for me that day were the words of truth I received from my children and from my husband. The words ‘We Love You Mama’ stencilled out by tiny gold and red painted handprints, holding my son in my arms as he pointed to the various pictures saying ‘Remember this Mama?’ as we reminisced together over magical family moments, the tiny trinket attached to the ribbon of my gifts that read ‘You Are My Sunshine’ chosen by my children, and most of all, the cards that declared the beautiful, truthful words that I was able to immediately open, read, believe and receive.
My words of life.