II jokingly say that my first-born did not sleep for the first five years of his life. I’m sure I got sleep sprinkled in there somewhere, but it is still up for debate. We had just entered December with a brand new baby and the feeling of a ton of bricks sitting on my chest. I remember the countless nights of my husband and I packing up our son and driving around to look at Christmas lights in an attempt to get him to sleep. I remember those nights like it was yesterday. Sometimes we would go together, and sometimes we would go alone to let the other one sleep. Even 8 years later, Christmas lights bring me back to those moments along with those memories of anxiety. These are the things moms rarely talk about.
There was one morning in the wee hours that our son, once again, would not sleep. The crying was about to send me over the edge. So I buckled him in and drove. Once he fell asleep, I began to sob as I drove through the empty streets with lightly glowing bulbs.
As the tears fell and silence filled the air, my mind began to race. Like a parched woman in the desert, I began to entertain these thoughts and inner feelings that acted like mirages.
After all, the dialogue within me began to assess all the ways I knew I was doing it wrong. I began to think through all the ways I was failing my son, my husband, my God. My past wounds began to rip open and I felt like a mess. A failure. I couldn’t seem to get a handle on myself, let alone anyone else involved in the equation.
“No other mom gets this angry with their kid”
“I shouldn’t be crying so much, I am so weak”
“I am worthless”
“I hate how I look... how can anyone think I’m beautiful?”
“I am damaged goods and incapable of being a good mom”
Those words. My inner dialogue became the “well” I was drinking from, day in and day out. I was the Samaritan woman approaching the well of shame.
Pretty soon, the well that I was drinking from in those wee hours of the morning, filled my veins and left me in a dry heap.
My dear friend, do you relate?
You know what I adore about Jesus? He meets us right where we are. He stands at our well, and lifts up our head. He calls us away from this well of shame and calls us to drink from His water that brings life. He stands over us and says:
My Beloved. Run away from these lies, these liars. Come with me, drink my words, fill up with my love. My words are TRUTH, now let me fill you up. I have made you who you are. (Psalm 139) I am your strength and I will carry you. (Isaiah 46:4) I died to save YOU. I will never stop rejoicing over you. (Isaiah 62:5) My daughter, I have crowned you with beauty (Isaiah 61) My grace is sufficient for you.
Sweet one, you are not alone. These days that are filled up by hours and minutes and schedules and feedings are being held in the hands of your unfailing heavenly Father. No one can handle this on their own. Do not let the images that flood social media and the expectations from the peanut gallery dry you up. From one mom to another, it’s all a mirage.
Being a mom is hard. Life is hard. But do you know who is stronger? Your Jesus. Your Jesus that died for you. Your Jesus that loves you with a never failing, never giving up love. And He will never stop pursuing you. You are His beloved. Christ came to deliver you from shame and He will never stop leading you away from its well and filling you with his water of truth and life.
QUESTIONS FOR APPLICATION/ REFLECTION:
We all have our wells of shame. What are the lies you’ve believed? What wells do you continue to go to? Why do you go to them?
When you sit down and reflect on Christ’s love and rescue over our lives, how does this change your day to day living? With your husband? With your children? With other moms?
How does speaking your shame unmask the power of shame? Write down and speak aloud your answers to question one. Go through scripture and begin to write down the verses that reveal the truth and cross out the lies.
Angie Poston is a wife, mom, friend, Found and designer at Thirsty Hearts Design. Her story is one of beauty from ashes and feels passionate about using words that point to the only one who can give Life. On any given day you can find her writing, drawing, running, playing with her kids, having an epic dance party or sitting on the back porch with her friends and family under twinkle lights. Always twinkle lights. Find her on Instagram @thirstyheartsdesign for more of her writing, designs, and pictures that will, in the words of Jay Z, "Change the color of your mood ring."