At first, there is so much guilt.
I’m not being a good mom because I lay on the couch and let Aria watch baby videos. I’m a bad wife because I let the dishes sit in the sink and the laundry pile up. And forget about cooking. The thought of chopping a carrot makes me gag….oh, and intimacy? Not a chance. I’m also a bad Christian because every other prayer out of my mouth is a cry for God to “save me from this morning sickness!” (more like, all day!). Instead, I could be praising Him for the blessing of this tiny 10 week baby in my womb, and thanking him that with every wave of nausea comes the reminder that he or she is thriving and growing and will soon be another beautiful child to cuddle and nurture and share Christ with.
I doesn’t matter if it’s physical illness, a confrontation that went poorly, or dissension with coworkers or a spouse.We lay so much guilt on ourselves. Too often we allow the weight of our sin or shortcomings to nearly crush us when in truth we have already been spared that burden through Christ.
And when hormones rage and depression sets in, it takes the truth of the Gospel to dispel those lies. The truth for me lately has come so many times from sweet sisters in the Lord. Sometimes it just takes some fresh perspective and a helping hand to remind me that I don’t have to try to pull myself up by my bootstraps, or just suck it up. I can ask for help and find joy and comfort where it is found.
Several of these sisters have reminded me that “this too shall pass.” (And I know they didn’t mean the last meal I tried to keep down.)
As our pastor reminded us this week through the writings of Paul who suffered far greater trials than most of us could dream up:
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Whatever guilt is haunting you today, I pray that you will put it to death, ask for help as needed, and remember to always “carry within you the death of Jesus,” so to speak, so that, as verse 10 says,”the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.”