Thursday, May 15, 2014

LESSONS FROM CAMP: Mom Guilt

But I? Am I righteous? My own mouth says no. Even if I were perfect, God would prove me wicked.
~ Job 9:20, TLB ~

The other day, I wrote about the position we found ourselves in  when my son failed to pack needles in his bag to infuse at camp.  In need of life-saving clotting factor to prevent or heal spontaneous internal bleeding episodes, our boy administers an IV infusion every-other-day at home.  When he goes away to camp, that need doesn't stop.  And being a distance from home, he has to pack with extra emergency supplies on the remote chance that he will end up injured and hospitalized away from home.

You can imagine my frustration when I was helping my son assemble his first of 2 scheduled infusions while at this school-related camp, only to discover that he hadn't packed the IV needles necessary to administer the medication.  Immediately, my emotional default was mom guilt.  Never mind that I was in the room while he packed and gave him a verbal reminder to put extra syringes and needles in his bag.  Never mind that he verbally assured me that he was heeding my reminders.  It was all my fault for not double checking his bag before we left home.

Nonsense!

I learned at camp that I am still in the process of recovery from misplaced parental guilt.

You know of which I speak.  We moms are famous for self-flagellation.  First, we go through the guilt of wondering if we are to blame for our child's diagnosis.  The guilt proceeds from there.  We worry if we are making the right choices for treatment, school, transition-planning.  Are we doing everything we can regarding diet?  Therapies?  Home life?  Social life?  Faith formation?  If our child is not doing well, we second guess every decision we have made and question our ability to reach equilibrium once again.

I have spent the past 14 years bathing in God's truth to wash off the stench of self-reproach.  I have come a long, long way from the woman I was while rocking a beautiful newborn boy, crying and condemning myself for passing on a genetic illness.

Yet, "the Accuser", as he is called in Job 1:6 and Revelation 12:10, doesn't stop messing with our heads just because we have embraced God's truth.  In fact, he probably hits us even harder.

The "camp" we need to constantly remain enrolled in is The Camp of Talking Back to the Devil.  When Jesus spent 40 days and nights in the wilderness, he continually thwarted Satan's taunting by cleverly responding with Scripture.  (See Matthew 4:1-10 and Luke 4:1-13.)  Only clothing ourselves in the non-stick coating of God's truth can enable that guilt to slide off of us.  It also strengthens us to talk back to the guilt, examining and, if appropriate, challenging its truth.
  
Furthermore, God fortifies us to come to the point where we can realize how fruitless it is to stay stuck in our mom guilt.  Even if we should be justified in admitting our wrong-doing, repentance and trusting in God's redemption of the situation are our calling, not wallowing in guilt.  If Satan can keep us stuck in depressed, guilty self-focus, he can successfully dull us as a tool that would otherwise be sharp in God's hands.

It's a process.  Camp showed me that I still have A LOT of room for growth.  But at least I have begun the journey.  Have you?  If not, grab my hand and let's go.  Even if you have begun, let's link arms.  God has MUCH better plans for us mothers than endlessly slogging through the sludge of guilt.

PRAY:  Jesus, thank You for showing us how to talk back to the Accuser.  Holy Spirit, shine the light of Your truth on his lies.  Strengthen me as You grow me to let go of misplaced guilt to grab hold of the better plan You have in mind for me. 

~ Barb Dittrich

No comments:

Post a Comment