by Michelle Eigemann, Contributing Writer
I sat waiting for those all too familiar feelings of shame and regret to begin to flood over me; but this time was different, this time, those feelings never came. The choice I had just made to react to my son’s behavior instead of respond to it left me knowing that my decision was not one birthed of the spirit but out of the flesh, so why didn’t I feel the shame I had come to know so well? Where were those feelings of regret that left me begging God for forgiveness?
“For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.”
2 Corinthians 7:10 NLT
Shame and regret are two emotions the enemy uses in his attempt to condemn us. If we buy into this lie then we begin to believe that we are unworthy of God’s love. We start to ask ourselves “how can God possibly use me when I just …” We then question if we heard God right, “did He really call me into this area of ministry when I can’t even keep it together in my own home?”
As you can see the seemingly innocent thoughts of shame and regret soon spiral into deep feelings of doubt that burrow into the core of who we are, leaving us questioning whether we are actually living out our calling.
Nineteen years ago I gave birth to a son I knew would have special needs. The extent of those needs was unknown and to this day we are still discovering more and more about the scope of care he requires. I can say with 100% certainty that God has used my experiences as a single mother of a special needs child to prepare me for the dreams he buried in my heart many years ago. Those are the same dreams that the enemy tries to attack every time I don’t perfectly walk out my Christianity.
On this particular day when I reacted to my son’s meltdown by barking orders at him and demanding he pull himself together I expected shame and regret to be ushered in, but as I sat quietly before the Lord I felt Him ministering to my soul.
God began to bring to mind countless Bible characters whose walk was less than perfect and whose Christianity could have been seen as flawed. Like when Sarai (Sarah) decided that if she couldn’t bore Abram (Abraham) a son that surely Hagar, Sarah’s slave, could. (Genesis 16:2-4)
Or Martha who felt the pressure to please and be perfect while her sister chose to sit at the feet of Jesus soaking up every ounce of His presence. (Luke 10-38-42)
Neither of these women was stripped of their calling because they made a decision that was birthed out of their emotions.
They both reacted to the situation that was presented to them instead of taking the time to pray it through and respond. Yet, God still kept His promise to Sarah and Isaac was born. (Genesis 21)
Martha truly thought she was doing what she was called to do and I just love the way The Message translates Jesus’ response to Martha. “The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it – it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”
While Jesus did deny Martha’s request to order her sister Mary to help her He also took the time to redirect His friend and help Her step back onto the path God have paved.
I believe that while we may not be able to sit at the feet of Jesus in the physical sense we surely can do this in the spiritual sense. We can soak up every ounce of His presence and invite Him to fix us, mend us, heal us, and guide us down the path that was paved specifically for us.
We can thank Him for the opportunity to learn such valuable lessons in faith and pray that the next time we are faced with an emotionally charged situation that we will cling to the one who holds all the answers – Jesus.
Michelle is a blogger at Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary Mission where she invites others to join her on her journey of single parenting as she shares her trials and triumphs of raising an adult child with special needs. Her passion is to educate others, advocate for her son and encourage her sisters in Christ to walk humbly through the beautiful lives they’ve been given. Her mantra for life is “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” Proverbs 31-8-9 (NIV)
Connect with Michelle:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/allmichelleking/
Twitter – @MichelleEigeman
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Website – www.allmichelleking.com