It Nags

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There it is again. A tug at my heart. My shoulders tense and my head aches. I sigh, but the heaviness remains.

I look at the clock, 5:30 AM. Determined I get out of bed, the heaviness accompanies me throughout my day.

Dirty dishes, piles of laundry, scattered toys, and longings for more children tell me a story.

They shout a verdict I carry with me throughout my days. Guilty.

My messy kitchen screams, “Guilty, you are not a good housekeeper.”

Piles of laundry cry, “Guilty, you are not a good wife.”

Toys scattered about declare, “Guilty, you are a bad mom.”

Longings for more children certify, “You are guilty of insanity and ingratitude. The reason God isn’t giving you children is you are guilty.”

My to-do list testifies, “You never finish me. You are guilty of laziness, wasting time, and over-scheduling.”

The angry words I let slip speak it, “Guilty.”

My attitude, pride, hate, anger, resentment repeat it, “Guilty.”

My burden grows with each verdict. I struggle under the burden, but stubbornly believe I can shoulder it.

Joy leaks away, tears hover at the surface, and I cannot do it. “Guilty! You are not enough.”

Each day dawns gray and I can’t label my heaviness. I just know the tug at my heart, tension in my shoulders, and ache in my head. I get used to the sensation, comfortable with the grayness, it is what I know.

God’s word mentions a “full or abundant life,” even God’s word testifies of my guilt. I add more do’s and do not’s to my weary shoulders. My mental tape rehearses my guilt and failures.

Then one day God breaks through the mental tape and guilty verdicts.

Angela, it is guilt, He speaks to my heart. Guilt is robbing you of joy, keeping you from obeying me. You do not have to carry this load. Jesus took it for you on the cross. Lay it down.

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

Guilt is my default. I carry guilt from sin, guilt I create from unrealistic expectations of myself, and guilt from past choice. But God says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross I don’t have to carry guilt. God sees me as righteous through the blood of Jesus’ sacrifice.

Instead of guilt God gives us grace to carry. Grace is an easy burden to bear and He intends for us to extend grace to other as well. God’s grace transforms us from guilty, burdened, and hopeless to forgiven, free, and hopeful. We don’t have to walk around listening to guilty verdicts, instead we need to memorize Romans 8:1 and repeat it to ourselves daily.

Who is going to join me? Are you ready to replace guilt with grace? I know I am.