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4/16 Shame & Guilt

4/16/18 | 24 1/2 weeks

The first few days after an ultrasound are always hard. It's hard to look at enlarged kidneys, fluid around the heart. and no amniotic fluid. It's hard to accept that that's my baby up there on the screen. It's hard not to imagine that my baby might be suffering inside of me. It's hard not to wonder why.

And then all sorts of other thoughts creep in.

Should I have stuck to my original resolution & quit trying to have kids after those 2 miscarriages? Did I bring this upon myself because I was being stubborn? Aaron was ready to be done at 6 kids.

Was it the sandwich meat I ate during early pregnancy?

Was it the Wi-Fi radiating in our home 24/7?

I know it wasn't alcohol & it wasn't a lack of rest. I essentially bed rested myself those first few weeks.

Does God not like me anymore? Am I out of His favor? Is there sin in my life I'm not addressing?

I read these things that I've just written & they look like silly thoughts, but these are the feelings of shame & guilt that plagued me. And I felt like my growing belly was a scarlet letter of shame. I could think of plenty of reasons why I would deserve judgment instead of blessing from the Lord.

I'm not a good mom & shouldn't have any more kids. I'm not patient enough, not kind enough, not loving enough, not humble enough.

But then I thought of Job.

There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, 
and that man was blameless and upright, 
one who feared God and turned away from evil...
Job 1:1

And the dialogue between God and Satan concerning Job.

And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, 
that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, 
who fears God and turns away from evil?”
Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 
Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? 
You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 
But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.”
Job 1:8-11

And Job's response when the Lord brought upon him the biggest trial ever of his life (all of his kids died & all of his possessions were taken away).

The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
Job 1:23

I'm not blameless like Job, but I did have it "easy" like Job. Was I only walking with the Lord because He made it so easy for me? What would I do when it wasn't so easy anymore? I blessed the name of the Lord when He gave & gave & gave. What will I do when He takes away? This would be a true testing of my faith. And I look forward to none of it. I imagine the ending of this story sometimes, and I break down & crumble.

But I do look forward to the character God is building in me through this experience. Our sufferings produce endurance, which produces character, which produces hope - Romans 5:3-5.

When my mind is bombarded with doubts and my heart is burdened with these feelings of shame and guilt, I have to make a conscious effort to choose to believe the truth of God's Word vs the lies of the enemy. Romans 8:28 tells me that God is working all things together for good, even this, even though it doesn't feel very good right now.


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