I AM… Merciful

By Heather Templeton

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

Guilt.
This is a big one for me, ladies.
Especially MOMGUILT.

Hashtag ALL.THE.TIME.

I don’t really remember where or how it started.

Oh the online presence makes itself very known amidst my guilt-filled mind, for sure.
“Wow… look at that perfectly clean house… My house looks like a pack of rabid dogs tore through here chasing a solitary rabbit. I should vacuum. Or dust. Or… something.”

But that’s not really IT.
It began long before the existence of the internet became a regular part of my life.
I remember my mother expressing her guilt to me.
Guilt that she wasn’t as young as other mothers of daughters my age.
Guilt that she wasn’t better educated.
Guilt that she couldn’t provide the sort of life she thought I needed.

The funny thing was, I didn’t see any of that.

I saw my beautiful mother with her silver hair and laugh-lined face and thought that she was the best gift that I’d ever been given.
I saw her possess more street smarts and grit than books could ever have taught her, and thought she was brilliant.
I saw her sacrifice and scrimp and save to send me to a Christian school, put food on the table, and take me shopping for clothes every September, and thought about how incredibly resourceful she was to make her dollars stretch as incredibly as she did.

It’s all about perspective.
And heart.
And mercy.

Mercy.
Commonly used synonyms include clemency, compassion, grace, forgiveness, and humanity.

Humanity.
We are human.
Mortal.
Imperfect.
We will make mistakes as we live out our lives in these broken bodies that house immortal souls longing for an eternity with our perfect Savior.

I think that anomaly causes the most guilt.

We have perfect souls that serve a perfect creator.
When we fail, when we fall, we feel shame.
Shame begets guilt.
And guilt brings condemnation.

But that is where Mercy comes in.
There is NO CONDEMNATION.
None.

I have read this verse quite literally hundreds of times over the course of my Christian life, and the thought still baffles me.
No condemnation… really, Lord? Not any?
But what about the fact that I lost my temper AGAIN with my kids. I promised yesterday through many tears that I would try desperately not to do that.
I would have more patience.
I would take a mama-timeout before I lost it.

And I didn’t.

I let myself get too tired and stretched too thin because there is too much to do and not enough hours in the day and my kids come first but look at the house and I should be coloring with them or taking them to the park or playing cars with them and they SHOULDN’T be watching another television show and I shouldn’t be ordering takeout again but I’m just so so so tired …

And just like that.
GUILT.
It hits me like a runaway train and takes my breath away because I am not where I think I should be and in my mind I’m sure that the Lord must think this about me as well.

Sweet mama.
He. Does. NOT.
Not even a little bit.
And through tears I am telling you today that He loves you.
He sees your mess.
He sees your humanity.
And he extends mercy upon grace upon forgiveness.
Because there is no condemnation.

So rest in that.
Oh I know… it is so much easier said than done.
But take small steps.
When Satan whispers that you have failed yet again, take that thought captive. Immediately. And give it to your Father.
He adores you.
He forgives you.

And He is WITH YOU.

In the muck. In the mire.
In the good and in the bad.
And He will finish the work He started in you until that day He calls you home to a perfect eternity with Him.

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