I don’t think there’s a mom in the world who hasn’t experienced this thing I call the Midnight Hour of Regret.
You know? That time of night (I’m a night owl so often it is around midnight) when you lay down in bed after a long day of mothering and training and teaching, or really just keeping your people alive, and suddenly you are bombarded with thoughts of your day. A film reel, filled with memories of the hours before, playing out your day.
I have a question for you, mommas. When that reel plays back for you, what kind of light are you viewing it in? I’m going to make a guess that more often than not, it’s tinged with sadness and a longing for better, an overwhelming sense of not good enough. Show of hands?
My hand is raised high.
Did my kids feel me love them today? No. I raised my voice and was disconnected.
Did I make my husband feel appreciated? No. I was cranky and demanding and ungrateful.
Did I maintain my home well? No. My house is a mess and there are dishes in the sink and crumbs on every surface and laundry piles everywhere.
Did I connect with God today? No. Unless you count hiding in the laundry room with a tub of ice cream praying that I wouldn’t lose my mind.
Unchecked boxes. Lists of transgressions. Wave after wave of those feelings of failure. Drowning in it, really.
Why does it happen this way? Why are we plagued with regret as we lay down to rest? Why is it so easy for us to accept the lie that we are never enough?
We are living in a world where we are constantly connected with people. We can reach out to people with a few clicks on our phone, and can also easily view the images put forward by our ‘friends’ all over their social media outlets. And throughout the day, we are constantly seeing the things that others are doing and playing and being, all the while we are living the reality of the life God has given us. And as I scroll through my newsfeed before falling asleep, I often find myself overwhelmed by envy and shame, drinking in the ‘picture perfect’ of others’ posted moments, and beating myself up for not having ones to match.
I truly believe that looking back can be good. Looking back on our days, the good and the bad, can bring us back to praise God for His faithfulness as He brings us through the day to day. We can see where we sinned and turn from it. We can rely on His strength to move forward. But a glimpse backwards has to be bathed in the acceptance of grace. Without grace, the only fruit that we will bear is regretful hearts focused on striving, trying, and desperately aching to be better, do more, making passionate but empty vows to God that we will be enough.
But we were never meant to be enough.
So tonight, as we lay our heads down after all of our real life moments, I want to challenge you to do something. If you are going to look back on your day, make sure that you allow the grace of God to go before you. Let Him show you where He wants you to focus on moving forward, not allowing room for comparison to others. And remember the promise of the morning’s new mercies. Offer up praise that tomorrow is a new day to live and breathe in the grace and peace that only God has to offer.
I’m praying for you, warrior mommas. Don’t let that enemy steal one more moment that God should have instead. Go to war against comparison, guilt, and regret. Dig out those ugly roots of condemnation and shame, and plant seeds of grace and peace in their place. Lean into the strength of your Father, and see the fruit that He can only bear from your obedient heart. Turn off Facebook and turn to Jesus. And remember that He’s got this, all of it, in His mighty hands.