There’s No Problem so Big That Guilt Can’t Make It Worse
October 13, 2016 | Posted in: Coping 101
Some difficulties are obvious. Break your leg and you’ll spend a few months on crutches. A kind stranger will hold the door for you at the Post Office. The church might send flowers.
But not all difficulties are so easily accepted, understood, or noticed. Some chronic illnesses are invisible. Some griefs are silent.Difficulty is relative. What’s easy for one person might floor another. Click To Tweet What’s overwhelming to me might be no problem at all to you. Therein lies the guilt trap.
As our second born turned six weeks old, I stood in front of our bathroom mirror crying and struggling to breathe. Sleep deprivation, a broken washing machine, healing from childbirth, an energetic preschooler, and the long, repetitive hours of maternity leave had taken their toll.
“I can’t do this,” I whispered. I wasn’t facing Everest or long hours in an ICU. All that overwhelmed me so was the prospect of heading to the park on my own with both kids.
The “should”s piled up.
I shouldn’t feel this way. I shouldn’t be so overwhelmed. I shouldn’t be so tired.
I should be able to handle this. I should be grateful for two healthy kids, not crying because it’s been days since my last shower.
I shouldn’t. I should. I shouldn’t. I should.
Suddenly Jesus showed up, and from the recesses of my exhausted brain came the words of a beloved Christian mentor: “Don’t ‘should’ on yourself.”
You know what I’ve learned about coping?There’s no problem so big that guilt can’t make it worse. Click To Tweet
After a few more tears in the mirror, I took a deep breath, texted some girlfriends for support, and loaded both kids into the car. As we drove to the park, I talked to Jesus about how I did feel. Exhausted, overwhelmed, achy, alone.
As the miles wore away, so did my shame, lifted by the God who loves each of us right where we are, no matter how big or small our difficulty.
Are you coping with a huge problem? A tiny setback? An invisible pain? Let the shame go. Be where you are. Jesus wants to meet you exactly there.
Courtney Ellis is an author, speaker, and pastor, and an encourager of moms, marriages, and families. She’s never met a piece of candy she didn’t like. Find her at www.courtneybellis.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.