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Candy-Coated Lies

Hard times will come.

A few weeks ago, I woke up in pain and feeling exhausted. This was not unique as many mornings have started this way over the last few months. My chronic health issues have been in an intense flare, and I have dealt with lingering effects from Covid since late fall. All of that combined made it so I was often waking up 5-8 times in the night in pain. Suffice to say, I have been sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Beyond the physical stuff, it was a typical morning at my house – school with my daughters, laundry, dishes, and eventually making lunch. What wasn’t typical was my emotional state. I was on edge. The tension in my mind and body was palpable. The sounds of laughter and chatter between my daughters that I normally delight in were making my skin crawl. I wanted to snap. Then, I began thinking of how it would be justified. I woke up 7 times last night! I feel terrible! I am allowed to let off some steam! Every mom gets mad sometimes! I deserve a break!

But friends, I am never going to say it is okay to yell or belittle your children. I am so grateful my days are spent with them. My girls are a delight. I knew it, but things were feeling blurry. I felt the enemy pulling at me. Lies were racing through my head. My feelings seemed a lot stronger than the Truth.

Then, when I was at my lowest, in the weakest little whisper I asked God for help. The Holy Spirit drew near and was so close. His answer was immediate as I thought, “There is never an excuse to sin against the Father. No matter how sick or how tired, there is never an excuse to hurt your daughters.” There I was flipping quesadillas, and I began to cry. Scriptures began flooding my mind and the tension began to leave. I was physically exhausted, but worshipping. His love was (is!) stronger than my feelings.

“I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:14)

Society is lying to us.

Society throws out lies like candy at a parade. And the problem is, we seem to welcome them with open arms. Just like that piece of candy, the lies are good for a short time, but we are still empty afterward, longing for something more filling.

The news, magazines, Facebook, and even friends are spewing lies when they say sin really doesn’t matter. The hard part is that these lies are often packaged in such positive, even uplifting sentiments (which if we’re honest we kind of want to hear). They might sound something like this:

● It’s a special occasion; have a few more drinks.

● You really love him; it’s okay to spend the night.

● My grumbling and complaining is nothing compared to what other people say.

● Everyone cheats at school every now and then.

● Do whatever feels good.

● Every mom yells.

● It’s your body.

● You deserve it.

● You are the most important.

These will never get us anywhere good. They put us on a trajectory toward self-gratification instead of God-glorification. Quite often the people around us get steam rolled in the process. Even worse, we turn away from the only One that can really help and satisfy.

God will never lie, and He always helps.

When the Holy Spirit revealed that I was about to spew ugliness at my daughters, I literally clamped my mouth shut and asked God to keep it closed. I prayed that He would keep me from sinning against Him.

I hate how my sin affects those around me. I hate how I always feel so gross afterwards. But more and more, I hate sinning against my Savior.

When you feel temptation coming, do you turn to self, to cultural mantras, or to God? I don’t know about you, but my little self just can’t cut it when the going gets tough. Why would we think we can help ourselves when we are the ones struggling in the first place? {Laughing at the foolishness/myself on that one!}

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of heaven and earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.” (Isaiah 40:28-29)

His strength never diminishes. He is always present. He delights in helping His people.

A different ending to a hard morning.

Did my circumstances change that day? No, but my heart did. I was heaped with grace and love by my perfect Father. I was reminded that the King who reigns above all heaven and earth sees little ol’ me making lunch. I was filled with the Holy Spirit to not just make it through the day but to have joy in where He has me. It’s kind of mind-blowing that all that took place while I was standing at the stove. He pursued me right where I was. I was low; He lifted me up. I was weary; He renewed strength. I was on edge; He was compassionate. I was feeling sad; He filled me with true joy. This is a God worth giving everything to and the One I do not want to sin against. Lies will always sound good in the moment, but they will always end up making you feel like you ate a jolly rancher for lunch – empty and needing more. Thanks be to God that He continues to fill us even though we don’t deserve it!

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way.” (Psalm 46:1-2)

Michelle Mohr lives in Carbondale with her husband of almost 17 years and two amazing daughters (age 11 & 13). She is a former 3rd grade teacher that now stays at home teaching her girls. Things don’t look much like she had planned, and as it turns out, God’s plan has been so much better. Her life is full with family, dinner guests, reading with her girls, friends, serving at Vine Church, baking, good books, and lots of laughing with her main man. She is especially passionate about living her life with joy, raising children, encouraging other mommas, seeing God’s unchanging character in all of Scripture, and regularly talking about the Bible with other women. She continues to be amazed at how God keeps on pursuing her even through her flaws and shortcomings. She hopes to be able to share something here at Worth The Risk to remind women of the unwavering goodness of the Father.

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