Saturday, October 18, 2014

Forgiving Myself?

Regret: A feeling of remorse for a fault or wrongdoing.
Remorse: Deep and painful regret for wrongdoing.

For years, I felt guilt over my son’s handicap. Brad was born in a small town hospital and after hours of pushing, he came out black and blue—like a cone-headed prize fighter. He had been through a battle and I later decided it was this battle that caused his brain damage.

Our understanding of his condition came in dribs and drabs. When he was a year old, a visiting relative told us something was wrong and we needed to take Brad to a specialist. That doctor said, yes, he has developmental delays but he will catch up. It took years before we understood Brad would not be “catching up.”

Periodically I would question every decision related to my pregnancy. Why hadn’t I stopped pushing when my labor didn’t progress?” Twenty miles away, the city hospital had all the fancy monitoring equipment lacking in our small town hospital. Why hadn’t I gone to the doctor who delivered babies in the city?” I was sure things would have been different if only I had made better decisions.

Years later, I expressed those same regrets during a prayer meeting. My prayer partners immediately called this out as “false guilt.” “If hours of pushing really did cause brain damage, the doctor was responsible, not you.” They advised me to renounce satan’s lie. Amazingly, years of guilt and shame fell away. I had only done what Mother Nature told me to do. I was not responsible for my son’s handicap.

I had never said those words to another human being—not even to my husband. But once spoken, the truth could be revealed. Like nighttime monsters hiding under the bed, the lie was enormous in the dark. But under the light of truth, it shriveled up and disappeared.

Satan loves to twist God’s truth into an ugly knot of torment. All it took was a hint of guilt on my part for satan to back up the “guilt truck” and dump a full load on me. This is why it’s so important to speak our thoughts out loud to someone else.

Our words, even the words we think, have power. I spoke words renouncing the lie and from that moment on, it has had no power in my life. The reality of my son’s disability has not changed. But while I still have moments of grief, I no longer feel guilt or shame. I am free to celebrate all that God has done in and through the miracle of our son’s life.

And while I count myself blessed to be amongst the forgiven, the guilt that was never mine to carry, has been crossed off the list.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for your revelation of truth in our lives and ask that you help us recognize every lie so we can all walk in freedom.

Have you ever felt like you couldn’t forgive yourself? Have you ever suffered under “false guilt?”

Image courtesy of dan at


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