For Women

Guilt at Byron’s Burgers

Don’t worry, this isn’t a post about how we overate burgers and feel guilty about it…although it has happened on occasion. Having 8 days left, we’ve been running around trying to soak in every last bit of foggy London town before we have to hop on a jumbo jet back to the states. What better way to emerge back into reality (and a new year) than lunch at our favorite little funky, organic, burger joint in Putney, Byron’s Burgers.

Unfortunately, our conversation abruptly turned from discussing our ambitious goals of 2013 to me getting a little emotional about my life and career. Feelings of inadequacy sort of set in…something I think we, as women, deal with at different levels.

Reflecting back on these past few weeks, I’ve been (as my husband so gently and lovingly put it) “defaulting to be at fault.” I hate being an inconvenience; and silly things like walking down the busy streets and being the obvious slow and unaware tourist makes me cringe. I’d much rather blend in, walk fast, and sacrifice myself (or something I want to see) for the good of everyone else. Kind of how I tend to operate in life. I’m not proud of it, and it’s definitely something I’m working on, but that’s a whole different blog post.

The issue is never the issue

As we sat there talking and digging into what was actually wrong we realized that there was something deeper going on. Feeling like “things” are my fault or thinking someone is being condescending in their words, when really, they are simply saying what they’re saying (if that makes sense). It was more than me being insecure, it was stemming from this deep feeling of guilt.

Guilt is a powerful emotion and can make us do silly things like second guess people, or not trust or become fearful which eventually can lead to us not moving in any direction and working tirelessly to avoid all confrontation on any level, and at whatever expense. Life becomes about moving on to the next big thing to take our focus, and never actually enjoying the moment you’re in (again, another blog post).

It’s a vicious cycle that I’ve been battling after having dealt with my share of toxic narcissistic people…ok, moving on.Talking about it with Ryan wasn’t easy. Showing weakness never is, but it was healing and liberating.

There are conversations and moments in our marriage that are challenging and we’d much rather ignore them than try to walk and talk through them. I’m learning, it’s always better to talk it out.

Thankfully, Ryan was full of grace and not pointed solutions. He alleviated my guilt by saying, “Love, those burdens aren’t yours to bear. You need to be released from that.” The guilt and heaviness instantly disappeared and life felt at ease again. The rush of the crowd didn’t make me feel guilty for walking a bit slower and breathing in the cold rainy town of Putney.

Origins of grace

I am thankful for my husband and his fierce pursuit of our Savior. It’s out of his relationship with Christ that he can extend grace and help me battle my weaknesses in strength and hope. God doesn’t lead or motivate through guilt. Conviction, yes – but guilt is definitely a tool from the enemy that can mislead us and leave us worrying and anxious about the future.

Spending daily time in God’s Word (bible) and knowing what GOD says about you and following His instructions for life is the way (John 14:6). Again, God doesn’t motivate out of guilt – it would go against His very being. He is true and faithful to lead us gently in love.  It’s up to us if we decide to follow Jesus or not.

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