Updated: Jan 7
By Shannon Toller
God's Brave Women - Shannon's Story
Barf, mucous and constant crying are not what they tell you to prepare for at a baby shower. No number of pretty onesies and diaper genies can prepare you for the feeling of helplessness you experience when you watch your kiddos get sick in every room of the house. And when you are occasionally joining in on this fun germ-sharing merry-go-round, it’s hard to keep the negative voices in your head at bay.
Your kids are sick because you’re a failure. You have no friends to call because you aren’t a good friend to anyone. Go ahead, reach out for help, no one will be there. You did this to yourself. Do you really think your kids care about you? Your husband could care less about you, I’m sure he’s already filing divorce papers. Get ready to repeat your childhood in your adulthood, Shannon. You just aren’t good enough. And you never ever will be.
Those are the thoughts that attacked me this morning after I yelled at my husband for trying to help me with a crying baby. Could I have just handed her over to him? Sure, but that wasn’t the point. I’m the mom. I’m supposed to be the one to kiss boo-boos, make lunches, keep the house in perfect working order and keep a level head through it all. “I don’t deserve a break; I need to be better.” That’s what I kept telling myself this morning as I was crying in tandem with my eighteen-month old. And then my husband went to work, and instead of taking him so we would have the car for the day, I decided to rest with the now-sleeping baby. So, I missed out on a coffee date with a friend and Derryn missed out on a playdate. Once that reality set in, the negative voices kicked in again.
This is why you had no friends in the mountains. This is why you will have no friends out here. Satan is making you tired, get over yourself Shannon. No one cares that you are feeling what you are feeling. Grow a pair. Somewhere out there, someone else is living a far harder life than you. You aren’t allowed to be this depressed. You are a white girl, living in suburbia – a stay at home mom to three girls. You have no right to be feeling what you’re feeling. No wonder no one wants to be your friend. You’re a loser.
It’s a minute by minute battle for me to speak life into myself. I can write a post (like this one) that I’m praying will encourage another mama in my shoes, but I don’t think it applies to the one writing it, actually wearing the shoes. Why do I think I’m not worthy of the love and encouragement I share with others? Perhaps it’s being a child of divorce or having a string of bad boyfriends before I finally found my prince. Maybe it's the constant shame I felt from family members that I wasn’t good enough, and I started believing the lie. Maybe this is just the way it’s supposed to be. Or maybe not.
"Why do I think I’m not worthy of the love and encouragement I share with others?"
Satan wants me to think I’m alone. Jesus reminds me I will never walk alone again.
Satan wants me to think the world is better off without me. God tells me He made me in his image, and I am wonderfully made.
Satan calls me a loser. Jesus calls me his daughter.
Satan says I’m weak. God made me brave.
I know my defenses are down because I don’t feel good, not because I’m not good. My kids getting sick happens because kids breathe and speak and exist and therefore, get sick. And just like I’m loving on my babies today, Jesus wants to love on me. He wants to be the Comforter in my life, every single day. He wants to shower me with love and speak life into my soul. And if I’m going to love on others like Christ does, then I need to start with myself. I need to fill my cup in order to fill someone else’s.
When we hear those negative thoughts in our heads, we need to remind ourselves of this simple truth: Satan is incapable of telling the truth. Every single word and thought the enemy utters is soaked in death. There is nothing life giving in anything he does. The whole point of the attack is to make us think we are worthless and not worth loving. But that is the biggest lie anyone has ever spoken in the history of humanity.
"When we hear those negative thoughts in our heads, we need to remind ourselves of this simple truth: Satan is incapable of telling the truth."
Do you want to know how I know that? Because Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, was beat and bloodied and brutalized for us. He took the punishment we deserve and said, “Take me instead.” Do we really think a Savior like that would do that if we were worthless? Would God have sacrificed His only Son, Jesus, over nothing? No. We are not nothing. Jesus is not nothing. The only nothing in the room is Satan. You know the saying, “misery loves company?” Satan has that trademarked. He doesn’t want us to know Jesus loves us, no matter what. He wants us to think Jesus’ love is conditional. IT’S NOT.
My babies are resting. They are covered with love and Vick’s Baby-rub. There are dishes in the sink that can wait. There are baskets of laundry that will still be there when my husband comes home. But my babies are resting. They know their mama loves them and will take care of them. God wants us to know that about Him – He loves us, unconditionally, and will take care of us, always. He just asks that we rest; rest our weary bones, rest our running minds, rest our judgements and assumptions. Simply just be in His presence.
I have a beautiful family. I have a beautiful mama tribe surrounding me. I have a beautiful home that keeps us safe and sound. Blessings abound and grace overflows. I have a Heavenly Father who loves me forever and has known my name since He breathed the stars into existence. Don’t you dare listen to the nagging voice telling you this isn’t real. It is.
It’s all real. It’s all true. And it’s all good.
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story!
And by the way...
You are Brave! No matter what you are facing, God has made you in His image, which means you are full of His strength and grit. I would love to connect with you more and give you a FREE gift - the BRAVE WOMAN MANIFESTO: Five Things to Tell Yourself When Life Gets Hard. Click HERE to sign up for my monthly newsletter and you’ll receive the FREE Manifesto, as well as recent blog posts, updated resources and personal details delivered only to my lovely email tribe.
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Shannon Toller is a wife, girl mama and faith blogger from Arvada, Colorado. She started her blog “Shannon the Mommy Blogger” in 2015 after becoming a Christian. Her blog has reached over 20 countries, introducing beautiful mamas to their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This year, she is branching out her faith blogger brand to include monthly emails and an all new podcast of the same name. She is the proud wife of one wonderful man and proud mama to an audacious six-year-old and Irish twin girls (2 & 1). When she isn’t blogging or recording a podcast, she can be found in Target, sipping Starbucks and buying all the things. You can find this beautiful mess of a mommy blogger on Instagram at @shannonthefaithblogger and on her website @holymamablogger.wordpress.com.