For years the frying pan lady followed me around. Every time I would mess up on the job, in my home, or as a parent she was there to beat me over the head with her frying pan for not doing better. Her accusations cut to the core, “Why can’t you keep it together?” “Why is your house such a mess?” “Other moms are doing a much better job.” “You’re not good enough.” “You’ll never get it right.”
Sometimes I took her words seriously and would punish myself. I wouldn’t eat enough, sleep enough, or I would deny myself my favorite “treats,” because I felt I deserved punishment.
I lived with her hovering over me. Days might pass without her whispering in my ear, but I could bet the minute I messed up she would be there.
If the frying pan lady had limited her comments to just me it would have been bad enough, but she followed me around accusing others, too. “Why is her skirt so short?” “Can you believe she’s wearing that in public?” “Look at the way her kids are acting!” I wanted to tell her to take a hike, but she was the bur I couldn’t shake off.
Then I heard the Brandon Heath song, “Give Me Your Eyes.” and I began to pray for God to give me His eyes for those around me. I expected God to begin to help me see others differently, but the first lesson He taught me was about myself.
Through God’s eyes, I began to see how much I was loved by Him. He declared,
But now, O [Daughter], listen to the LORD who created you.
O [Daughter], the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I gave Egypt [Jesus] as a ransom for your freedom;
I gave Ethiopia and Seba [my only Son] in your place.
Others were given in exchange for you.
I traded their lives for yours
because you are precious to me.
You are honored, and I love you.”
~ Isaiah 43:1-4, NLT (additions mine)
The truth He sent His son for me before I even knew I needed saving and the depth of His love of me began to sink into my soul.
As those truths took root, the frying pan lady slowly began to lose her grip on me. As I began to grasp the truth that yes, I’ll mess up, but there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1), she lost her power over me.
Instead, of wallowing in my mistakes I began to learn from them. Some of them I could improve on and do better next time. For instance, I found other ways to parent that helped me to keep from yelling. Other “mistakes” I just had to learn to give myself grace for, like a perfectly clean house is not going to happen on this side of kids. It just isn’t.
When the frying pan lady lost her power to accuse me, she also began to lose her power to accuse others. I learned when I give grace to myself, I am able to extend grace to others, too.
Yes, she still tries to pop in, but I’m now armed with God’s truths and prepared to shove her out again. She no longer has the control over me she once did. Those days when I punished myself have now come to an end.
If you’re struggling with your own frying pan lady, you don’t have to stay stuck.
- Ask God to show you how he sees you. He loves to answer those types of prayers!
- Dwell on and memorize verses that speak to your heart and tell you how much God love you.
- Learn from your mistakes and move on. Don’t wallow in them.
- Learn to give yourself grace
- Pass grace onto others
As you learn, dive into our reading for this week in The Search for Significance Chapter 7: “The Blame Game.” There McGee explores further why we blame ourselves and others and the damage it can cause.
Let’s grow together! Start the conversation in the comments: “Why do we condemn ourselves and others for failure?”*
*Taken from The Search for Significance Leader’s Guide
Do you struggle to fight distractions and spend time with Jesus in the midst of your busy day? Take the Abide 5 Day Challenge. For five days discover five quick and easy ways to invite Jesus into your busy days!