What are your biggest fears, doubts, inadequacies in your walk with God?

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Charles Burton Barber

This was a favorite picture that was framed in my girl’s room–a little one praying amidst her pets.

A project has come into my life seeking to address the spiritual needs, inadequacies, doubts and struggles for women. I would love to really address the heart issues that so many women face. Could you please help me today  by telling me the inner heart struggles that swirl about in your heart the most?

I would really like to address some of the deep issues that follow many women every day, even if they are not always aware of them. God is so often misrepresented, misunderstood or seems far away to many and it would help me to know specifically some of these issues in your lives.

Thanks so much.

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Comments

  1. Jo says

    I experience inadequacy in relationship to God when I relate to him based on my performance. I tend to believe God is not pleased with me when I am not productive in serving and consistent in obedience.

  2. Heidi says

    I have been noticing how hard I am on myself to achieve something before I feel like I deserve rest. This has been impacting my relationship with God- rather than entering His rest and refueling- I spend my brief prayer time asking for protection, health and direction for my family- and then I am off, hoping that my husband and I can ‘arrive’ in a steady career, eventually have a trustworthy car, buy a house, etc etc etc. All while raising our precious son and soon to be second baby (with the dream of more to come). I often feel lost and inadequate, wishing I was more.

    I hope that this is helpful for your writing- thank you Sally.

    PS: I had the pleasure of very briefly meeting you and taking a quick picture with you at the Teach Them Diligently conference in Nashville- you were so gracious to take the time to say hello- thank you!

  3. Tami Fite says

    Perfection and Performance……two joy killers if there ever were some! They tend to make me doubt the job that God has called me to, and how I am doing it. They lead me into the game of “comparing” and then the inadequacies and insecurities start to rise up and then I start to become “paralyzed” as a mom and wife.

  4. Rather not say. says

    I married a man I met at church. I do believe that he sincerely accepted Christ. but now he says he has no interest in ever going to church again. He’s not a bad person or anything, but I feel torn in half trying to obey God and be a good wife to a man who will not tithe and will not support me in what I feel God has strongly called me to do.

    • Candice says

      This is such a difficult position to be in. The best thing you can do is to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for your husband. But remember that God has never asked us to follow our husbands into disobedience or sin. It may be wise to talk to a pastor at your church. They should be able to encourage you with scripture, pray with and for you, and you can ask them to meet with your husband to lay out the biblical command for community and the roles & responsibilities of a husband. The Spirit may use these tools to open your husbands eyes and lead to a healthier relationship between you two.

  5. Carrie says

    I feel so guilty that much of the time, I don’t actually enjoy the daily activities of being a mom. I went to grad school, and was used to working outside the home, when we were surprised shortly after our marriage by a pregnancy. Our little girl is so wonderful and I love her so much, and I feel that it makes me a “bad Christian” (whatever that is!) to admit this, but the days just often feel so unfulfilling and unhappy for me! I feel stuck in life with this little one at home. Just keeping it real. I genuinely want to honor God with our commitment to raise this sweet girl with me (largely) at home, and do my best as a homemaker and mom, and I know a lot of women would love to trade places with me, but I’ve just never had much of a maternal drive. I also don’t desire to have more children, and I feel that this is abnormal in Christian circles. So basically I just struggle with a lot of guilt, because I feel that these sentiments are somehow unbecoming the Biblical picture of a woman who is in Christ.

    • Kendra says

      Just want to encourage you…
      My husband and I had been married less than one year and had just moved to a new city, bought a condo and I was heading to University to finish my degree when…. two pink lines changed our lives forever! I thought my life was over, but how do you tell people that! So I faked happiness and contentment for so long b/c I felt that I should do that as a “good Christian.” I said I never wanted any more children because I didn’t feel maternal and felt I was supposed to “be something.” It was a real grieving process for me and it wasn’t until our first daughter was nearly 4 (!) and our second daughter was 6 months that I said, “okay” to God and conceded that He might know more than I do! LONG story short (yes, this is the short version!) now, with 5 children, I feel that God has given me insight into why He gave us our girl at that time and I’m SO thankful. It’s a journey and it’s not easy and I’m not perfect…which is so tempting to portray in Christian circles. In fact, we have decided to enroll 3 children in school this fall b/c I’ve been struggling for the last two years to homeschool them and my husband and I both feel that it’s too much with all the little ones at home. I do worry about what other homeschooling friends will think, but I need to grasp that God loves me and knows who I am. I don’t like saying that I think I’d be a better mom if our children were in school b/c it seems so “unspiritual!” But it’s where we’re at as a family, so I don’t want to keep pretending we’re something else. He will change us in ways we never imagined as we seek Him and sometimes the growth is so painfully slow! My point is that you can be honest with God; He can handle it. I still have moments of longing for my “old life,” but I try not to let myself dwell on them anymore b/c this is where God has placed me and He is good. Blessings, Carrie.

    • Candice says

      Carrie,
      Thank you so much for being honest. It is so difficult to confess those feelings, but so important. Have you read Sally’s book “The Mission of Motherhood?” I’m in the middle of it right now and it speaks so much into these issues and emotions. I hope you find encouragement and love in this difficult time.

      • Carrie says

        I have! What a great book. I appreciated how it addressed those emotions. I think a major challenge for all believers is determining when an emotion (which is God-given, yet fallen, then redeemed/sanctified in Christ) is serving as a warning sign that an external circumstance legitimately needs to change, or whether the emotion is NOT pointing towards the need for change and instead just needs to be coped with, submitted to the Lord while continuing on the same path, etc. But I do notice how many times I wrote the word “feel” in my comments… probably a sign that I’m wayyyyy too inwardly-focused these days!

  6. Carrie says

    I just want to add, we’re part of a wonderful church, I have great Christian community & lots of friends in the area, and a wonderful marriage, so it’s not lack of personal relationships that is contributing towards my feeling so unhappy @ home with a baby. I know the life of faith is not about my finding happiness in this world, but it is such an intense emotional struggle that it’s forming a large part of my relationship with God right now.

    • Ann says

      There is nothing you should feel guilty about with wanting something from life “beyond” your children! If anything, I have found that having something outside of and completely unrelated to my daily work of raising kids refreshes my soul and helps me keep my perspective in order.

      It also keeps me from being wrapped up in basing my own self worth on how my kids are responding to me, which allows me to then focus on who THEY actually are and what they need from me rather than what I think I need from them.

      My outside work is my gift to myself so that I can then give more to others. I also am not innately maternal. But I love my kids to death – and guard my outside time so that I can continue to love them without resentment.

  7. says

    I think I struggle with what an authentic walk with God really looks like. There seem to be so many man-made “rules” that cloud what a genuine relationship with God looks like. Being a rule-follower and task-oriented person by nature, it’s very easy for me to go through the “right” motions without the right motives.

  8. Heather says

    I think my biggest struggle is wanting to be more like Mary and less like Martha. I’m too caught up in the little things and sadly end up missing the time at the Lord’s feet.

  9. Christine Apolenis says

    I definitely struggle with anxiety – anxiety over how well I’m doing as a mom, how we’ll I’m doing raising them spiritually. I also struggle to live in the peace of the gospel in the daily hustle and bustle of life.

  10. Angie says

    The fear of ‘am I enough’…. particularly in my mothering. Nurturing my children well is my desire and yet so often I’m overwhelmed and resort to frustration. I worry that they won’t want to draw close to me as adults. Have a I poured out enough into them?
    Will my life be fruitful or just busy? Will there be anything that holds up eternally?
    Condemnation….the great thief.

    I identify with many of the comments posted already.

    Thanks for your faithfulness, Sally.

  11. TJC says

    I struggle with feeling inadequate about how to pray and feel connected with God. I’m a fairly new Christian and don’t know how to be able to “hear” God when I pray, so does that mean I’m praying wrong? Or does it mean I’m listening wrong? This perceived inadequacy amps up my low self-esteem, which overflows into all areas of my life. My fear that my husband will leave me and I’ll have to see him in love with someone else and having fun in his life. My fear that my children will not continue to follow God because I am not a good role model. Irrational fears, but ones that overwhelm me on a daily basis.

    • Sarah says

      I too struggle with hearing Gods voice! I am always amazed and a little jealous when people speak of hearing His voice. I too wonder if I’m not listening hard enough. Is the doubt I feel Gods way of telling me or is it the Devil trying to get me away from Gods will?

  12. says

    I have always struggled with not feeling good enough, in relationships and in what I get done day to day. I have an almost 4 month old and lately I have been feeling guilty because I enjoy spending all day on the bed or couch with her while my other two bebop around and watch too much tv. The other two are happy and I am in relationship with them but I don’t feel like I’m doing enough and I feel that I’m not doing enough to make a home for my husband. I have been doing more because I truly feel convicted to do more but all I want to do is lay around with my baby.

  13. pbj says

    I fear that my walk with God is led by our society and cultural views/norms and not its intended purpose. It is a daily struggle

  14. Anne says

    I have struggled with a lot of anger over the years…before being a mom and now as a mom….for me the underlying lie that feeds my anger is that “I am not cared for.” It isn’t true at all and I have to counter it with the truth that God cares for me! I also have a very caring husband and family! When I am caught believing this lie though it makes it very hard for me to recognize their care of me.

  15. Sarah says

    Where do I start? There are so many!
    I struggle the most with being able to hear Gods voice and knowing what his will is for my life. I am president of a nonprofit animal rescue group. Something I started before I had kids. Now that my babes are 4 & 2, I struggle daily with finding time for everything. I have such a passion for animals and animal welfare. I’ve always felt so strongly about animals and have always thought this was Gods will for my life but now I question it daily. I struggle to help animals in need and keep my family satisfied. I feel drawn to Homeschool my kids and wonder if this is Gods will for my life.
    Is the Devil making me doubt my passion for animals and helping them? Is the devil making it hard for me to hear Gods voice? Can I continue to help the animals and meet the needs of my family? I want to know without a doubt what Gods will is for my life. I want to be faithful and follow where He leads me.

  16. Erin says

    My biggest struggle as a mom and wife is feeling like I’m failing a hundred ways to Sunday in every area of our daily lives. It’s very hard to understand the role I have to fill–and to love that role–but to miss the mark at every turn and have the weight of knowing that what I do (good or bad) makes a difference to my daughter, my husband, and the overall atmosphere of our home. I agree, Tami Fite, perfection and performance are the killers of joy! And they create a mindset that is hard to get out of.

  17. says

    Wow, I so relate to most of these comments! I struggle with fear-for my childrens’ safety and purity in this crazy world. I also struggle with guilt nearly every day: what I did or didn’t do with my kids; not being a good enough housekeeper; not being good enough or doing enough for God. I also feel guilty if I work on a hobby while there are many tasks around my home that need attention.

  18. Katy says

    I feel guilty from past sins. As though I’m never quite forgiven even though I beg and plead for forgiveness. And the thought crosses my mind, “if I could just work harder, do a better job at parenting, serve with purer motives……” Then maybe the guilt would stop chasing me. And then the thought hits, “do real Christians feel this way? Maybe I’m not really saved. If I struggle with doubt am I really saved. Aren’t I supposed to have childlike faith?” Then I dig into the Word and think, “oh my goodness, I stink at all this stuff. Be kind…bombed that by 8:30 this morning. Proverbs 31 woman…more like a Cruella DeVille. Be salt and light…I think I’m flavorless and must have a short in my bulb.” I love my Savior, my husband, and my kids, but sometimes the sense of doubt, guilt and failure threaten to overwhelm. I long to be free of those three things.

    • Rose says

      You’re not alone, Katy. First of all, know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! In fact, I just had one of those attacks today. It starts as a “what if…” “What if” I didn’t repent and believe the right way? “What if” now that I got into the Word and don’t have faith as strong as Abraham’s, I’m not really one of God’s children? “What if” I AM God’s daughter and this whole train of thought proved that I just lost it or have somehow deceived myself into thinking I’m secure in His Love? You see, you’re NOT alone and THE CROSS IS BIGGER than all of this. Actually, when you type it out and look at it; you realize how ridiculous the train of thought is. I talked to my husband about my doubts and simply let it pour out. It was messy and I felt ashamed at first because it felt disrespectful to God and His work for me. I found, however; great comfort and peace in admitting the pain and confusion. I still don’t understand it completely, (it just happened tonight); but I know that God has done wonderful things for me in the past and I’m going to hold onto those as I learn to grow in His Love. I’m sure you can look at your life and see those blessings and gifts as well. I find Romans 3-5 to be a great Word for this as well as ALL of the Gospel of John. Just said a prayer for you and He is faithful!

  19. Kendra says

    First, I just want to say “thank you, Sally!!” I have been so encouraged and inspired by your blog (and books when I have time to read!). Like so many women have already stated, fear of failing God and my family have been almost paralyzing. I have such high ideals, but I am so far from being a Type A person that I rarely see my goals accomplished. We have been blessed with 5 children in 10 years and life, at times, is completely overwhelming. We began homeschooling b/c I wanted to, it was never a passion for my husband, but he was happy to leave me to it. Two years later and we are taking a year off b/c it is not the picture perfect life I envisioned. I feel so guilty all the time for not teaching them properly because, how do you do that with 3 children under 4!?!?! So my struggle has been to just be honest with where we’re at as a family; I am drawn to homeschooling, but my husband and I have decided that life is too crazy right now to homeschool the way we want to. At a recent homeschooling conference one speaker said, “if you have 5 children, statistically 4 of them will follow the Lord IF you homeschool and if you don’t, only 1 will follow the Lord!” What!? That was heavy for me b/c I really love Jesus and am passionate about teaching our children about Him, I just don’t want to teach them all how to read and write! Does that make me a bad Christian mother? Is God disappointed with me? We know families who sent their children to school and they are all following the Lord, so I know it’s possible, but fear creeps in. I appreciate how you paint the picture of a whole lifestyle way of educating and that’s what I, and so many others who read your blog, want. I just can’t make my ideals translate into reality and that’s really frustrating! (I have so many of your books…however, I have not been able to finish a book in over 6 years!)Thank you for the grace that you extend to those of us who desperately love our children, but aren’t choosing to keep them at home for varied reasons.
    ps: I miss your video blogs! I have no mentors here and I felt like you were quite present! (Like you don’t have enough to do!) Sorry for rambling!

    • Jo says

      Hun, you’ve got to find a way to kick that lie out of your head. “if you have 5 children, statistically 4 of them will follow the Lord IF you homeschool and if you don’t, only 1 will follow the Lord!” I feel like smacking some sense into the person who said that to you. Make your decision based on the grace and freedom that the gospel offers.

      • Kendra says

        Thank you! I know that fear is not from the Lord. His grace is enough and we trust He will make His will clear to us as we walk this way.
        Blessings, Jo!

  20. Kimberly K says

    Hi Sally, if I’m being totally honest, my greatest fear of having a close walk with God and completely living for Him is that it will draw unwanted attention from the Enemy. I fear it will essentially be like putting a target on my family and if anything happened to them I fear I would shatter before I could remember that my God is greater.

  21. Nicole Walters says

    I echo much of what has been said – perfection, performance. For me it is a huge struggle because I used to be in full-time ministry, went to seminary, now I work full-time with 2 kids. And I feel like I need to do all the things I did before. When I was in seminary I was constantly told stories of “oh, you need to be in the Word but also studying it more in depth, do this for your quiet time, these great heros of the faith spent three hours in prayer a day forsaking sleep.” I can hardly pray any more at all because I feel crippled by my inadequacy. I want to be the best mom, wife, employee, daughter, friend, everything. I feel like I can’t do that and spend time with God, too. I feel like he gets my leftovers, so I just don’t come to Him at all, ashamed at my lack of time and ability to make time for Him. I feel like I want to do it all and be all and I am not doing ANYTHING well.

  22. says

    2 things. First is trying to enjoy the moment/daily joy despite my circumstances/contentment. Second is dealing with disappointment. I have been a christian for 32 years and have prayed and believed God for many things that one would think would be His will and “Godly” things but many times never come to fruition even when the road seems to be leading in that direction. Disappointment in general whether it be in life not being the way I had dreamed it would be and disappointment in relationships. At the end of the day I continue to believe God for great things knowing He loves me and desires the best for me. I continue to choose to believe God’s word despite my circumstances and past experiences. Because of past experiences It is easier for me to believe God for great things for others more than myself if that makes sense. I often think of Joseph…God gave him a dream yet it took a long time for it to come to pass and he had to endure alot before it did come to pass…that encourages me to press on. Thank you Sally for caring!

  23. Allison says

    My fear is that I will not accurately relate (teach, portray, etc) the redemptive love of Christ to my children. I fear I am so focused on them not changing some of their behaviors that I am not really showing them that growth takes time and that Jesus is patient with us and tenderhearted. I need to be more tenderhearted toward my children. So, my fear is that they will turn away from God because of the way I parent them…
    Allison

  24. says

    “balancing” being the manager of our home while allowing my husband to lead. That should be easy right?!? I / we homeschool our 5 children, he owns / operates his own business (that we sometimes help with), we are building a new home, garage, barn on property we bought a year ago. I often feel like my world is spinning and I can not catch up to slow down the spin or at least spin at the same rate ;) LOL Learning to know which decisions he really does not need or want to be involved in vs. what I need his input on, even after 18 years of marriage is a challenge to me. And learning what we need in our home and what we do not need, decluttering. Making our home a haven in the midst of the busy spin of life.

  25. tammy says

    my biggest fear is not fully taking All that has been given me in my salvation into each and every moment of everyday….how does one live in light of eternity when i can’t grasp such a thought????knowing that what i do now with every minute does count, and will have a carry over into eternal rewards is a fear of the Lord i need help processing….i don’t beleive we will all be equally rewarded in eternity, just because we’ll all be in eternity.

  26. Jodi says

    I feel so worried all the time. Worried that I don’t measure up in the eyes of God. Worried that I will pass on my insecurities onto my children and they will be lacking due to the fact that I am their mom. Worried that if I don’t get all of my to do list done I will be a failure. All the while knowing that I don’t really measure up. I know intellectually about my security in Christ but this isn’t really translating to how I live my life right now.

  27. Anonymous says

    As a mother of 4 young boys, I am constantly worried about their teen years and eventually letting go. Right now we are so happy and close in our sanctuary, and I am scared to death of when they exert their independence more and more…and the influences that might undermine their relationship with God, with my husband and I, with their brothers, etc. I know I should have more faith in both God and them, but I just love them to bits, and I need some help here. I admit…I am being a control freak. :)

  28. Jamileh says

    As a mother I fear I am not enough for my children. I feel so inadequate!! I don’t feel as though I will be able to teach them all they should know about god and navigating this world in a godly manner. As well, I ALWAYS feel guilty because I know I am not making enough time to be alone with God!

  29. leah says

    With five children under 9, I feel constantly inadequate to meet all of their physical and emotional needs and still have time for my husband. I find myself in a constant state of tension because I feel like there are so many expectations of me and I fulfill none of them well. When our very needy two-year-old is throwing a fit and my husband points out to me that it is because she has said, “mom?” fifteen times and I was too distracted to hear her…I feel like a complete failure as a mom. And I have a constant nagging guilt that I don’t spend enough one on one time with the Lord, but I don’t know how to do it. I am lucky to go to the bathroom alone! Lol.

  30. Amanda Rogers says

    This world is much different for my kids than what I grew up in. How do I navigate parenting in such a blatantly evil world. I find that we are often the odd men out even within the church. How do we stand alone in our convictions with grace among those we love?

  31. says

    I did not grow up in a christian home and never feel quite christian enough. I have a bold personality and feel a bit like a fraud in circles of gentle christian women. I know there is a gentleness to me but the more insecure I feel the bolder my personality becomes… Yuck!

    • Amy says

      This is me!! After years! I mean years over not feeling as though I fit into the gentle arena, a dear friend explained to me that God gave me my silliness, passion, voice… I am part of the body. I was wonderfully made. You were too sweet, loud sister.

  32. says

    Obedience to Him. We want so much, but we want it on our terms, in our timing, and with our circumstances attached. When we can surrender our hopes to Him (trusting in who it is that He has proclaimed to be), be obedient to His word and to His leading, He will make the desires of our heart a reality, because His reality will be our reality, and ours will be His.

  33. kelli says

    I’m always so encouraged by you!!!!!

    I think one issue I deal with is inadequacies of being a mother. There just isn’t enough of me to go around. Sometimes this goes deep- feel defeated, and just not good enough for God. Strange, typing it out… I know it’s just not true- but I can’t help feeling that way somedays.

  34. Tatiana says

    The hardest thing for me is realizing that our Lord’s blessings upon us can be like Mary Poppin’s carpet bag…never ending, without bottom. I always feel like I’ve been given soo much (beautiful healthy children, a happy marriage, a loving family, miracle after miracle, blessing after blessing) that I can’t and shouldn’t ask for more. So when a problem arrises, I feel like it’s my turn for difficulty and I’d be greedy to ask Him for help. Not because He can’t, but rather because He always DOES.

    But that isn’t true, is it? He WANTS us to come to Him and acknowledge our need for his help. He wants to bless us and solve our problems because He loves us.

  35. alicia says

    I just skimmed through a good part of the previous comments. It seems like so many of us are convinced of a big fat whopping lie: I am not enough. What is most heartbreaking about this, to me, is that we were never created to be “enough.” There is no standard for this measurement. Oh, that we may all be led to the foot of the cross. And see that He really is enough. To cover it All. Much love Sally. Blessings in this new project! We’re with you!!

  36. Candice says

    1. Biggest fear: tragically losing my child. How do I live open-handedly with these little lives that God has entrusted to me?
    2. Biggest doubt: “I’m not a good mom” or “I’m not as good of a mom as I could/should be.”
    3. Inadequacies: I just don’t devote daily time to getting into the Word and praying intentionally, which makes me feel like I can’t shepherd my children as well.

  37. V. says

    Am I teaching them enough about God so that they will desire a relationship with HIM and not turn away? Will they “like” us when they are older and choose to have a relationship with us? I did/and do not have a good example of how to build wonderful relationships with the children. Will they remember the better days and not the impatient ones? Fear of failure in all things pertaining to being a wife/mother.

  38. Michelle says

    I worry that I will be my mom. My sister and I grew up with a lot of resentment in our hearts. I hear her voice coming through me when I’m speaking to my kids and sometimes even to my husband. It is scary.

  39. Leila awada says

    I married a man who doesn’t attend church with me and have a close relationship with Jesus. Now we have a little boy and I worry that I am not a strong enough Christian to teach him all he needs to know. I feel like I fail so often at being a good Christian woman. Its like living in two worlds. I also worry about my son following the same difficult path I did and of course failing as a mother. I fear I will not be able to have more children and that my son will be an only child like I was. I fear that God will not hear my prayers because of my sins. Sally, thank you for digging deep into all of our hearts.

  40. says

    I feel like I’m over-parenting and over-correcting. I know my children need guidance and direction from me, but I often feel like I am critiquing and complaining more than offering words of wisdom and heart-felt love.

  41. Stacy says

    Anxiety, depression…worrying about my kids’ salvation and future (walk with the LORD), health concerns overwhelming me (mine and theirs), and decisions regarding my children

  42. Ginny says

    I fear being judged by others. What’s difficult about this is that most people doing the judging are fellow Christians! It seems that those with the highest ideals (either conservative or liberal) give the least grace. In trying to walk with God I find that I’m often on a lonely path. Or, it merges with others for awhile and then God takes me on a detour of some sort. It’s good, but it’s lonely, and I need Him so much to be my defender and strong tower.

  43. Samantha says

    I don’t know quite where this fits but I wonder if it would be good to address the fact that doubts and questions keep coming and not to be afraid of them. I remember the first time I went through a period of spiritual drought, where God and his word seemed silent and lifeless. I clung to things I had heard before about how to handle times like that. When I came out the other side, about a year or more later, I thought, “Well, now I know that I will always love God and follow him. I’ve been through a time when I got nothing from him and yet persevered. Hooray, my faith has been tested and proved strong.” Yet since then I have had at least 3 sustained times (period of weeks or more, not just a moment) of questioning God – Is he there? Can I trust him? Does he answer prayer? etc And each time I am aware that I may give up on God. I think what I have learnt is that doubts continue to come and a strong faith does not necessarily mean you will never question God or your faith. In fact, it seems sometimes that the doubts and questions come thicker and faster the more I mature. I don’t know if my experience of continuing to have questions after I think I have resolved everything is normal. If others have found that, I think that would be good to address, so that women don’t get frightened when another wave of doubt comes or add guilt to the mix because they think they should be over the questions by now. And to remind them that Satan doesn’t give up trying to snatch us away. He may have tempted Jesus 3 times and left him -but the rest of the verse says that he left him until an opportune time. He just bides his time and tries again.

  44. Mary says

    As a widow with grown children, wanting to be faithful in every decision I make to follow where the Lord leads, I find it hard to spend money on anything this is just “for me” or for my pleasure. I pray about it and then I think, no I need to make sure to set it aside to help my kids, or there is always someone needier than I who may need the help. I live on a limited income and God always provides all I need, I give to God first thing before everything else is paid, but still I feel the need to give more and as I said I just can’t justify something new for my house or something that would be fun for me to do. Am I still trying to buy God’s love? In talking to other widows, I find that they struggle with this also.

  45. Elizabeth says

    I love when you write wisdom about balancing ministry and family, and even that wonderful bit about being ok with not being able to ever find perfect balance. Our family lives a rather out of the ordinary lifestyle as we follow God’s will for us and I am daily challenged on how to keep my priorities straight when they are so many and varied, and life is always changing. I have learned so much from you when you share about your own walk in this and drink deeply from these posts. I know you may hesitate to write on topics not everyone can relate to, but these unique ones born out of real life struggles right now have helped me so much. I want to live my one life well! You have given me courage that I can do this and wisdom about how to not burn out in the process.

  46. Amy says

    Perfectionism, control, high expectations, constant criticism of myself and others that turns into disappointment and anger. Not seeing myself or my children as God sees us. Wanting my husband to lead our family but not sure how to get there since that is not his natural bent and he has not had any modeling of it in his childhood. Selfishness. Being able to ‘enjoy the moment’ and ‘be present’ and all those other catchphrases out there because I always have a running list in the back of my head of what needs to be done or what hasn’t been done or how I could’ve done it better. Believing Satan’s lies. Obedience. Surrender.

  47. Camille says

    I struggle with having energy,joy and excitement for my husband when he comes home from work. After being home all day and taking care of our 11 month old son I’m wiped out and ready to check out after 7:30pm. How do you have energy for your hubby at the end of the day with house duties and babies? Not to mention intimacy in the bedroom is the furthest thing from my mind after a long day, I’m ready to crawl in bed and sleep. How do you keep your spark, desire and romance for one another alive??

  48. C says

    My greatest struggle as a believer is always wondering if I’m doing enough. I look at Proverbs 31. I read the words of Jesus. Of James. Of Paul. And there are all these things we are called to do and all these people we are called to serve and I become a Pharisee trying to make I’ve served all those I’m supposed to serve when I am bone weary and tired just trying to keep my head above water in my own life most days.

    I don’t know if that makes any sense. But that is my greatest struggle right now.

  49. Leigh says

    My biggest issues all stem from believing the “core lie” that I am not enough, and believing that if I could just perform, I would become enough. I am not kind enough, spirit-filled enough, smart enough, patient enough, fun enough, skinny enough, etc. So I work to address the issue, and inevitably fail and feel like a failure. Despair of ever getting it together. I also put pressure on my kids to perform so they can be “enough”. Maybe the core issue is that I don’t truly believe Jesus when he says I can’t be enough, but that He is and that’s why He came. Really like Sarah Mae’s ebook on Core Lies because it really clarified this for me so I can identify this lie and combat it with Truth from God’s Word. This has helped tremendously. More in-depth information and help along these lines would be so wonderful. Thank you.

  50. Rebeckah says

    My biggest fear is something happening to one of my children or my husband, and that I’d despair and turn away from God. As a social worker I’ve of heard such horrible things happening to children, and I know God is good…but I’m afraid I’d lose it and become bitter if it got too close to home. I never really questioned God previous to having my own children, and that newfound fear below the surface is unsettling. I feel it rise sometimes in myself on behalf of others almost, a doubting “why”, and it makes me want to ignore it rather than pray about it.

  51. Teresa says

    My greatest fear is being judged by other Christians. With my 1st husband I got involved in pornography and sexual perversion. It continued with my 2nd husband and I started writing erotic stories. Then I believed a lie from Satan that I needed to be controlled by a man, be his slave. It took me into the world of bdsm.
    God remained faithful to me in spite of this new lifestyle I thought I needed to follow. One day I heard God’s voice asking why I was settling for 2nd best when He wanted to give me His very best. That became a turning point in my life. God revealed I had a servant’s heart; I enjoy giving to others.
    Now He wants me to write a book about what I went through, but I am afraid Christians will look unfavorably on me

  52. Rebecca says

    I love Jesus. He is my Lord and my Saviour. I know He died for me and my sins are forgiven. Sometimes, though, I struggle with feeling as though God is standing over me with a great big stick – expecting me to work and work and work and work … My husband has been unwell with depression and anxiety for the past couple of years, although he is doing much better now. It’s been very intense, and most of the focus has been on him – helping him, supporting him, getting him through this. When he was very unwell, I had to hold everything together for our 8 beautiful children (my father-in-law said to me at the time ‘you do know that we’re all looking to you …’). My husband and parents-in-law are Christians. There are still hiccups; times of great intensity on this road of recovery, and I am exhausted. I love horse riding, and it has been a wonderful way of refreshing and restoring for me that I treasure and so appreciate. Lately, however, it seems as though my riding plans are often thwarted and I am not able to have this time of refreshing. My husband has just recently commenced horse riding, yet his plans somehow seem to go without a hitch, so now he is riding more regularly than me. Sometimes I struggle to see God as my loving heavenly Father – sometimes I struggle to trust Him to care for me and provide for me. Sometimes I feel as though He is granting my husband times of refreshing and fun, but expecting me to just ‘slog it out’; like He is handing gifts to my husband, but saying to me ‘NO, you can’t have the same’. My head knows this is NOT true of my Father, but my heart struggles to trust …

  53. Sam says

    Praying I can get this all out before the little ones awake! First of all, Sally, God bless you for asking these questions. Your books, and now Clay’s (Heartfelt Discipline) have been life-changing for our family. I have become so much more gentle toward our children (in particular the very spirited three year old!) and have finally let go of my desire to correct every instance of misbehavior. I could go on and on, but thank you!
    In answer to your question, still the hardest part of living like Jesus for me is the servant part. I can serve my children, pray for them–that’s easy! But my husband, oh so hard!!!! I could make a long, long list of all the ways he loves us and serves us and loves the Lord and reaches out to our neighbors, but I still find a million faults. I think part of the problem for me is that I grew up with a very feminist mindset with very negative attitudes toward tradition. I never valued marriage and children, and then in my mid 20s I found myself married and a few years later with a child, and then a few years after that making the decision with my husband to quit my job and stay home. I did want these things when they happened, but I have had to grow into a Christian worldview. I put my children first for a long time, it didn’t even occur to me that I needed to put my marriage first until I delved more deeply into the Bible. And still, I find it so hard sometimes to give my husband the attention I am supposed to. I just bristle when I feel like I am “serving” him, when I am washing dishes because he is so tired after working 12 hours straight that he just needs to put his feet up for a bit, even though I know that he has also been “serving” us through the hard work he does, sometimes seven days a week. The proud, selfish side of me cringes all the time, even though I know how important my role is in the home. And my husband is often on the receiving end of my frustration! Christian marriage advice would be wonderful :)

  54. Carrie says

    I don’t want to hijack the thread, but I am so grieved for the struggles here to believe that we somehow have to measure up to the law in God’s eyes to secure His ongoing, covenant love for us… the books of Galatians and Romans are so wonderfully liberating in this regard, assuring us, that as a former pastor of mine says, the good news is that we are more awful than we ever knew, but more loved than we ever dared dream. We are being transformed from glory to glory, as Paul says–living in the tension of the already-redeemed but not-yet-perfected. And as the author of Romans says, we need a righteousness that is *from God*, outside of ourselves, to transform us. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; and there is “therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” It is a lie of the enemy that we must be in bondage to the notion of doing enough good things to ensure God’s pleasure. Our good deeds, motivated by the Holy Spirit, are only weak responses to His powerful, initiating love.

    As Martin Luther summarized Psalm 130 in his hymn, which is now translated into English:

    “To wash away the crimson stain, grace, grace alone availeth!
    Our works, alas, are all in vain; in much the best life faileth.
    No man can glory in Thy sight; all must alike confess Thy might,
    and live alone by mercy.”

  55. k says

    Mine is just a daily struggle to stay alive.
    I have fought this battle for so long now. And daily I fight on. But I wish it would end. I wish my first thoughts weren’t simply that everyone else would be better off without me and that in one moment I could be set free from the pain that has no visible cause.

    • Momof6 says

      You are loved, Friend, and God has a plan…even when we cannot see it. Cling to the cross, and if you have kids- smile! These are your ONLY jobs today. I know dark days, and I have seen the light since then.

  56. says

    I love that you have asked this question. Thank you, Sally.

    I feel inadequate as a child of God. I feel constantly condemned that I haven’t spent enough time with the Lord, therefore, He can’t and won’t bless me in the day-to-day life issues I face everyday. I desire to be close to Him, but feel that I have disappointed Him way too much. I worry that one day, He will not find me faithful, that He will say, “You completely missed the mark on everything I said.”

    When I read Scripture, I often doubt that those promises are for me. I wonder if I’m misinterpreting Scripture to fit my own needs. I want to know God’s heart for me as a woman and as a parent, but I don’t even know where to begin in Scripture.

    I am reading “Desperate” right now and am very encouraged by your statement that we are to be women of the Word. While I continue to struggle through my walk with the Lord, I felt Him gently assure me this morning that He is the only One who knows my deepest needs, the areas that are most wounded and vulnerable to sin, and He is the only One who can lead me through the process of healing and growth, first as His child, and then as a wife and mother.

  57. Darcey says

    Thank you for all of the comments- I can relate to so many, so it is unfortunate so many of us can feel alone and misunderstood.
    Definitely a struggle to be at war for our children’s heart in this world- so don’t know some days which battles are worth fighting- the music choices? clothes? friends? books? tv? wish to give them many more Scriptural examples than I do.
    When/how to discipline.
    clutter!
    don’t want my inadequacies to be God not loving them in their eyes (or that it means following Him is a drag- no fun or joy).
    thank you all

  58. Erica says

    I struggle with being flat-out selfish. I know that most of my frustration with my kids comes from me just being selfish and wanting a “break” or computer time, or an excessively clean home. I am working through relying on God for the strength to change and not feeling condemnation when I fail.
    Thanks for all the great comments.
    So encouraging.

  59. Becky E says

    I struggle with low self-esteem. I also struggle with being a great mother, since my own example was lacking in some big areas, and that I may somehow be messing up my daughter permanently through my own sinfulness.

  60. Rebecca says

    I am realizing that I am afraid to make decisions because I think that God will “punish” me for not making the “right” choice. I am beginning to realize that perhaps it is not that there is an absolutely “right” choice to be made, but that it may be that we walk through this life making decisions based on 1. Does it honor God? 2. Do I have a distinct feeling He is telling me NOT to do this? 3. Are the motives of my heart in the right place? and then we go from there. I think there will always be other options, and sometimes even better options that will come along, but I have to learn that God is a loving Father and He will use whatever decision I make to grow me, He does not sit back and wait for me to mess up so He can “punish” me.

  61. Tricia says

    Life is just hard. Sometimes I wish that as believers we could be spared from so many trials. I know in my heart that God uses all things for good, but it is still just hard. I struggle with the perception that my trials, and they are many, far exceed the trials of most others. (comparison sin) Even if that is the case, I know that I should trust God with it. He reserves the right to use this clay as He wishes. I just often feel worn and at times I let my hope fail. But, I’m so thankful He never lets go of me!

  62. Stephanie P says

    I struggle with loneliness a lot. Where I live people are busy ALL the time, involved in activity after activity and if you are not, then you don’t know people. I had started a mom heart group again this year and everyone said they loved the book Desperate and they wanted to do another one this fall. Not one person has committed or responded to the invitation. No one showed to the social night they asked me to set up.
    I moved across the country away from family and friends 15 years ago and every friend I have ever made has been taken from me for some reason. I struggle with thoughts of if I can’t even have a friend other than my husband, something must be wrong with me as a person. If that is true, how can God love me when no other person seems to love me or even likes me? I struggle with the why’s? I wonder why some people seem to have it better than other’s? Friends traveling together, spending holidays together etc?

    I struggle with always seeming like we are going against the flow in our choices and decisions and even counter church culture, how and where to find people who are like minded? Where do I fit in? I don’t…..it’s a lonely path. Constantly questioning whether we’re doing the right thing because it never seems to be what “everyone else is doing.”

    Why the Lord has us in a church for 10 years only to have every community group we’ve been in to close or end or change. Friends we had moved away or left the church or stopped hanging out with us. We have no support, encouragement or help. No one to pray with or to be accountable to. Is this really the life God wants for us in a church community? What is the point of church anymore, at least where we live, the most unchurched state, when even christians look and act like everyone else around us? When we can’t even love inside a church building?

  63. Charity says

    I am not exactly sure what to say. I am struggling with insecurity right now. I am in the middle and waiting until I need to do the next thing and feeling a bit of rediculous guilt because even though I did all that I could I just keep thinking that if only I had been able to do more that may be I could have ended my family’s suffering and prevented the issues we currently face. My sons were born during a phase of life when my husband had 3 violent grand mal seizures per week and daily petit mal seizures. His cognitive function deteriorated and there were some pretty big messes as a result. My husband had brain surgery five years ago and has no seizures and he takes no medications right now. We are dealing with the continued higher and higher levels of brain function as the surgery also reversed learning disabilities (a welcome side effect) That makes life challenging. He did accidentally start a landscaping business when he could not find a job. That business had a bad year due to the drought last year and I have to work weekends as a server for the next year or so to help us recover financially since we had not had enough time to have much built up since we had to start from scratch after brain surgery. My oldest son is eight and has dyslexia. We just recently adjusted to that. We have started to do Dianne Craft’s Brain Integration Therapy along with her Right Brain Teaching techniques. This seems to be helping. Then over the course of the last couple of months some issues with my youngest son are starting to manifest themselves. I am a tired homeschooling mom who is struggling right now to find rest and peace. I know God has a plan, but these things are emotional and exhausting. Sometimes I wish someone could offer a shot that had an infusion of hope and energy. I don’t have much by way of support so whatever ideas you can glean from my situation Sally go for it. I treasure your shared wisdom.

  64. Serena Kow says

    Dear Ladies
    I identify with almost all that you hv shared. The fears, guilt, confusion and condemnation. As I seeked the Lord abt these issues in my life, as I pray for freedom from these chains, He revealed to me the need to put on the whole armour of God daily (ephesians 6) and the importance of using the Word of God to counter these negative thoughts. That was what Jesus did when He was in the wilderness n the devil came to tempt Him. Lastly, know who you are in Christ. (Ephesians 1) Know your spiritual inheritance! Ask God to grow you into His mighty warrior! With His love, Serena

    • Ali says

      I, too, can relate to most struggles that have been shared. The fears, guilt, discouragement can be be paralyzing. Satan and his spiritual forces of darkness want us to believe the lies that they throw at us. But we have to remember they have no power or authority over us. I am reading through The Bondage Breaker by Neil Anderson and it has been so helpful. Serena, all that you said is so true! I have learned that knowing who I am in Christ is essential in breaking free. Memorizing scripture, too, is so valuable!!

  65. Vee says

    Constant concern for the country and the economy, which affects our finances in less than pleasant ways. Concerns for children and grandchildren who are struggling. Concerns for health issues…even concerns that I have concerns!

  66. Beth says

    I am weary of running the race. And ashamed to admit that. 6 children – college to 2nd grade. Homeschooled them all. Because of many serious food allergies, ALL our food is made from scratch. Gardening. Raising animals. There is never a break. Started reading Educating the Wholehearted Child (a little late in the game, I know)- but I’m not handling living in a spiritually unequal marriage very well right now. I am the only Jesus these precious people in my family see, but I am growing so weary. I don’t want to dishonor my Lord. I long for someone to come alongside me for encouragement, friendship, accountability, but I’ve never had any support. People are just too busy with their own lives and families. I have poured out so long for my oldest ones, and now my littles are not getting the same mom. I am so weary of the race that I honestly don’t enjoy being a wife and mother most of the time. I have to force myself to do what needs doing, which is a terrible testimony to the grace of God in my life. He has given and blessed me with so much, I should be overflowing with joy and gratitude. I want to finish strong to the end. But I don’t know what to do with the weariness and embarrassing lack of joy. I don’t want to fake it. I think it is a spiritual battle.

  67. Heather Mundt says

    I struggle with my husband not being the spiritual leader of our home. We have two boys, 3 and 2. We have a farm with two separate businesses. My office is a mess. I am the janitor for our church but my husband attends only a few times a year. I go every week with our children and his parents – with whom we farm.

    He is a born again Christian, he prays and we sometimes pray together – especially about big stuff. God is working in our lives and I can see it but I feel unequally burdened by his lack of commitment to church. Lately I have given in and instead of spending time daily getting into God’s Word – I watch movies. The Bible seems so boring and although I know I need it, I would have to push myself to desire it right now.

    I am struggling with depression. What is the point of life. What is the point of anything? I am angry. I get angry at my young children for not being tired and sleeping by 8 pm. They used to clunk right out for the night sometime around 7 pm. But the summer hours of sunlight seem to be keeping them up. I refuse to darken their window because it seems like a crutch.

    I know I need to be reading God’s Word – I just wish it was easier to desire it.

    • Daniella says

      praying with you sister! my eyes caught your comment as I was scrolling up, and I couldn’t help but notice we are struggling with some of the same things. I am in the midst of a rough season, and praying to God to give me the grace and patience I used to have for my young children (I just want them to go to sleep! everyday I feel I am just surviving until the evening when they are finally in bed). Sally’s writing in the book “Desperate” has been SUCH an encouragement in this difficult season of motherhood for me. It’s breathed fresh vision and motivation in raising up these precious children God gave to us to steward.
      I also struggle with reading the Word, it’s been a long time since I’ve had a daily time with God, but last week I was truly at a point of desperation, and I just opened the Word (it was an act of obedience because I knew I NEEDED the Lord, I had no desire to be reading at that point), and wouldn’t you know, God is faithful and gentle and loving, because here I am a week later, still opening the Bible each day (even if it’s a few verses), and I am beginning to look forward to it.
      I’ll be praying for us both, that we can have renewed vision and direction from the Lord, and refreshment to our souls so that we can feel renewed and ready to take on the daily challenges. I am rooting for you, Heather! Blessing to you!

  68. Ali says

    I struggle with innumerable fears. I fear that something will happen to one of my children, I fear that I’m not teaching my children how to live victoriously in Christ because I’m not living victoriously in Christ, I fear that I’m not strong enough to battle Satan to name a few. I also struggle with guilt. I feel such agonizing guilt at times for all the times I’ve yelled at my kids or said hurtful things to my husband. Pride and unforgiveness are other issues I struggle with. Praise the Lord, I’m learning that these fears, guilt and other negative thoughts are from Satan and that Jesus is our “defense attorney”, who has justified us and lives to intercede for us! We only need to confess our sinful thoughts and actions, repent and receive forgiveness. The book The Bondage Breaker is really helping me to live victoriously. Scripture memory is so valuable, too!

  69. Anonymous says

    There are three basic areas that I am struggling with right now. Outwardly, I keep putting one foot in front of the other, trying to really SEE the gifts God has given me daily, while inwardly fighting the darkness and circumstances that steal my joy. Those three areas focus on:

    (1) despair and discouragement over what I DIDN’T do in all the years of home educating our children. One has graduated already and the other has only one more year left. Had I known when we started out journey what I now know, I would have done so many things differently…my experience has included working with one with dyslexia, so I am always questioning myself and whether or not I’ve done everything possible to help this child. The hard part is finding peace and getting past regrets and “if onlys.” Though someone who’s put this many years in should pass along guidance if asked, I feel so inadequate to do so…
    (2) a spouse who hasn’t provided spiritual guidance…it concerns me so that most spiritual guidance has come from me and though I know it is God who works in the hearts of our children, I feel inadequate as His vessel to impart who God IS to my children. It grieves me when I don’t see life situations approached by my husband (who, by the way, is a sweet, dear man) within a Biblical framework. What will this mean for our boys? I feel alone in my walk with the Lord within our marriage, and my soul grieves because of it.
    (3) God, sometimes, seems silent and distant to me; it has at times caused me to question my own salvation. I long for a deep, authentic relationship with Him, and logically I know He wants that as well, but it seems, though I know it’s a lie, that such a relationship is reserved for others. I long to know who He created me to be and what calling He has placed on my life. When I look around me and see women who do what they do so well, with divine excellence, my heart cries out for the Lord to show me my giftings and just what He wants me to be doing with them.

    Thank you so much, Sally, for caring enough to address this subject and for the prayer and effort you will put forth in your responses. You are such a blessing to so many!

  70. Daniella says

    I am still growing in my walk with the Lord, and have much to learn, but nonetheless there are moments of growth and insight and closeness to Jesus that are precious to me. But sometimes I struggle when I talk with a friend who also dearly loves Jesus, and if she has something to say that is new or different from what I feel convicted about, my first thought is that she knows way more, and she is closer to Jesus than I am. That being said, I know with truth in my heart that the Holy Spirit, if I am earnestly seeking after what Jesus has to say to me, will convict me and instruct me according to what He wants for me….I shouldn’t doubt His love for me or His instruction for me (if I am truly seeking Him and His Word for instruction)… But the thought still creeps up when I hear a friend telling of all the ways Jesus is blessing her, or the things Jesus is putting on her heart… I think, “Jesus loves her more than me… she is closer to Him, and they have a closer relationship and mine is just sub-par”…. it’s a hurtful thing the Enemy uses against me, and it makes me feel like I am a nobody, and it steals away the joy that I have felt in my closeness with the Lord (the same way the Enemy uses those things to steal my joy by making me feel inadequate around my husband when there are other women around who intimidate me! I KNOW my husband has eyes for me alone, and loves me with his whole life and heart, but the Enemy plants those doubts in my heart and tries to steal away the close bond my husband and I have). That is my struggle. Feeling unworthy and unwanted and not good enough in a world full of women that I assume are much much better (at everything) than me.

    Thank you for whatever this project is you are working on- your words of encouragement are such a balm to my spirit and soul, and your writing has really shaped me as a wife and mother!! Many blessings and love to you.

  71. Bev says

    I really struggle with believing and trusting in God’s goodness and kindness to me. I often feel that God is holding out on me to try and teach me a lesson or “refine” me more. I know it is very much the result of my own sin, but I think that I tend to have a victim mentality, so when I ask God for something and don’t receive it I take it personally and start to believe the lie that God is cruel. This lie then undermines my faith and hope because I don’t believe that God is who he says he is. Fortunately God has gently been revealing the truth to me and showing me his goodness and revealing his kindness through my husband and His Word.

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