How God Gave Me Freedom From My Motherly Guilt

Written by: Anne Peterson
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God offers freedom from our sin, pain and guilt, even when we feel like failures as Galatians 5 reminds us. This truth has encouraged me many times as a mother. Everyone knows one of our responsibilities as parents is to provide a safe place for our children. As a mother, I have to keep my little chicks safe under my wings, right?

But what happens when your kids are scared by what happens inside your home, where it’s supposed to be safe?

Because I was abused as a child, I entered the adult world wounded. Unaware of this, I married another wounded person. We didn’t realize the baggage we brought to our marriage.

My kids were never abused, but emotionally they were placed on a ride that scared them to death. Almost literally.

This is my son, Nathan’s story of despair and redemption.

The first time I watched this video, guilt wrapped its tentacles around my motherly heart, squeezing tightly. It didn’t matter to me that Romans 8:1 says: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  I felt condemned. It was my job to make sure my kids felt safe and I had failed.

I’ll never forget the day I received a phone call from Kyle, Nathan’s youth leader.

“Anne, I was wondering if Nathan was there.”

This was no idle chit-chat. Something was wrong.

“What’s up, Kyle?” I said.

“I have reason to believe Nathan is going to hurt himself.”

I went into panic mode. Outwardly I was still on the phone, but inwardly I was running around the room in circles, panicking. I’d like to tell you that I immediately trusted God and started praying for the safety of my son. But honestly, this is where my heart went:

How could this happen and I not know? How could this be going on in my house, and I not have a clue?

I’m not proud of that – no one is ever proud of arrogance. The situation was not about me. It was about my son and what he was experiencing, and our mighty God who would pull him through.

Even when I felt like a failure, I’m so thankful that our God, Nathan’s heavenly Father, was looking out for him.

He always does and he is always faithful, even when we experience difficulty or feel hopeless. Romans 8:28 tells us, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

No matter what happens in our lives, whatever mistakes we’ve made – one of God’s specialties is working things together for good. I’m so glad that’s true, and I’m so proud of Nathan and the way God is using his story.

To learn more about the ministry of Nathan Peterson, go to

Read an earlier post by Anne here.