About the Author

Angela Nazworth is a shame-fighting storyteller who writes mostly about the beauty of grace, faith, friendship, vulnerability and community. She is a wife and a mother of two. Angela's also an encourager, a lover of good books, coffee, girl's night out, sunshine, and waterfalls. In the 15 years since she...

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  1. Thank you Angela:) as I lie awake feeling guilt wash over me, and tossing and turning and trying to fight all the ways I feel i fail as a wife and Mom… Your words spoke to me.
    “Not accepting His forgiveness for errors in judgment and for blatant wrongdoing is like telling Christ, “I’m sorry, your blood was not enough.”
    Christ is enough and there is such sweet blessed peace in knowing He alone is enough. To rest in that knowledge helps erase the “mommy guilt” and allow me to ‘unperfectly’ love my kids. To rest tonight knowing I don’t have to try and be perfect or be someone else. To know that God loves me and each of us and that His blood and love is more than enough! The enemy loves to keep us wrapped up in guilt because then we are unable to be focused on who God is.

    • Thank you for sharing Heather. Praying peace and release for you this morning so that the nasty mommy guilt will be swept away and no longer hold you down. You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to be you and rest knowing that you are not alone and your mistakes are covered. (hugs)

      • This was very good reminder for me. Satan has been trying to pull me back down this last month. Since the beginning of the year I had been drawing closer to our LORD through prayer and Bible reading and a book study in my Bible study. I won’t know the answers to my questions of a life-changing event in my life until I see our LORD, and I have to remember that I’ve given my guilt to God to handle. I like how you said “You just have to be you and rest knowing that you are not alone and your mistakes are covered.” Many blessings to you!

  2. Angela,
    “His blood is more than enough.” Amen! I did guilt really well for a long time. I also suffer from a form of OCD called scrupulosity…so when I feel guilty, I not only feel guilt but then I obsess on it over and over and over again thousands of times until I can’t breath. It is awful. I would also confess my sin to God over and over again believing that once was not enough. Scripture (Romans 8:1) became my watchtower. Along with medicine, I am able to accept the truth that His blood is more than enough and that God wants me to live life abundantly – and that means free of guilt. Like Heather said, the enemy wants to keep us wrapped in guilt because then we are no good to anyone. I am so thankful that God sees me through the blood of Christ, which means He sees me clean as snow. Thank you for sharing your story and that God does not want us living in a perpetual state of guilt.
    Blessings to you,
    Bev

  3. I appreciated this! Our Bible study was just talking about light vs darkness yesterday. We have the choice to wander around in circles in the dark (like the Israelites did for 40 years) or to claim the light of life in Christ. There are definitely times as a mommy that I carry guilt, even though I know God doesn’t desire it this way. I look at mistakes I’ve made, or mistakes my children make, and assume it must be all my fault. This was such a great reminder to live in freedom and light.

  4. Thank you for this post. I am struggling with guilt for putting my 15 year old daughter and 12 year old son through a divorce with me. Our marriage was abusive. I know God did not want me to stay in my marriage and yet I still feel so badly that my children are now “children of divorce.” The guilt is over making the wrong marriage choice to begin with. It’s a horrible feeling because I know that very choice gave me my two miraculous children. Such is the crazy cycle of guilt. Makes no sense.
    What does make sense is what you wrote, I must take what I’ve learned from the mistake, wrap it in God’s love and live bravely and unashamed.
    Thank you again.

    • Shelly. I too put my 2 sons through a divorce, but they were grown at 27 and 24. I still don’t know all that they were feeling – the oldest was already married and lives 1,400 miles away. My youngest lives just minutes from me and has since married. I don’t want to bring up old feelings, and find it won’t help our relationships with each other. We (my sons & I) do communicate with each other, just not about the divorce. I wonder “what If”, but can’t stay stuck there. I love my sons dearly, and am moving on with my life. My Bible study is reading a very good book by Elizabeth George called “Loving God with All your Mind” where she addresses the “what If” and living in the past and how it can cripple you. As she states: ‘we have to remember what is true (or real), and think on these things’, from Philippeans 4:8, I hope this helps you.

    • Shelly,

      Prayers for you and your children. It may be hard on them at first, but children are very resilient. Who knows but what the abusiveness could have hurt them more. Prayers that God will comfort you and give you the peace to know you did the right thing.

      Father,

      Please give Shelly the peace and comfort she needs during this time. Help her to eradicate the guilt she feels over putting children through a divorce. Shower her and the children with your love and grace!

      AMEN! 🙂

  5. Angela, almost the identical thing happened to me and my daughter 42 years ago. I shared your nightmare for several years. I partook of the same guilt for ages. But, thank God for grace and mercy, that flows like a river. Thank you for sharing.

    • Oh Susan … raising children is such an enormous responsibility that can open one up to enormous regret isn’t it? I know more blessings than heartache come our way, but when something goes wrong in parenting … it can be hard to get over. Thank you for sharing your story. And I am so glad you have let go of that guilt.

  6. Love this Angela. I was just talking with my boys (man-cub teenagers) last night about the differences between guilt and shame, condemnation and conviction. And the way Jesus extends grace in the midst of it all and wants so much for us to give ourselves the same grace He offers.

    “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:17 (ESV) Amen.

  7. Thank you for your words! My worst fear is offending the Holy Spirit! I remarried after my husband’s death to a man who is divorced with a living wife. Even though I had no part of their divorce, I am still concerned I’m living in adultery and can’t feel joy in my relationship with Christ. Please pray for me.

  8. Easier said than done. I would rather beat myself up for every bad choice then extend grace to myself. It’s like grace becomes a four letter foul word when it comes to giving to myself. I can extend it to others but not to that evil girl I see in the mirror.

    Is holding onto guilt shame a form of pride? At times I not only question my salvation whether or not I’m even saved but I question His love and forgiveness wondering of it’s enough. Pray for me.

    • I will pray for you tonight, Angela. His love and forgiveness are more than enough. They cover you … and I know letting go of guilt and shame are hard … it has taken me years and I still struggle. You are not alone and you are not an evil girl. You are loved and chosen and cherished by God.

  9. Your words, when applied to our hearts, have such freeing power. Thank you for sharing your story.

    This: “But here’s the truth: wading in guilt is a waste of time. It’s inhibiting, it’s harmful, and it’s disrespectful to our Savior.”

  10. Thank you for your words today, Angela. Guilt is such a cunning and ruthless emotion- nagging at our already-felt insecurities. I have been guilt-ridden for most of my life- feeling like I had to apologize for just being. Your words struck a nerve today( especially about our undeserved feelings of guilt being disrespectful)-a nerve that can propel me to rethink my guilt. I can only do the best I can, with what I have, in this moment. We all can…

  11. Thank you, Angela. I’m so glad your daughter is ok! That must have been so terrifying.

    I struggle a lot with guilt. I think it started already as a little girl when my mom would cry and have to be taken to the hospital for deep depression. I always felt I must have done something wrong to make her sad. Then after being abused, the guilt really loaded itself on me. Sometimes I feel guilty about so many things. Now as I read your post, I feel guilty for disrespecting my Savior. Sometimes it weighs me down so much that, as you said, it immobilizes my body and mind. Romans 8:1 is a special verse to me, and it’s often one I try to immerse myself in to wash away all the muck of guilt I needlessly hang onto. Thank you for reminding me of the other verses as well.

    • Thank you for being so transparent, Trudy. I am so sorry to learn about the past abuse you experienced and the shame those experiences tossed on you. What also helps me during times of deep guilt and shame is to go back to the basics and remember who I am in Christ … how deeply I am loved. Hold on to that truth. (hugs)

  12. Thank you for your timely words. My husband and I have lost a dear friend , just last night. He was murdered by his own son in the driveway of their very elegant home. We haven’t seen or heard from each other in 8 years. Partly our fault, sometimes when job losses and situations change you leave friends behind. We left he and his family behind. They no longer sent Christmas cards.We had been so close. So much to each other, in the same town, at one time in the same church. This has been a horrific day…because I have been thinking of them for weeks on end but never took the time or the effort to call and try and touch base. I have just this morning asked for forgiveness for my lack of sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and for the failure to value friendship as a treasure. Your scripture helps apply the much needed balm.

  13. I struggle daily with guilt. Almost a decade ago I was going through the motions of being a Christian, but I had walked away from God in my heart. I also walked away from my marriage in my heart. I had an affair that went on and off for over 2 years. Eventually God convicted me and I confessed my sin to God and (at the risk of divorce) my husband. We spent several months working through it and he forgave me. While our marriage is now strong with God in the midst and I am now back with God stronger than ever, the guilt remains. I’ve asked Him for forgiveness over and over. I know His blood made me clean and my husband now views it as something we have conquered together and considers it past. But I cannot let it go. It is in the Ten Commandments, for goodness sake. And I was already saved when I committed this horrible sin. I understand God forgiving sins before we were Christian and knew better, but I knew better. I had committed to be a new creation. Now I feel like none of that meant anything and I need to start over with accpeting Jesus, baptism etc. I don’t know why I am sharing this except that I am in pain. But I did this to myself and deserve it. I almost wish I had gone to my grave with it so as not to inflict pain on my husband, but I didn’t want our marriage to be a lie. Regardless, I have told myself that if God and my husband forgave me, I need to forgive myself. Otherwise I am saying Jesus isn’t enough. But it just seems like this sin is different from any other. Thank you for your words…I will bookmark this and make thses verses my prayer.

    • All sins M … He died for all of them. The ones committed before we knew better and the ones committed after. He is enough. He won’t break His promise to you. It is the enemy whispering those lies … not Jesus. Jesus whispers “I love you. I have have washed you clean. Talk no more of your shame but instead boast of my unfailing grace”

  14. I just told several friends this week that I am struggling with guilt over putting my mom in an Alzheimer’s unit of a nursing home. I feel like I have abandoned her, even though she requires round the clock care that I couldn’t give her here at home. I know all the answers but it doesn’t make it any easier. I can’t sleep at night because I just agonize over the situation.

    • Not being able to provide a loved one with all the care they need all on our own can hurt. I am sorry you are feeling this pain. I know it is hard even though you know it is what is best for your mom. Your love for her isn’t less because she is in a nursing home and you didn’t leave you, you provided her with the care she needs. Praying that you can let go of that false guilt and that you will soon see beauty from this heartache. (hugs)

  15. Thanks Angela,

    I really needed your words.
    Last year I started doing really wrong things. I met a guy on my working place and we spent some time after work. At the end of it we kissed and I really knew that it was not right. Weeks later I met a new co-worker. (I felt lonely because my cousin was luckily engaged and my other cousin a young, married wife.) He gave me the feeling of being understood so I opened my heart to him and gave him a part of my body (not my virginity). After this evening we wrote a lot and he wanted more – me – but I didn’t want it. So we broke up every contact after we argued a lot. I thought I learned from my faults but in January I made the same fault.
    The Lord safed me from doing the greatest sin but even if I know I’m forgiven, I cannot keep from looking back.
    Grace should start moving, but my sin feels so heavy.

    Be blessed,
    Emma Lou

    • Emma Lou,
      Repeat mistakes hurt deep. I know. Grace covers the repeats too. I think truly accepting forgiveness that comes from the greatest love ever could even help you as you move forward and try to make healthier choices. You are loved so powerfully by the One who made you. You are precious. Thank you for sharing part of your heart with us.

  16. Tears came quickly as I read your blog and want to believe what you say AND what scripture says. My son was molested over 20 years ago by a babysitter I had hired. He would cry when I said that particular sitter was coming while his dad and I went out for the evening. Why didn’t I understand the signs? (there were others). How could I miss this? So this piece about guilt touched me in a place I leave locked away. Thanks for writing this. Perhaps God wants me to deal with this again.

    • Cathy,

      Hugs from E. TN. Prayers that you can let go and let God handle it. May God offer you peace and contentment. I pray you can forgive yourself as God has forgiven you!

      Blessings and more hugs! 🙂

  17. Dear Cathy – My heart started racing when I read your words and tears hit my eyes … and I so want to leap through this screen and hug you tight. I know with all my being that if you are still grasping a shred of a guilty feeling from that incident, God wants you to let it go. It’s not yours … it does not deserve to have one centimeter of space in your heart. I’m holding you close in prayer right now.

  18. I believe we all need to grasp the fact that “There is NO condemnation in Christ Jesus” There is appropriate guilt when we’ve sinned and Immediate Grace in God’s immense forgiveness.When we feel condemnation however which is easy to spot because there is a giant red flag called SHAME attached, we need to recognize that this is a special delivery event brought to us from the enemy of our souls` satan or his emmissaries. When condemnation comes at us and smothers us in shame it is time to Pray, Ladies! Hit our knees and rebuke the evil one in the Name of Jesus! Remember we are told to Resist the Devil and He will flee. I have seen and prayed for more people under condemnation than I can count and this is a life changing awareness and alteration in ones relationship and intimacy with Christ once we have grasped the difference.

  19. Thank you for sharing. I am such a control freak which also means that when I mess up, I struggle with huge guilt for my perfectionist personality. Thank you for pointing our hearts back to Jesus <3. Much love sister in Christ!

  20. Struggle with forgiving myself for 4 brief affairs throughout 22 years of marriage.. Cant stop punishing myself with condemnation.. God knows my heart on this as I have cried out for his forgiveness but I cannot seem to let go

  21. So beautiful! “She could’ve died and it would’ve been on my watch.” Those words haunt me in a million ways. My marriage of 21 years failed on my watch. It died after he was unfaithful and blamed me because I was fat and no longer attractive to him. It died on my watch. Healing came slowly and I found who I am in I Am caused me to breathe again. I married a wonderful man, a pastor, making me a pastor’s wife and on my watch my bonus teen daughter is acting out and shattering the life I wanted or thought we would live – on my watch. My heart cries out when my 26 year old daughter, the one who would give the shoes off her feet to someone to show them God’s love says, “You just need to accept the fact that I’m going to hell”. All on my watch and I feel guilt and shame, crying out for more do-overs than I’m worthy of; but God who holds the world in his hands says, “I am holy and powerful – this is not your watch but mine!” Thank you for sharing from your heart straight to mine.

    • Dearest Simone, I spent days praying for you and thinking of you before responding. I just could not find quick words to address this pain. First of all … You are not “fat and unattractive.” You are a beautiful daughter of the King … and your appearance is not responsible for your husband’s sin. I’m not a pastor, a counselor or a theologian, but I needed to say those words to encourage you to grab that lie by its ugly neck and toss it out of your life, in Jesus’ name! I am praying for your daughter and you. Much, much love you to dear sister. I’m glad you feel peace knowing it is His Watch … oh how I love that!

  22. That is so true. No guilt, no condemnation for those in Christ. Even when we do sin–which is not what you did, but still–the blood of Jesus washes us completely clean if we confess our sin. We spend too much time trying to beat ourselves up for things God has forgotten about.

  23. Angela,

    Your words speak freeing truth to the soul! Love the pictures and scriptures/sayings. “What God has shown you in the Light, Don’t doubt in the dark”. Never doubt God’s love for you and that His blood has paid the price for you.

    Guilt is a feeling the enemy wants us to wallow in for a long time–add self-pity and he’s happy! ‘Not accepting His forgiveness for errors in judgment and for blatant wrongdoing is like telling Christ, “I’m sorry, your blood was not enough.”–I would never want to tell God your sacrifice wasn’t enough!

    Prayers for everyone here! 🙂

  24. Thank you so much for this beautiful post that reminds me Jesus died to give us freedom and when we still live in guilt how can that be honouring His amazing sacrifice. I easily follow into chains of guilt and shame and realise far too late that His GRACE is sufficient. What wasted time and as you say distracts us from our purpose.

    Bless all of you ladies x

  25. Thank you so very, very much for this reminder. Our family had a tragedy about 8 years ago involving both of my girls that also happened “on my watch.” As I read your heartfelt words, my heart broke for you. I thought, “Two years? That’s a long time.” And then tears sprang to my eyes as I realized that I’ve forgiven everyone involved except myself. That I’ve been carrying a load of guilt for far more than eight years. And I’ve pushed it down so far, claiming that it’s about watching my daughters for any lingering signs, that I didn’t even give it a name. I know that guilt is sin, and until this moment, I wouldn’t even have given it a name in my heart. But I know now that it’s there and that Christ’s blood was more than enough to cover that guilt and my own shame. Thank you, thank you.

  26. I just want to encourage you…I nearly drowned three times, but the Lord saw fit to save me each time. I’m in my 60s now, and no longer afraid of the water, praise the Lord! Praise the Lord for telling your story!

  27. All the guilt and shame self loathing I’ve been harboring for 9 years is taking a physical toll on my body. Headaches tummyaches feeling dizzy like I’m going to pass out. Tell me how do let this go when it feels wrong to release myself from this guilt? What if punishing myself feels justified right?

  28. Your story us different than mine. But, the part about almost losing your child on your watch pretty much sums it up. So recent and my heart is struggling. But, I am forgiven. My child was saved by God’s timing and love. But the what-if’s are hard to knock down. And I’m just praying that my child isn’t scarred for life because of this incident. I won’t ever forget the look of fear on that beautiful face. Thank you for your encouraging words. I know I will come back to this.