I am sitting at my desk at work yesterday and couldn't help but smell a faint odor that smelled just like cat pee.  It wasn't overwhelmingly strong, but just enough to catch my attention every few minutes.  Where was it coming from?  There are no cats at work, maybe I was imagining it since I have two cats at home.  After about an hour of these continuous thoughts I realized that one of my lovely dear cats peed on the corner of my bra.  Really?!!  I tried washing that part with soap and water in the bathroom, but the smell kept coming right back up.  I started to think if I could smell it, who else could?  I just started this new job and now I am going to be known as the woman who smells like cat pee.  My thoughts were all over the place.  It's not like I could just take off my bra and walk around work, so I had to deal with the cat pee smell for the rest of the day, just hoping that the perfume that I put on that morning helped mask the smell.  

But of course, this got me thinking about how some of the decisions we make and the things we do tend to linger in our minds putting us on a downward spiral of guilt and shame.  Just like the cat pee kept coming to my mind and making me paranoid, so can some of the decisions we make.  We can tend to hold on to the shame and guilt and it can turn into condemnation.

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  - Romans 8:1

We need to be careful that we don't allow satan to use our emotions to bring us down into a state of mind that separates us from God.  I have allowed this to happen to me so many times and it is hard to bring yourself out of that state of mind.  I remember going into a downward spiral after my body became addicted to the pain medication subscribed to me after my neck surgery about 4 years ago.  It brought back painful memories of the my past with drugs and alcohol, and satan was all over that.  I started to feel like I wasn't worthy of God's love and going down a path of thoughts that were sinful just in themselves, but I had great people that reminded me that God forgives and His love is unconditional and never changing.  That no matter what I did in my past, God forgave me when I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior.  What an awesome gift and blessing for us to receive.  

He remembered us in our low estate, His love endures forever. And freed us from our enemies His love endures forever.  He gives food to every creature.  His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven.  His love endures forever. - Psalm 136:23-26

So as a rule of thumb I will always let myself have a small time of reflection on my wrong decisions or a bad situation that I may have created.  I ask for God's forgiveness and as hard as it is I give the feelings of guilt and shame up to God.  It is not an easy process by any means, but if we can open our eyes to know when satan is using condemnation to bring us down than the faster we can pull ourselves back up to where God wants us to be and that is right there with Him in a close relationship.

So if you have been struggling with something similar please pray about it and give it up to God.  I will be praying for each and every one of you.  I would also like to throw out there if you have any specific prayer requests please email me through my contact page.  I would love to pray for you.  We all need each other for encouragement, prayer, and fellowship.  Let's live our lives full of Bold Faith!!