July 3, 2014

Embracing The Single Mom Mold

After years of trying to lead my own Bible studies, trying to be involved in Mom's groups at my church, trying to be involved in daytime women's ministry groups, etc. I have realized that I've been trying to fit into a mold that I was never meant to fit into. Each of our molds are different and they were intended to be that way, so why do we always try to conform our lives to those that are in completely different circumstances? I am a single mother, and I have been for many years now. I deeply desire fellowship, communication, friendship, and all of the things that come with women's ministry and being a part of a group. But in the groups that I have tried to be a part of, I am definitely the minority. The groups are mainly full of married women, stay-at-home moms who do not work, and those that have family and help with their children and their lives. I am not married, I work full time, I do not have family or any help with my children or my life from anyone. Yet I'm trying to attend the same groups, be involved in the same ways, and make my life into a ministry just as those in different circumstances are able to.

Don't get me wrong, I have often been in a place in my heart and mind where I had wished that my life was like that, and I greatly admired the women and respected the men...I still do. I had always thought my life would turn out like that. Married, kids, keeping the home fires burning while my husband was at work, greeting him when he came home with a smile and a hot meal, being able to be involved in all of the kids activities and school. But the fact is, that is not the path God has chosen for me. It took me a long time to accept it, and even embrace and enjoy it. But I still find myself backsliding as I try to conform to the way that others are involved in ministry. It's not because of envy, it's not because of jealousy or trying to keep up with the Joneses. Is a genuine desire to be in ministry, to grasp every single group, Bible study, and to embrace all of the time and knowledge that I can get my hands on to grow in my walk with Jesus. But I have to constantly remind myself that it's not in doing what others are doing or doing as much as I can or being involved in as many places as I can...it is about my personal relationship with Jesus and my personal situation that he has me walking through in this season of life.

When I continue to realize that, it is easier to be grateful for the situation He has me in and to start looking at what I CAN do, instead of everything that I can't do. To look at the ways that my situation is wonderful and beneficial, instead of looking at the ways in which my situation is more challenging or much more of a sacrifice. I know the road will still be hard for many years to come, but I also know that God is right by my side. He is carrying me, equipping me, and strengthening me to make this the best life for me, not the life that everybody else has. So I will continue to strive to be appreciative, grateful, understanding, patient, and joyful in my circumstances and in the season of life…however long it may continue to be. I may not be able to be a part of the groups that I long to be included in, I may not have the close one-on-one girlfriend coffee time that my heart and soul longs for. But I have a wall full of books in my home where I can go and grab a hold of Jesus at any time, any day, and as much as I want. I have a TV with ministry channels which bring The Word to me consistently, I have Livestream with my church where I can sit in the comfort of my home and watch the weekly sermons. The bottom line is, I may not get to have fellowship and ministry in the way that I had wanted or the way that I see others enjoying these things, but the Word of God and the Hand of God is on me and with me every single moment of my life.

I have an abundant amount of resources available to me to keep drawing closer to Him, to never feel alone, and to feel that fellowship and friendship with Him first and foremost. What a blessing! There will be a time when my circumstances change, but until then I will embrace this beautiful life in the moment and take this opportunity to have special and extra time alone with God to grow and in who I am and do I can be well prepared for the path He has laid before me...whatever it may be. The following scriptures comfort me and remind me that I am not alone in this struggle, and that I can use it to my advantage instead of my disadvantage. I am including several, because each one is a different source of strength and reassurance that are vital to our walk. If you are single mom, I hope this has helped you and that you will strive to make this a double advantage to you and to enjoy the abundant life that God has for you in your exact circumstances right now!

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)

"I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." (Jeremiah 29:11 MSG)

"Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is there anything too hard for Me?" (Jeremiah 32:27 AMP)

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)

"God, who lives in his sacred Temple, cares for orphans and protects widows. He gives the lonely a home to live in and leads prisoners out into happy freedom, but rebels will have to live in a desolate land." (Psalm 68:5-6 GNT)

"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." (1 Peter 5:10 ESV)

"God’s now at my side and I’m not afraid; who would dare lay a hand on me?" (Psalm 118:6 MSG)

"I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency]." (Philippians 4:13 AMP)

"Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the merciful Father, the God from whom all help comes! He helps us in all our troubles, so that we are able to help others who have all kinds of troubles, using the same help that we ourselves have received from God. Just as we have a share in Christ's many sufferings, so also through Christ we share in God's great help. If we suffer, it is for your help and salvation; if we are helped, then you too are helped and given the strength to endure with patience the same sufferings that we also endure. So our hope in you is never shaken; we know that just as you share in our sufferings, you also share in the help we receive." (2 Corinthians 1:3-7 GNT)

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2 NIV)

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men's hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be glad and to get and do good as long as they live; And also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor–it is the gift of God." (Ecclesiastes 3:11-13)

"Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:3-4)

"Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven." (Psalm 107:28-30)

"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way." (James 1:2-4)

1 comment:

  1. "The bottom line is, I may not get to have fellowship and ministry in the way that I had wanted or the way that I see others enjoying these things, but the Word of God and the Hand of God is on me and with me every single moment of my life."

    You are so right! So encouraging, that my mindset really needs to be on Christ and his love and plan for me!