Like any young girl, I always imagined growing up and having a perfect little family: three kids, a house, some grass and, you know, a husband. In a million years, I never thought I’d be living as a single parent.
See, it didn’t start off that way. I got married to someone I met at church and, after two years, we welcomed two kids back-to-back. It all seemed perfect…until it wasn’t. The fairytale ended as fast as it began and suddenly, I found myself alone with a toddler and a baby. The first few years were overwhelming and difficult, though I comforted myself with the thought that I would eventually remarry, earning a second chance at an almost perfect little family.
Six years have passed since then, and my “perfect little family” still only consists of my kids and me. As I wrestle with thoughts of, "where on earth have the past six years gone?!" I realize that time is flying by, and my kids are growing up in a single-parent household. This is never, ever what I wanted for them. People always tell me, "when the kids grow up, they'll realize..." but life is happening here and now. Memories are being made and lives are being formed; this is so much less than what I wanted for my kids.
If I’m being honest, I sometimes feel like I’d be a better mother if I had help. I have lists of things I want to do, but I can’t accomplish them because there’s just not enough of me to go around. As I lay in bed at night, my mind often races as I consider decisions I need to make and tasks I need to complete. My fear of failure casts a cloud over the entire process.
But as I consider this fear, and endure life as a single mother, I want to fully understand that I am weak and imperfect. I am certainly no superwoman and I don't have what it takes to thrive by myself. Although your situation may be different, you may have experienced the same feelings. Maybe life has worn you down and plans have fallen through. Perhaps you feel like you’ll never become a successful husband, wife, provider, worker, pastor or parent.
But in 2 Corinthians, God’s word speaks to the inadequacies that plague us all: But his answer was: “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ's power over me (2 Corinthians 12:9, GNTD).
The Apostle Paul even wrote that he would boast in his own weaknesses, because they offered the chance for God to show his power. When we feel alone and at the end of our rope, God’s power meets our needs and fills the spaces we’d never be able to fill on our own.
If you need God’s grace today, pray this with us:
God, today we come before you desperately needing your grace in our lives. Help us to stop focusing on everything we lost and help us to focus on everything we have. There are things we wanted and dreamed of and planned for, but they have not worked out. Even in the midst of our disappointments, help us to remember the hope we have in you. When we feel like we’ve failed, fill our lives with your grace and let others see your power in our lives. We give every worry and burden over to you, because you care for us. In Jesus name, Amen!
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