Single Parent Broken Home Redeemed
This is personal, from the heart and the message is hope. If only one single parent reads this and is encouraged it’s mission accomplished.
As a single mom I often feel like the odds are stacked against my son and I. We go through seasons where it seems like we are gaining ground, almost catching up to what seems like everyone else’s normal. Then in my fear, anxiety and exhaustion I lose sight of God’s promise that he will never leave or forsake us and the next thing I know I feel like we are back in a season of failure.
I’m coming to know it as the broken home mindset. Whether it is our living situation, finances, or grades I always feel like there is a “them” and “us” dynamic. Always.
Them = the family that has a husband and wife working as a team, with kids blossoming as a result.
Us =Me unprepared hoping for the best and my kid trusting me to know what the heck I’m doing. (I don’t.)
I constantly have to remind myself that our culture’s measure of success is not God’s design. Is raising my son in a broken home God’s design? No. But, since coming to faith I have learned that our home is only as broken as I allow it to be.
Faith Gives Me Power
Faith gives me power over the heavy reality that I cannot change the past. I cannot undo divorce. I cannot erase the hurt it has caused my son. But I can trust God not to waste the pain, that is the power of the grave. I can trust God to use our story of redemption to encourage others who carry the same burden. I can trust God, period.
I am constantly evaluating the ways my household does not measure up. And I’m often frustrated that our wins seem short lived, I’ll be honest that’s how I’m feeling as I type this. Add to that the guilt I feel for having these thoughts because we are blessed in so many ways! We have so much to be thankful for, but the grass is always greener, right? It’s completely unrealistic for me to compare my home to households that have more resources to accomplish the things that I only wish I could. It’s easy to see my son and I at a disadvantage. But I’ve never encountered a resource more life changing than God himself. Where is the disadvantage in that?
Even still, the “if only” scenarios come in waves. The waters calm for longer periods of time, I’m so thankful for that. But the reality of this life is that those waves are unpredictable in their nature and their ebb and flow is cause for many sighs. I cannot just decide one day that I will never again feel sorry for myself. That’s just not possible. There are too many seemingly picture perfect families around me for that to happen, and my core sin is envy. (I know I know, no family is perfect… envy people. It has no filter). However, I can promise to look up and surrender those moments of weakness to the God who promises this…
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
Calling Out These Thoughts
For transparency sake, and in case someone is reading this feeling isolated by the thoughts that lead us astray, let’s just call out a few of the thought patterns that create the divide and give life to “us” and “them”.
Guilt – “If only I had done [insert long list of regrets] differently, my son would have a better life.” (Right. Because it doesn’t take two to tango.)
Outcast – “My family doesn’t do divorce. Hardly any of my friends are divorced. How did I end up like this? Where do I fit in?” (According to the CDC website, the provisional number of divorces and annulments in the US were 879,000 the year I became a single mother. Looks like I’m not alone after all.)
Unworthy – “I know I’m not worthless as in worth nothing, but I seem to be worth less.”
But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. 1 Peter 2:9-10 (MSG)
From a worldly standpoint it may appear that single parent homes are broken homes. But friends, if God has used this trial to bring you to the foot of the cross and you are raising your kids to know and love Jesus and you are living your life in pursuit of God, then wouldn’t you call that a broken home redeemed? You’d be crazy not to.
Here is what you need to do when that broken home mindset kicks in:
- Take those thoughts captive that say you are “less than”.
- Say the name of Jesus out loud and claim power over the lies that set you back in your moments of weakness. (Those moments will come, but you aren’t powerless against them.) Ask God to replace those lies with truth.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor 10:5 (NIV)
You’ve got this, and Gods got you.