Recently, the city where I live, Baton Rouge Louisiana had a devastating unprecedented flood wash away over 100,000 homes according to The Times-Picayune Newspaper. As I watched my city sink under water and thousands of people having to be rescued from their homes, I was heartbroken for all of the devastation and grief around me. I watched friends and co-workers lose everything as I sat helpless to do anything to stop their family photos, sentimental items, clothes, and entire lives washed down the bayou. Luckily, I was one of the few that actually didn’t suffer any damage of my own or any of my immediate family. Our entire city went straight into action. People stepped up to the plate in an amazing way by getting people rescued from their homes with their own personal boats and riding throughout the night in snake and alligator infested swamp water; and not to mention all of the bacteria that is in that dark muddy water.
I quickly went into action helping single moms and ensuring that our local ladies were taken care of. I began helping single mommas find shelter, toiletries, diapers, formula, cleaning supplies, and feminine hygiene products. It was busy and fulfilling to know that I was making a difference. My adrenaline was pumping and I had purpose in my place during this disaster.
As you can imagine, adrenaline always has a crashing point. About two weeks into it, I started to feel weary. Although, there was devastation in our city, I saw several people taking advantage of the system. Although a small percentage, I saw people taking more than what they needed with no thanks and if I’m being completely honest I had encountered some instances where people just had a terrible entitled attitude.
I felt I was being taken advantage of. I felt burdened for the people who didn’t have what they needed and the ones who were afraid to take enough. I was angry at the ones who were ungrateful and entitled. The thoughts that initially ran through my head were “How DARE you?! I don’t have to take this!” Then…..the Holy Spirit softened my heart and reminded me of several things that I want to share with you today.
- You are only required to give—you don’t have to know the motive of the heart. Deuteronomy 15:10 says ”Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.” Now, don’t get me wrong, there is wisdom in stewarding our finances and the call that God has laid on our life. However, it is not my place to judge someone’s heart. It is my place to give and then allow God to do the rest. Period.
- Jesus is the provider. One of my fears during some of these encounters was that we would not have enough because the need was so great. I was afraid we would run out of supplies before we could get more in. Truthfully, that is not my job to figure out. Jesus knows who needs what and his timing is always perfect. He is the provider. He continued to bless our ministry with more donations than we could hardly find space for. Be reminded of this, 2 Corinthians 9:10-11 says, “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God”.
- The ones who are serving need to be served. I noticed all around me the people who were giving back were feeling the same way I was. One Friday evening, I decided to have a girl’s night with one of my best friends to relax and talk about all that had gone on in our lives after the flood. She was getting up early the next morning to gut people’s homes by knocking sheet rock out and pulling up carpet of people’s homes in the community. She had been doing this for a couple weeks, and I noticed she was feeling weary just as I was. I woke up Saturday morning after sleeping in at her apartment, and she had been gone for several hours. I felt guilty that I was not out there with her helping people, too. I prayed about it and I felt like the Lord wanted me to serve the one who was serving. So, I turned on some worship music and started to clean her apartment for her. I felt rested afterwards and when she got home she was in almost in tears because she was so relieved. After working during a really hard day, she was able to come home to a sanctuary instead of more work to be done. And I was able to be a blessing and be blessed.
- Stay rested. Short story….. I was flat exhausted. It wasn’t even sleep that I needed, I needed rest. I needed a day off from social media and talking to anyone about the flood. I needed a day off to just veg out in front of my Netflix account and watch whatever I felt like. The Lord showed me how important it was to remain rested so I can give to others. I still had things to do and single moms still needed my help but, I needed to rest.
Ministry leaders, if you find yourself feeling weary listen to me…. Stay rested, serve the ones who needs to be served, Jesus will always provide, and you are only required to give. You are making a difference!
The Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. To date, we have worked with more than 1,500 churches & community groups to start or improve a single mom’s support group in cities throughout the U.S. and beyond. We have a large array of books, curriculum, training materials, and online instructional videos to support ministry leaders who lead single moms. Our single mom programs focus on empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, financially, and parentally through a number of projects including: Single Mom University, Single Moms Across America, the National TLSM Single Moms Conference, and a variety of programs throughout the U.S. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com