Did I just do that right? Am I ruining my kids? Will I ever be able to find the right man? These are just a few of the dozens of questions single moms roll around in their heads every day. The constant battle of self-doubt and whether or not we can figure it all out, make the right choices, and not ruin our kids in the meantime, is not a battle exclusive to the single mom. ALL moms struggle with self-doubt at one time or another. When we are faced with change as moms, such as transition to single parenting, new schools, or transitioning from one age to another (e.g. teens to young adults), we all struggle to find our new rhythm. And that struggle can result in some real insecurities and doubts about whether we are doing this whole thing right.
Winning the battle of self-doubt is rooted in understanding who you are. Once we understand who we are, the true essence of who we are as women not simply as moms or single moms, that’s when the power is unleashed to overcome self-doubt, insecurity, fear, worry, and any number of other emotional challenges thrown our way.
So….Who are you? It seems like a simple enough question, doesn’t it? But think about it for just a moment. Who are you? What are the first things that enter to your mind in response to that question? When meeting a new friend or colleague, we tend to spout off a list of roles we answer to. I’m a mom, wife, sister, aunt, or friend. Or maybe we answer with a job title. I’m a teacher, hair dresser, administrative assistance, or business owner. Perhaps we begin to discuss a current or future project. I’m writing a book, joining the church choir, or launching a single mom’s ministry in my community.
When most of us are asked who we are, we respond with what we do. As women, we are doers by nature. We are always fixing someone or something. We hold life together, don’t we?
As women, we are wired differently. We see to all the details and little things that help us (and others around us) to function smoothly throughout the day. We are chauffeurs, counselors, dishwashers, consultants, chefs, clothes washers, and fixer-of-all-boo-boo’s. And all of that is fine, when it’s in proper perspective. The danger lies in the doing becoming the defining.
This is an important truth to understand in the steps of battling self-doubt. Our “doing” of laundry and homework and car pool and counseling our children can become our defining. Therefore, when we make a mistake (and guess what? We all will!), we are crushed with feelings of inadequacy, because we’ve given too much place to our doing. Yes, doing is important, but so is simply resting in who God created you to be.
Then, he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.” Mark 8:29 NLT
This is fascinating. Jesus wanted to know if the disciples fully understood who he is. They were witnessing his miracles and experiencing first-hand His presence. Yet, Jesus knew it was important that the disciples understood exactly who he is. The same is true for us. We must fully understand who Jesus is in us, to fully understand who we are, in Him. Jesus’ doing wasn’t His defining. His value was and still is in resting in his position. You are a daughter of the King! Rest in that position. Stop doubting every move you make, because “this isn’t how it’s supposed to be” or “I never expect to be here.”
Only one thing is eternal – our relationship with Jesus. Beauty fades. Positions change. Titles come and go. Unfortunately, relationships sometimes fail. Friends and family sometimes pass away. Children grow up. When what our children do and say becomes our everything, we must refocus. When a platform of ministry (such as Sunday school teacher, member of the choir, author of a book, or anything else for that matter) becomes our worth, we must refocus. When our doing becomes our defining, we will doubt ourselves!
When anything – anything at all – determines who we are, we must desperately seek the word of God to set our sights on what He says about who we are. The same is true in how we see other believers too. We cannot be concerned with the size of bank accounts or job titles or marital statuses. None of those things matter.
We are daughters of the living God, the King. We are not defined by what we do – whether good or bad – rather by what Jesus did on the Cross for us. We can never earn more love from our Lord. He loves us infinitely. We can never mess up too bad for him not to love us.
We are all hopeful of one day hearing, “Well done my good and faithful servant” from our Heavenly Father. But we must understand that striving for excellence is not about earning a position, title, or platform, and certainly not about earning our Heavenly Father’s loves. It isn’t about minimizing our mess-ups, so that we can achieve perfectionism, for we will surely never get there! It isn’t about becoming anything. What defines who we are is about simply being. Being a daughter of the Creator of Heaven. Being his beloved. Being chosen to spend eternity with him is who we are and there’s great rest in that knowledge, so be blessed and rest today. Relinquish fear and self-doubt. Know who you are because of whose you are.
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