As a 22 year old, I married the love of my young life. My view? A sweet existence and secure future, complete with a white picket fence. I told God my plans and said, “Oh, Lord… isn’t he wonderful?” I asked God to bless my vision for our married life, and I made my way down the aisle.
Our white picket fence didn’t quite get built. Nevertheless, our newly married dreams continued with a backyard chain link fence for our pups, a sweet roof over our heads, and a lot of “bought lessons” along the way. Marriage had a survival mode component that we never expected, but I asked God to help us survive the speed bumps … and to bless my vision for our married life.
Do you notice a recurring theme?
I had a plan and I took the steps to make MY plan happen. THEN, I asked God to bless my decisions and my footwork. Keywords? I and my took the lead. God was invited only as a guest on our journey.
Human nature? Sure. But God’s plan for our lives is so much more than falling into the excuse human nature can be. God has a PLAN for our lives and the plan is for good and not for harm.
Keyword? HE (God) has the plan. That implies we should ask Him what the plan is if we want in on it. Right?
In the demands of a quick-moving, do-it-yesterday, hey-you’re-late-again kind of world, it is so easy to forget to start with prayer. Honestly, some days I’m patting myself on the back if everyone has clothes on and teeth are brushed. So, I get it. Believe me; I get it.
For me, I had been on auto-pilot for years. In God’s loving nature, He gave me favor and blessings when I didn’t even ask for His input in my plan for my life. He never placed “woulda, coulda, and shoulda’s” on my life. He simply loved me right where I was because I was His girl, and His grace was vast enough to love me right there. We don’t serve a god of regrets. We serve the God of promise, hope, and love.
He always lovingly called me back into a close conversation with Him so He could take the lead in my life.
I like to think of it this way, God has this amazing aerial view of the puzzle that is our lives. While we are staring at the single puzzle piece in our hands and wondering HOW in the world it fits, He has every piece we need and the vision for what the finished puzzle will look like. He never leaves us to the puzzle creation process alone.
God captured my attention again through the birth of my first child. He was on an all-out mission of pursuing my heart and mind, and motherhood was the perfect place to chat. Motherhood turned me inside out in the best way ever, introducing me to God’s love language of GRACE.
I remember the day it clicked, too. I stared into the face of my beautiful baby boy as I heard a message from my pastor, Dr. John Mark Trent. He said, “When God looks at you, He sees Jesus, Christie.” God perfectly placed me in that really teeny church (think 60 people on High Attendance Sunday) so I could be loved on in a critical care kind of way and hear that message given with MY name put in the blank.
As John Mark further explained how much God loved His son, it was the perfect moment of message and meaning coming together. I mean, I was a new Mommy. I KNEW what it felt like to ADORE my son. If God loved Jesus more than THAT? Oh wow. That was crazy, indescribable love.
When I took the concept a step further to realize God loved MY baby enough to let HIS baby die for him AND for me? Oh…. just oh. I couldn’t even fathom that. I heard it a million times in my years in church, but that day, it resonated in the most life changing way. I fell in love with God’s grace and prayed for God to teach me to parent and live in the security of that love.
Born and raised in Sweet Home Alabama, Christie Aitken describes her parenting journey as “single and special.” She believes the sacred ground of parenting her two boys is where God shares His message of grace and hope most intimately with her. Through her journey of single & special needs parenting, Christie founded Single Mom Central and Roundtable Solutions to minister to single moms and provide support to special needs families. Christie is a graduate of Troy University, and an active member of Church of the Highlands where she enjoys serving as a Small Group Coach and Leader. She is delighted to be a Featured Expert for The Life of a Single Mom for 2015. For more info, visit www.singlemomcentral.net.
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