No White Picket Fence Required
God used that “I-can’t-comprehend-it-but-I-trust-You” moment to prepare me for what was to come. See, single parenting was on the horizon for me. God knew I would need to trust His hand with complete abandon in order to walk out that season with His love, grace, and joy.
Single motherhood came quickly and unexpectedly- a complete demolition of the white picket fence in my mind. I cried out to God and said, “Change his mind. Change him, Lord. Make me enough. Save this marriage, Lord.” This didn’t feel a lot like grace, and I’m afraid I had some questions for the One who loved me most. How? Why? Where are you, Lord?
But, He knew. He knew my journey would bring me here, and in the very moments of hurt, survival mode, and desperation I had experienced to that point, He taught me how to lean into Him for the very moment where I would need Him most.
I remember sitting in my bathroom one night, just crying out to Him. “I can’t live my life without him, Lord. I love him. I can’t raise this child on my own, Lord. I’m a stay at home mom. My baby needs me, Lord. You called me to be a full time mother. How do I do this?”
In the middle of the hysteria of that moment, I remember exhaustion and the most indescribable peace surrounding me. I didn’t hear God’s voice. I didn’t feel His hand. I just remember knowing I had to pray FIRST and then take steps.
I prayed, and God landed a job for me within 2 weeks. That job set the tone for my career for years to come. The years that followed would show me pay increases that could only be the result of “favor isn’t fair” kind of living. I stood a little taller in the security of His love and provision.
I prayed, and God found a daycare for me. Even through my tear-filled eyes, God taught me to let those precious teachers love my baby as if he was their own. I became more confident in how He would protect and love my baby.
Theme? I prayed and let GOD work.
As I worked outside of the home and we became used to our new normal, God started answering some of the other prayers I prayed, too. He did that through offering me a mirror and performing heart surgery on me. He showed me the beauty He created in me, reminding me I was made in the perfect image of Jesus. He changed my name and called me “Enough” and “Beautiful”… names I had long since forgotten. He offered to heal my heart through spiritual heart surgery only He could perform.
Did you know, my friend, He calls you the same? Because God is no respecter of persons. What He did for me, He will do for you.
For me, the Creator of the Universe faithfully filled the role of Husband. He changed my heart and then protected it with the promise He would never ever leave my side. He promised He would always provide for my every need.
Years later, God is still teaching and loving me… long after the initial turmoil of divorce. He is teaching me day by day to raise my children up as part of a Royal Lineage, knowing they are children of the Most High King. He reminds me to walk in the same assurance, for I am God’s princess.
He also lovingly reminds me these very children will one day rise up and call me blessed, just as His word promised. That last part
was a big deal to me… the rising up and calling me blessed part.
You see, I’m a special needs parent, also. One of my babies didn’t even have an understandable conversation with me until he was 3 years old. My house actually has many diagnoses between the members here, some of which are dyslexia, autism, sensory processing disorder, language delays, ADD, and more. God knew I needed a “one day” promise like that as a blanket for my heart. I needed to know He would bless these boys and bless this journey… and He would equip me to be enough for the moments.
Funny thing? The verses God gave me for my single parent and special needs walks are the very same. The circumstances of those seasons in my life may differ, but His word is always applicable in every circumstance.
We’re just not all that different after all, even when satan is shouting “You’re not like the rest of the world” in my mind. Do you ever hear that voice which tells you not to reach out to God’s kids? The one that says you are too different or you “just aren’t like them”?
Here’s the deal… satan longs for us to feel like the exception, but we serve the God that IS the rule. We ARE loved. He created us for community.
I don’t know your journey, but I do know my Jesus. Our collective stories may differ, but His heart for us is the same. He longs for a relationship where He can sweep you off your feet with His love. He longs to heal the broken spots and asks you to trust Him to love you and your children more than you could ever love yourself.
Isn’t that what we long for? Provision, security, and love… It’s yours today, my friend. You don’t have to wait for it.
If you haven’t already, ask Jesus to be your best friend and hand Him the broken pieces of your heart. Ask Him to do heart surgery and to guide you to a local church with a thriving single mom’s ministry. Get in the middle of God’s girls and watch Him change your life.
When God spoke Romans 8:28 over my life years ago, He meant it for today, too. He really did mean that He would take ALL things and use them for my good and the purposes He has called me to. That’s a word you may need today, too. Put every negative through that filter and hand it to the Creator of the Universe. Boldly ask Him to take the hurts and the ouches and turn them into beauty like only He can.
When God spoke Jeremiah 29:11 over my life years ago, He meant it for today, too. He still has a plan and the plan is STILL for good and not for harm. Feel free to take that nugget of God’s truth with you today, too. You are never too far from Him or too broken for Him to take your life and FULLY redeem it with His love. I’m a living, breathing example. There were some very dark seasons with a great deal of hurt, and God has changed this heart from the inside out.
When God promised me angels to walk with me on this journey (Psalm 91:11), He provided the same to my kids. When I can’t be with them to translate the world to them or them to the world, He sends just the right angel every time to stand in that gap. He loves His boys more than I ever could! Why? Because they are HIS first! So are you and yours! As your children leave your care every day, pray that over their walk. Boldly ask for His best in the lives of your kids! It’s his pleasure to love on them and on you.
But sometimes, God knew I would have to keep it simple to a huge degree. You know those days when we’re at the end of our ropes and no longer know how to pray? God had a plan for those days, too.
Romans 8:26 – 27 says it like this, “In the same way, the SPIRIT helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes.” So, on the days I don’t know how to pray, it’s okay. I just need to know that on my knees is where I begin. God fills in the blanks.
I know. You might be thinking, “She doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know my story.”
And you’re right. I don’t. But I know the God who loves you… and I know He thinks you were one of His best ideas ever. I can’t wait to hear YOUR story one day… because it WILL be a reflection of His, if you allow God to work.
No white picket fence required… for He has something so much better.
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