Oh friends. This is such a special tale of God’s love and a mother’s heart. Erin and I go back to hanging in church in middle school. We have not talked for years and years. Until Lil Light O’ Mine and Facebook reconnected us. One of the MANY blessings of this blog/business has been people like ERIN coming out of the woodwork to encourage me and inspire me.
My heart is to encourage ALL MOMS, not just married ones with girls. 🙂
When I thought about ‘who could give us perspective on being a single mother‘ – immediately ERIN came to mind. Oh, I’m so glad I made her do this …. I believe we have a writer people. What a gift. Erin, I’m so glad to call you my friend and I am so thankful for how you lift me up when I need it the most.
A Child of God
As I sat in the tub, pretty fully pregnant at around 8 months, I sat there feeling complete and utter guilt. Here I was carrying a healthy baby girl, which I had spent my entire life wanting, and all I could feel was guilt and shame about being a single woman who had gotten pregnant out of wedlock. This was not the way I planned it. Before I was divorced, we were doing everything possible to have a child, including 5 years of fertility treatments and total heartache every month when I saw that negative on the test. You see, I had it all planned out in my head. I had the nursery planned out, the preparations for the delivery room when I was going into labor, had figured out how to budget a new baby, I could see exactly how it was all going to play out, including the expression on my then husband’s face when, at last, our daughter arrived and he could hold her in his arms.
But, my plans were just that, MY plans.
That was not how it happened. Who would have known that I was going to end up divorced? And lost. From myself and the Lord. When I did get pregnant, I was at a point where I had lost all hope. “I” was gone and a shell of who I was continued on spending many, many nights in a bar, numbing myself to the complete hopelessness I felt. There were many day that I wished I would just peacefully slip away and I wouldn’t have to deal with what lay beneath the surface, the hurt, the guilt, the shame, the loneliness, the desperation to not feel any of these feelings. But someone had other plans than me. After a month or so of telling my doctor that I just didn’t feel right, I finally took a test and lo and behold, I was pregnant.
The first thing I did was call my best friend, who, just to note, is a very faithful servant of the lord and a devout Christian. Her response was one I NEVER would have expected. She said, much more joyfully than I expected, “I have been praying that God would save you from yourself. I didn’t know what that would be or how it would happen, but I just kept believing that YOU would find your way back.” And then with a small chuckle she said “I don’t think I’d have ever guessed it would be a kid, but that’s definitely one way to do it! What a creative God we have!”. Not what I was expecting. AT ALL. Nor was the reaction from anyone I told. It seemed everyone could get excited about this baby, but I could not. I was ambivalent at best. I couldn’t get past the shame to let myself truly see what was happening within me, both my soul and my physical body.
So fast forward many months and here I am, in the tub, with a very pregnant belly and an active sweet girl, kicking and rolling and oh my goodness did she hiccup. And as I sat there feeling overcome with shame, I had one of those lightbulb moments.
How arrogant was I to continue condemning myself when I was already forgiven?
And it was so perfectly clear, I sat right there and just prayed, and prayed, and prayed. I prayed that I would be able to just let go of all the embarrassment and shame and guilt and allow myself to fall into the Lord’s loving arms for forgiveness, unconditional love, security, safety, and acceptance. And I gave up all my preconceived notions of what mommyhood looked like, the amazing, multifunctional strollers that would even wash your dishes, the organized mom who home makes all her own organic baby food, buys only the cutesy clothes from the mega expensive boutiques, the perfect bond of breast feeding an easy child ( which I have to say I was completely unprepared for and one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. The books don’t tell you what it is REALLY like!) And I opened myself up to just BE a mother and I put it all in His hands. I turned over the tiny being inside of me to the Lord and for the first time in many years, I started to trust again.
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As far as the east is from the west!!! ? Farther than is humanly conceivable! As far as we can possibly imagine. I couldn’t fathom that after all I’d done, I was the one who couldn’t let go. God already had. He was simply waiting on me so he could pour out his goodness! And oh my what goodness he had in store for me. A. TRUE. MIRACLE! The first time I held that child I knew. I knew she was a miracle. And I knew that I would forever be changed. I was a momma. And I had a big responsibility to fulfill. And most of all, despite all the circumstances surrounding her conception, I knew that there was nothing that I wanted to be doing and no place I wanted to be and most of all, NOTHING that I was meant to do in life except be her mom.
So today I carry many titles. First and foremost, I am a child of God. I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, an aunt to three awesome nephews, AND I am a single mom. But I will never let the title of “single mom” take away from the true joy that I feel every day knowing that I am the temporary caretaker of a miracle of God. What a responsibility, yet it is so easy when I look into her beautiful eyes and know that she was chosen for me, and I for her. It doesn’t mean that everyday is perfect and that I wake up with sunshine and hearts in my eyes (On most days, before coffee, it’s quite the opposite 🙂
However, she puts things rather quickly, back into perspective. I’m on a path that I, for the first time in many years, know is the right one. I’m looking just to the next lighted step and have done quite a lot of just moving in faith. I don’t know what’s to come. There are lots of issues that I still have to deal with, her absent father for one, finances of a single mom for another. To be honest, I don’t have any idea how they will work out. But what I am certain of is that my steps ARE guided and that single mom or not, I will be okay. I may not always know all the answers and may be placed in situations that are uncomfortable to me. Those are the times that I have the opportunity to learn, IF I open myself up to the lessons that are there.
This is only the beginning for me! So stay tuned for more miracles and awesomeness to come! It’s there… Just waiting for me to grab hold, and you better bet I’m reaching out!
Be blessed friends!
What have you learned through your journey as a mom?
What websites/blog/resources have been most helpful to you as a mom?
Share anything else!
EVERYONE… if you know a single mom that could use encouragment, send this to her today and why you think she’s a great mom. Or, just simply offer support or prayers or ask to know their story. I am SO GLAD I know more of Erin.