Do you ever have one of those days where you start off walking tall with a spring in your step, and by the end of the day you’re hunched over, and thinking “I’m getting too old for this”? I know this feeling all too well. In fact, when my ex-husband left us I think I had a couple of those years! There was one time when I laughed out loud with my son, and the sound of my own laughter surprised me. Hearing my laughter after a long time of unhappiness was literally like hearing a sound I didn’t recognize. In all honesty, though, I don’t know what surprised me more, the sound of my laughter or the fact that it was so foreign to me. I like to have fun. I like to laugh. I don’t want to be serious and focused on my “to do” list all the time, but being a single parent, that’s just where I found myself after a few years in survival mode.
Never would I wish on anyone the trials I have been through. Quite the opposite. I wish you a healthy family, a successful and strong marriage, a prosperous career. However, I wouldn’t trade my hardships for anything. I came to know my Lord in a way I never could have known him otherwise. I was able to see him provide for my children and me because he was the only option. I know he alone is able to carry my burdens. Still, I was surprised one day to find out how much I was still holding onto…not that I wanted to hold onto my burdens, but they were so familiar to me, I didn’t know how to function without them. One morning, I was about to break. I had to let go, even though I thought I had already.
The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:7,
Cast all your anxiety on [God] because he cares for you.
So when I woke early one morning to spend time with my Lord, I decided to make a list of everything that was on my busy, single parent mind. I didn’t think the list would be so long! Here it is, maybe you can relate to it:
- Fear of not having enough money for Christmas,
- Worry of not being able to make ends meet until after Christmas,
- Worry about whether or not to change the date of my home payment,
- Worry about the time it will take to decorate the church,
- Worry about having snacks for those who come to decorate,
- Worry about what to talk about for an hour at the meeting,
- Fear of losing my job and not having another lined up right away,
- Fear of being taken back to court,
- Worry about not making it home for Christmas,
- Worry about not bringing in enough business,
- Worry about whether or not the non-compete clause will stand,
- Bitterness at my ex-husband for putting me in this position,
- Resentment at my ex-husband for suing me so many times causing debt,
- My desire to remain working in agriculture,
- My struggle to want to be in a relationship, but not wanting to,
- My pride in wanting to appear as successful as my mom and sister,
- My self-righteous spirit,
- My bitterness at having a less-than-desirable vehicle,
- My ingratitude and poor perspective,
- Fear of not finding a job that will provide enough to pay for daycare,
- Bitterness and resentment at my employer for pushing so hard,
- Bitterness and resentment toward my manager for not helping for me,
- Bitterness toward my competitors for taking business away from me.
As I made my list, I closed my eyes and imagined each one was a book. I was holding the stack and they were heavy! One by one I took a book off the stack, and I imagined laying it on a large stone altar. One by one my load felt lighter. When I was done, I finally felt like I had given my Father all my burdens. I finally felt like I had let them go, and was able to breathe again, to function again, to be happy and have a spring in my step again. To this day, my Father has not once let me down. He has kept all of his promises. So even when I am feeling burdened, I know who I can turn to for help, and I know he will show up!
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
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