“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” – Shel Silverstein
Have you ever felt like the world keeps trying to put us in little categories according to our life circumstances? It keeps throwing statistics at us from left and right telling us what our lives should look like according to some poll that was taken, or some study that was done. How many times do we hear on the nightly news, “according to blah blah poll 67% of Americans….?” It’s like they try to plug us into little equations so they can see the probability of the outcome.
single mom + 2 kids= disaster
teenager + life = out of control
Neither of these statements is true all of the time! Sometimes single mommas do have disaster on their hands, and sometimes teenagers are out of control, but not all the time. And, it is totally not the way it has to be!
When I was just newly divorced, my parents had given me an encouragement book made just for me….single mom. Yay! So, one night after I had put the children to bed, I thought I would take a nice hot bath and relax. I saw my book sitting there, and I thought, what the heck! I could totally use some encouragement. So I put my hair up, and got cozy in the bath. I reached for my book, took a deep breath and began to read. So, the first story I read was about a single mother that had to work 2 jobs to put food on the table. Because of her being gone so much, her son rebelled and began stealing. He was eventually arrested, and was sent to jail. His mom now visits him there, but he has forgiven her for having to work so much.
Ummmmm…..so, not feeling very encouraged here. Feeling a little stressed at the moment. But, hey, they all can’t be like that right? Let’s read the next one.
The plight of the single mom who had a husband abandon her and her daughter. Her daughter was so overwrought with grief; she became a drug addict to numb her sorrows. And after a 10-year addiction, they have come through the other side and have a better relationship for it.
Whoa. Now, please don’t get me wrong. These stories all have redemption, and many people can connect with them. But, it’s not exactly what I was looking for in a book of encouragement for single mothers! I was really kinda looking for fluffy happy stories. But, what I got was what the world tells us. The world tells us that children of divorce are doomed to a life of “lesser.” You know, less happiness, less education, less overall satisfaction in life. So, if they are already doomed then why try, right?
Wrong! I was not about to accept that fate for my children. You see, there is something that the world was not betting on. Something that it forgot to factor in its equation: Jesus.
It was then and there, in that now cold bathtub that I decided that my children didn’t belong to the world. I always knew that, but I actually declared it that night. They belong to Jesus Christ, King of Kings, and with His help, they will not become a statistic.
You see, with Jesus, we are all new creations. It doesn’t matter what your life circumstances are. You could be the drug addict, the abused, the abuser, the control freak, the rage addict, the enabler, the prostitute, the liar….it doesn’t matter. You plug all of those things into the world’s equation, and you get despair. You get an empty life full of regret. You get hopelessness. But, you put Jesus in, and you get a whole different outcome. You get love and a peace that can’t be described. You get acceptance. You get a faith that carries you through your journey. And what you were doesn’t define you anymore because; you are all brand spanking new in Jesus.
The world offers us the “lessors” and tells us that is all we are worth. It offers us scraps. But, don’t buy it. It’s a lie. Jesus loved us so much that He died for us….no matter what our story is. He still chose to die for us. He offers us a 5 course meal! All we have to do is accept it! He so longs to be able to show you how amazing your life is going to be.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! – 2 Corinthians 5:17