It is hard to believe I have made it through 3 years and 8 months without my amazing husband, spiritual leader, father to my children and I wish I could say that I no longer have sad days or wish for my old life but the truth of the matter is I still do, OFTEN!!
My life continues to be super busy as MAY MADNESS is upon on us (if you have children in school you know exactly what I'm talking about!!) and I am focused on my first and most important ministry and calling which is being a Mom to Jackson and Bethany and as I sit here typing I realize that I have almost made it through my 4th school year (there are only 12 days left, not that I'm counting, LOL! ) without Todd, that's really hard to believe!!
Jackson is about to complete his elementary phase and enter MIDDLE SCHOOL, he turns 12 in less than a month!! WHOA, HOW DID THAT HAPPEN??!!
I am not sure where the time went as I promise you he was a chubby cheeked two-year old JUST yesterday and now he is THIS... which is as tall as me and I am 5'7", HOLY COW!!
In the past 3 years I have learned to walk through the most gut wrenching loss imaginable and have learned to live, breathe and love again. There were many days I wondered if I would ever recover or if my old joy would return... God has healed and time has helped and for that I'm grateful!! So if you are reading this and you are early in your grief journey, I am proof it does get easier. HANG IN THERE!!
I have learned that being a single parent is one of the hardest jobs a person could be asked to do and I have the greatest admiration and respect for you other single parents, especially the ones who have done it alone always.
Single parenting requires spiritual, physical, mental and emotional toughness and many days I feel so inadequate for the task but then God gently reminds me that He chose me to be Jackson and Bethany's Mom knowing full well that at the ages of 8 & 3 they would lose their larger than life, AMAZING Daddy and that I'd have to parent alone. BUT really I have never walked the road truly alone as God has and continues to provide amazing wisdom, strength, resources and people to be His hands and feet and help me and my kids at the exact moment we need it. I know I couldn't have done it without so many of those things and the MANY PEOPLE, who have helped along the way. I am beyond grateful for all who have helped in any way!! It truly takes a village and Oh HOW God has provided that village, He has NEVER failed us!!
I am studying, "Becoming a Women Whose God is Enough" by Cynthia Heald which I HIGHLY recommend, when I came to a chapter called, "God, Our All-Sufficient Shepherd" where I looked at Psalm 23. Verse one says, "The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want..." It was a great place to study and ponder just what a Shepherd is? He is a guide, protector, a constant companion, and a friend. David writes this Psalm knowing exactly what a Shepherd means to his sheep as he was once a Shepherd and often times in scripture God is referred to as our Good Shepherd and we are His sheep. Sheep are very helpless, weak animals that need a lot of direction and care JUST like us!!
This tells me that God is NOT just an average Shepherd who is uncaring or impersonal and doesn't care about what I want.. BUT HE IS "MY" Perfect, Very Personal Shepherd and cares about "MY" WANTS.
So as I prayed I could visualize that He was guiding me, protecting me, caring for me and loving me! WOW, this hit me in a new and fresh way and I realized that as I have walked a very scary, unfamiliar road as a single woman and a single mom, having NO CLUE what I was doing or how I would lead and care for my kids. GOD provided and I do have all I need... I haven't had to WANT for anything. HE IS MY GOOD SHEPHERD, WOW, that's an awesome thought!!
Todd lead and embodied a shepherd well for me for the 18 years of our married life. SO I've had to learn to listen to God's voice and leading alone after years of depending on Todd's strong earthly leadership. BUT isn't that what God wants us all to do? Married or single, He should be your Shepherd. Not your husband, boyfriend, your parents or even a well meaning friend or pastor.
I've been a Christ follower for over 30 years but isn't true that when you have a godly husband or pastor leading you, you often defer to that leadership instead of God's? So this past 3 plus years I am learning that God is enough and that He is MY Shepherd... SO if I am fully trusting Him to lead me on the right path I have to know and believe He knows best and won't lead me astray. Even the most well-intentioned godly leaders can lead us astray. For those of you reading this who have never experienced such godly leadership, my prayer is that you would TRUST God completely to be enough and He would show you just how trustworthy He is.
I have always LOVED Psalm 37:4, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."
That sound so wonderful almost magical, doesn't it?? I've always known that God is a good, loving, generous God but is he saying that if I'm delighting in Him, meaning being happy in him, praising Him, walking in obedience to Him, He will give me whatever I WANT?