Faithfulness in single parenting
Suzanne is a close friend of mine who has experienced the loss of her husband at a young age. I’m encouraged by her faith in God and her reliance on Him as she walks forward everyday in raising her two young boys. I’m honoured to share her story here.
When I was asked to write about what it looks like to be faithful to God in the season of life that I’m in, I needed to ponder that question for quite some time.
What does it mean to be faithful to him?
And what season am I in?
I first spent some time thinking about what category or season I would place myself in.
My season looks quite rare to the average christian. There aren’t many I can compare to as far as what faithfulness looks like. I’m a single parenting, missionary, widow. That is my “status” I guess you could say.
I lost my husband to cancer 4 and ½ years ago and am currently raising an almost 8 year old and a 5 year old. I work for a christian student ministry that focuses on evangelism and discipleship.
And to be honest, I don’t know how faithful I am to God. I struggle to be patient with my children. I wrestle with anxiety in knowing what my place is in my ministry, and how I can be used best to have maximum impact for Jesus. I often pendulate from a deep desire to be independent and saying to myself “I don’t need no man!” to “If only I had a husband and father for my children then everything would be ok.”
When I can’t offer the “everything”, faithfulness means asking for help. - Suzanne
With my children, especially as a single parent, I feel to be faithful to God is my highest calling. And boy, do I feel especially in this category that I fail. I’m not celebrating or feel I should be apathetic about my failures but honestly it’s hard to be faithful! I see being faithful as being a good steward of what I have been entrusted with. I’m entrusted to care for my two school aged children: physically, emotionally and spiritually. And I feel shame that I can’t give them everything on my own I think they should have.
When I can’t offer the “everything”, faithfulness means asking for help. Faithfulness means persevering. Faithfulness means researching and learning what is best for them physically, emotionally and spiritually to raise them to be independent adults who love Jesus (as far as I am able) and are good, kind and giving citizens.
But I think I’ve come to a conclusion recently on what it means for me to be faithful in my season of life. This came while I was listening to a song by Page CXVI. It was their rendition of "be still my soul" which has these lyrics:
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to your God to order and provide;
In every change, He will remain.
Being faithful to God in my season of life means clinging desperately to the fact that he is faithful to me. He is faithful to keep me persevering; He is faithful to his church (which is where my community and much of my help resides); He is faithful in providing me with servant hearted family members who support me in so many ways; and He is faithful to love my children even more than I love them.
He sees me. Loves me. Knows me and cares for me through the body of Christ. I know that if I don’t believe that he is more faithful to me than I am to him, I won’t be able to persevere in this season I’m in.
Oh Lord, please keep me faithful to remember your faithfulness!