It is Mother’s Day, and I believe it is the perfect time to announce that I am officially changing the format of this little piece of the blogosphere. Like any writer worth their snuff, I want to bring something valuable and intentional to the table rather than a bunch of egotistical nonsense. While my identity is not totally wrapped up in single parenting, it is my life and my unique perspective and journey.
I have covered a lot of ground these past seven years, and I have so enjoyed sharing my life with you! This Mother’s Day marks my fifth year as a single mom. Year to year my emotions shifted from sadness to anger to loneliness and now JOY. I have gone to church on Mother’s Day cried and a couple years I could not bear to go to church at all; I begged God for another way – any other way but this one, sat silent and angry feeling quite the victim of my circumstances and at one point felt too exhausted with it all to even raise my head. It’s a process my friends. Yeah, it took me a good five years to grieve the loss of my dream and to accept my new reality. If you’re in the really gritty part with stingy eyes and an aching chest, pissed off or just confounded – I get it. No shame. It is a process.
While I cannot sit here and say, “I’ve arrived!” I am in a very different place than I was five years ago. A good place where I am looking up. Author/lawyer/dreamer Bob Goff says that it takes imagination to change, and I agree. It takes courage to dream again when a lifelong dream is suddenly gone. It takes tenacity to hang on when grief rages at its worst. It takes faith to keep believing when everything in your life shrugs its shoulders and says like Job’s wife, “Just lay down, curse God and die.”
Was I just born with those things? I think we all are. When circumstances bring us to our knees, we can forget who we are. It’s almost like Peter Pan where the older we get the more we forget. I have rarely met a kid that wasn’t audacious, big-thinking, tenacious and full of simple faith. For me, and I will argue for anyone, it takes a real encounter with Jesus – with LOVE – (not fairy dust) to wake us up and jog our memories.
I have discovered that the real secret to change is a transformed mind and an altered heart. At the beginning of the year I decided to do like Martha and spend a ridiculous amount of time sitting at Jesus’ feet, just listening and soaking up everything He is about. Little by little, not only have I been able to walk out of the grief and into the light, I am different. It’s like I got a new set of eyes.
And here we are. I admit I am scared. Part of the reason I stopped writing for a while is because I lacked authenticity because I was not able to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is absolutely necessary for successful relationships. I have worn a mask for such a long time – the girl who masks her hurt with humor, who covers up her shame with wit and downplays herself so no one will take much notice. Flying under the radar. We all have something beautiful to offer, and I have been encouraged by other brave, vulnerable souls to not put my best foot forward – just my feet. I prefer them in my Teva sandals – incredibly comfy.
So I invite you to get to know me, and I want to know you. I want to share my stories and the stories of other single parents who have been wrecked by Jesus and have wisdom to share. My hope is to create a little place to dialogue together and bring whatever we need to bring to the table – the good, the beautiful, the hard and the ugly. It’s all welcome.
So single mom or dad (or former single parents) here is your invitation to put your feet forward – how can I pray for you? Please comment here or email me at Crystalzwith3@gmail.com.