It doesn’t seem possible that it has been 17 months since my life here took a sudden and unexpected turn. Losing my husband, has been and may always be… the hardest leg of this journey, I don’t know for sure yet… but what I do know… is that in spite of the agony, discouragement and pain… I have never once been abandoned by God.
People have asked, “if He is so wonderful, why did He take your husband and leave you alone with children to raise?” I admit I wondered this too… for a time… but the question was answered this past year through my children… yes, my children.
The blessings and difficulty of parenting teens as a single mom, wow, words cannot describe this journey…. any of you who know me well and have observed and/or been a part of these past 17 months, have seen the stretch and the challenge it has been to be the leader of my home. At times my broken home bruised by loss and change, as been out of control and chaos was the only thing I could count on being daily present.
Why then… in all this, have I said, “my children have taught me the answer to where God is in all this?” Because I have learned in spite of the pain I still have much to live for. When I lost my beloved one, I still had my children to get up for… everyday, for that I am thankful… and God used them to draw me into His arms.
When my four beautiful children acted out their grief, demonstrating deep pain in frightening ways… I was forced to stand in the presence of God and all of heaven, and cry out for help, wisdom and relief… and He sent it. When my children cried and wept in agony and silence even, all I really wanted was to fix it… but knew I couldn’t. I was forced, this time to sit in the presence of God and all of heaven, shouting, fist raised, “why, God, why… do you hate me, are you there, I cannot do this anymore?” And He answered, “yes, I am. You don’t have to do this alone.” When my children walked and ran away, burdened and discouraged, angry and furious… I was forced to look God in the eye and, agonizingly, kneel surrendered, in the presence of God and all of heaven. I was silent, I no longer had words, but He did… and there was precious comfort. And when my children’s closeness made way for isolation and withdrawal and depression…. and I couldn’t find a solution, an answer or a way out of this valley for them… or me, I was forced to lay prostrate before the presence of God and all of heaven, and weep and weep and weep. He was there too… His hand on my shoulder, whispering promise after promise, after promise.
So, do you still ask, “where was God in all this?” I desire for you to see… that in all the standing, sitting, kneeling and falling before Him, something happened. I met God.
I was so desperate and empty and confused, but the need for something greater, and someone to hold me, drove me to seek in a desperate fashion. God brought answers, love and support. My need to be what my children needed most, pushed me to find someone to hang on to as the waves crashed over us all . This innate need to help my children survive, to protect them and to provide for them drove me to look for goodness, something to ground us all with.
God showed up, in the rainstorm with friendships and the fellowship of others who knew God and His Son and ones who also knew loss. God became so real in those agonizing early days of parenting on the seas of grief and in the midst of painful storms. When I doubted He loved me, He sent proof by providing where I couldn’t provide, by protecting where I couldn’t protect and in bringing me out of mere survival… into victory.
I believe my children will always remind me of God’s deep love… and this journey of being a single mom is not over… may I be found faithfully placing our lives into the capable hands of a loving God. Who is jealous for our love, who has our tears in a bottle and knows the agony and the joy of each one better than I ever could.
This God I met in my grief is very present, very real and deeply saddened by the pains here on earth… so much so that He has overcome the world and it’s darkness… making a way for the darkness of death to become the light of eternity’s hope… to those to ask for it and choose to let God in.
My God never abandoned us, He stood beside me every step of the way, as my husband and a Daddy to my children. He is cheering me on, has sent dear ones along my path, and He is gently and firmly encouraging me to find Him through the agony of parenting single. God is allowing me the rain of tears, the pain of loss and the joy of living, so that I can meet Him everyday.