A PRAYER, A PLAN AND SOME PAPER
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the Peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
– Philippians 4: 6-7
Planting seeds goes a long way! Not too long ago I was a single mom, so I know first hand about the tests and trials experienced when raising children alone. The phases you go through are so exhausting and at times your sanity is even questioned. At times you may even also wonder just what happened to your joy, even wondering if that same joy would ever come back.
The pressures of practically every area of your life seem to hit you at full speed and your home has shifted to a never-ending revolving door of chaos. Seriously!!! Eventually, you erratically realize that you’ve got to get off that hamster wheel and take a step back in order to see where you should’ve jumped off in the first place. Over and over again, you’ve been through the same process expecting a different outcome. Through my own personal experience and indirectly through other single moms and single dads, the good news is that there is a breakthrough!
I know this cliché gets old, but in order to see a breakthrough, real change does truly start within.
I’m not suggesting that something is ultimately wrong with you, I’m pleading with you to reflect on the deeper issues that lie beneath. Somewhere, there’s unresolved brokenness using resentment to cover up fear. To the single parent, frustration has already built up on the surface and is inflamed when met with any opposition, no matter who or what it is… a rainy day, that’s a problem. Traffic… bigger problem, annoying co-worker… WATCH OUT! I can surely relate to this and you never truly feel at ease or in peace even in those moments when lashing out and displaying anger seemed to be the only answer to relieve stress. I hate to admit this, but in my case, I’d often lashed out at my children. Sadly, they were the target at the end of a busy and stressful day.
Realizing the tension I was initiating in my home and the fear it then harbored in my kids, I became more cognizant of things through their eyes.
It wasn’t easy to simply shut whatever “this” was off. Whatever it took… walking away, staying in my car to cool off, locking myself in a room, breathing exercises, you name it – I’ve tried it.
My favorite room in the house was the bathroom. Seriously… oh, come on – like you don’t understand! The bathroom was the only place I knew I could find a moment of silence. If I laid on my bed, fingers would be poking in my sockets within seven minutes. If I was on the phone, all of a sudden there was an urgency. If guests came over, my living room immediately became a venue for auditions to America’s Got Talent. I can’t say I was entirely free of interruptions, but the restroom bought me a good 60 minutes of alone time. I didn’t even need to be doing anything in there. It was like it played a psychological twist in their little minds – mom’s in the bathroom!
It was there I did my best crying even with snot and all of that ugly cry. It was also there where my deep reflections came from. It was there I was able to reflect on why I was becoming so angry, so sad, so helpless, and so hopeless. I didn’t like who I was becoming and was afraid that continuing this way would destroy my relationship with my children. Most of all, most importantly, it was there I found God. I found prayer.
LET GO – LET GOD
“Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, for I am your God. Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
– Isaiah 41:10
This is the very scripture that sunk in for me.
So, I took it literally. I had to realize that the issues that lead to my divorce and ultimately leading me and my children to this point could no longer hold value to new beginnings. Faith needed to kick in and I needed to be ALL IN! At the time, fear had a way of crippling me, leaving me paralyzed. I grew tolerant of the lies worldly statistics placed on single mom’s and neglected the very Truth. But what causes us to be generally afraid? Why are we so afraid of change? Well, after some careful evaluation and contemplation, I’ve realized that we become so comfortable in the early adaptation of establishing our lives that whether or not things occur as we’ve planned, we typically learn to accept things just as they are.
Surely, this wasn’t God’s original plan for me and in retrospect, it wasn’t the plan I had for myself or for my children. Subsequently, I became angry. Angry realizing that of all the things I lost (confidence, hope, a family unit, peace, sanity etc.), the one thing lost that I could not get back was time. A college professor I once had was famous for this very quote, “Time waits for no one!” He’s right, you know. You can’t catch up with it. You can’t buy it. Time can’t even feel sorry for you. How could I have wasted so much time muddling in my affliction? Have you ever felt that way? Are you there now? For me, that anger turned to motivation and suddenly I had the compelling feeling of getting to work. Work like my life depended on it. Work like I was depended on. Now I’m not talking about having a literal job with a boss assigning me laborious work. I’m talking about working myself out of that dark funk and taking my rightful position God has set forth in my life. Getting back to where I left off. So I let go. All of it. I let go of the past, the hurt, the betrayal, the rejections, the lies, the pain… and yes, even the hate. If those were the very things obstructing my view then the only thing holding me back was me holding on.
Right about now you might be thinking how it’s easier said than done. You’re right and I won’t deny or sugar coat it one bit.
However, the truth is – it really is just that, literally letting go (ALL OF IT) and letting God. While it may take a ton of trial and error, there is always a way. Start with prayer, fervent prayer. Prepare to hear His plans and be mindful of your own objectives trying to get in the way. Have a journal, or two, and keep it with you for immediate access and start writing. This is not only life-changing, but it’s also heart changing too. You’ll begin to see differently, act differently, speak differently, and even think differently – your purpose, knowing God’s will for your life, hidden talents, etc. Even the dreams you dream become significant as God reveals hidden secrets and revelations pertaining to specific areas of your life. Now writing them down doesn’t always connect the dots regarding timing, but it sure is refreshing to see God’s hand at work when His timing is revealed.
GETTING TO WORK
“Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, But at the end, it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.”
– Habakkuk 2:2-3
I often have a bazillion of ideas running in and out of my mind. And because I’m a visual person, I needed something visual and tangible to help me stay focused and on the task in meeting my BIG goals this year. Writing them down on a legal pad or notebook just wasn’t enough. I wanted something similar to a manifesto, a serious plan that outlined the execution of my former self and detailed the goals set for my future.
I call it my “2017 FERVENT DRIVEN LIVING” binder.
I used a 2-inch binder (large enough to include important documents) and 12 folders (designated for each month, respectively). I printed calendars for tracking purposes and also created individual envelopes for reserving monthly financial obligations, a.k.a. bills!
I’ve got a lot of stuff running through this big head of mine, all at one time, and I want them all. Who do you think gifted you with the capacity to come up with so many great ideas and so many possibilities? God, that’s who.
What I’m aiming for this year involves purchasing a home. This I would say is the top goal. Other goals focus on the business aspect of Dreams Of My Own, devoted on preserving and honoring set aside time with my children and family. Another big goal of mine involves the single parent outreach- looking forward to community events and so much more. Certainly there is work to be done and it will take much faith as well as dedicated, detailed and sincere planning.
I personalized this binder to what fits for accomplishing my goals but here’s a closer look at a few BIG highlights of what’s inside:
Perhaps this is just too much, but this binder has really helped me stay on task, motivated, and so many others have asked me to help them with their own binders. The significance is what I’m striving for – letting go of fear, stepping out on faith, and believing that the end goal is mine!
Rise up, oh dormant dreams and shine!
Just because your circumstances have changed, the blessings of your children haven’t. God’s sovereignty hasn’t. The gifts and talents you’ve been born with haven’t either.
Remember the key scriptures noted above. Be purposeful and consecrate some time alone. Ask God to reveal more to you and bring to life all that has been planted in your heart.
SO, WHAT’S YOUR STORY? What dream/vision/plan have you set aside all these years that you haven’t been able to accomplish?
Sharing is caring so comment below – I’d love to hear from you and and so do many of our readers. Your story can encourage, inspire, and help to bring hope in someone else’s life.
As always, stay prayed up and be blessed!
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