I don't believe I was designed to be a mother AND father to a three-year-old boy...but I am (of course, I could be phrasing this wrong - I also wasn't designed to sin and live apart from God...but I do). God thinks I am enough for my young son right now, or my circumstances would be different. I want to agree with God - that His plan is best - but my common sense seems to tell me differently. Darn that common sense. Gets me in all kinds of trouble.
I wrestle with self-pity: why am I alone? Why do I have to crawl into bed alone (which may explain why I stay up so late for no good reason)? How am I supposed to introduce my son to his dear father who is unfortunately deceased? Why do friends and family, ignoring God's instructions otherwise, shack up, get pregnant, get married - in any willy-nilly order they like - and appear to get everything I want? (Aside: don't get me wrong - I do not envy that scenario. I do not envy the hard work and pain and tears that come with bringing such circumstances under God's blessing - if such a blessing is even desired, in some cases. I DON'T WANT THAT. I just want to be comfortably married with children, enjoying the favor of the Lord.)
Is that so much to ask? Barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen?
I wrestle with pride: I'm a tough chiquita. I'm ballsy and energetic, honest and hard-working...I'm the shit. I have a kiddo who is a pleasure to be around, and I've put in the hours and painful (for both of us) discipline to make that happen. I've got it going on...and God help any man who tries to enter into such a heart.
Both pride and self-pity leave out the critical ingredient of gratitude. Gratitude is what helps me to push both temptations away:
- Yes, I'm alone, but God's graced me with a dear boy, a faithful family, loving friends, and a solid church, all of whom want to wrap us up in a very tangible sense of community.
- Yes, I go to bed alone and too late, but I wake up bright and early to a cheerful little stale-breathed buddy who stretches out and snuggles with me for a few minutes before whispering, nose to nose, "Momma, open your eyes."
- Yes, my husband is dead (saying he's "not here" just makes him sound like an absentee father), but Blake's been praying every night: "Thank you for Momma and Daddy and..." he trails off into a list of anything and everything in his room. I don't know how I'm doing it, but he's getting it. Somehow.
- Yes, I see others defy God and "get away with it," but I'm not perfect either, and I don't have to see the heartache behind their decisions or the consequences resulting. What of them? God has me here.
- Yes, I'm tough, ballsy, energetic, honest, and hard-working. Praise God for those virtues, because on my own, I tend towards manic, judgmental, and bitchy. God has made me who I am and saved me from the same.
- Yes, little Blake is a delight. Praise God for blessing me with a tender-hearted little toughie who responds well to my loving discipline (taught to me by others).
- Yes, God help the man who steps into this family. I have things a certain way, and I have not had to compromise in my home for a good long while. May God have mercy on ME, by not bringing a fellow along before my heart is soft and ready.
My hand will still be empty. God knows best, and I trust (or want to trust) that He has someone picked out to come alongside me, take that empty hand, and lead me through the tangled mess of life. Until then...well, God has me here. I don't know exactly what He's up to (the proud part of me wants it to be BIG), other than making me a dose of perspective to others, but I would rather wait on Him than try to make something happen on my own.
I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (emphasis mine)