Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Over the past few weeks, I have been a part of the audience of 2 different groups of people. 
400 or more "like-minded" folks filled both places, listening to speeches from people up front. 
Both talks had the variations on the themes of divorce, being a single parent , re-marriage and all that goes along with that. 
In one of those places, I was made to feel condemned, ashamed, 
less-than, and not-as-good-as.
In the other place, I was encouraged, uplifted,
as-good-as, and applauded as a survivor.
One of these "talks" lead me (and my oldest girls) to feel badly about ourselves.  The other "talk"has motivated me to get involved with this organization  .
I am so excited about what this group stands for and for any small part I can play
in affirming the efforts and supporting the lives of single parents 
and divorced people.

13 years ago, I became a single mother.  It wasn't a choice that I would have made on my own. It wasn't a situation that I thought that I would have ever been in. 
However, the few years that I was a single parent turned out to be some of the best moments of  blessing for me.  It was a place of receiving, a place of tenderness between me and my Lord. 
It wasn't a final stop on my mothering journey, but it was a rest-stop where I learned about God's Grace and Mercy, and now I want to give all of what I learned to others.  
 Every single day, God showered  my oldest daughters
and I with His extravagant love and provision.
Nobody should be without that. 

As one of my favorite authors, Glennon Melton, says... "A broken heart is not the end of anything. It’s the beginning of everything."

This was true for me.  
And I hope that it will be true for the single parents in 
Project self-suffiency is committed to uplifting and encouraging, not shaming, people who have been either in divorced situations 
or places where they have been abandoned or have chosen safety for themselves and their children.

Sadly, years before I was divorced and parenting my children alone, I would have
viewed single parents with eyes of judgement,  pointing fingers and placing blame.  I would have called those divorced people out, would have told them "whats what". 

I'm more ashamed to admit that this ugliness was in my heart than 
I am to ever say that I am divorced or was a single parent.  
I am really truly grateful that those eyes of judgement
and my heart of disgusting and legalistic regulations
have been completely transformed. 

 Because of God's provision for us, my years of single-parenting weren't many.
He brought the 3 of us
a wonderful husband and father that we
desperately needed.  Patrick came into our lives, loving us
and caring for us, a tiny group of pilgrims who were happy yet lonely.
Patrick and his extended family welcomed the girls and me into their
family, showing us a picture of the true grace of God.
That grace was extended over the years with the births of 
more siblings for my big girls, thus creating a family for all of us.

I am just starting to get to know Project Self Sufficiency
and I am so thrilled to know about it and get involved with it.
I commend anyone and everyone who has ever been apart of the sadness, 
the loneliness, the trauma, or the hardships of divorce/single-parenting.
Rather than judging and condemning, I hope that we
as a society will do more encouraging and supporting then 
we do judging and throwing stones. 
I want to be a part of the success story of one of these single parents. 
I want them to know love and feel supported by someone, always.
That's what Project Self Sufficiency is all about.