His Word, Soul Relationships

20 Years and Change

Someone recently shared with me that we’ve known one another for over 20 years.

Wow…TWENTY years…two decades…

That’s a long time…and, while I’m still in my 30’s, I can say that 20 years is more than half of my life.

Even as I type that, it seems like so much time…

A lot can happen over 20 years…a person can encounter a lot of ‘stuff’ that changes who they are to the core.

Marriage…divorce…having kids…changing jobs…losing parents…life threatening illnesses…

Each of these events, as well as the daily ebb and flow of life, can change a person…for better or worse.

Of the very short list above, I’ve walked through two-thirds of these events. Fortunately, I’ve not lost either of my parents or encountered any life-threatening illnesses.

One thing that has changed me the most is motherhood. Becoming a parent will only change you if you let it. I’ve been a single mom for the entire time I’ve been a mother – almost 10 years. When you become a mother, you realize that it’s no longer about YOU. It’s about them…and what they need from you…and you learn to put your selfish ways on the shelf – or at least you should.

You know what else has had a huge impact on me? Accepting the free gift of salvation from Jesus. Knowing that you don’t have to work your way into heaven sure does take a load off. Between that and motherhood, I am nowhere near the same person I was twenty years ago. Add wisdom from poor choices to the mix, and you get another set of circumstances that can change a person.

As I was reflecting on the last twenty years, it occurred to me that this person has weaved their way in and out of my life this entire time. There would be times that we wouldn’t speak for months and years, and then there would be times where we would check in more frequently. Just a few months ago, I found a picture from 20 years ago that I had to share…and I think we both got a chuckle out of it. {Let’s be real, fashion has come a long way! Thankfully.}

Throughout this 20 years, this time span of two decades, two marriages and five kids between us, and countless broken hearts and unfulfilled hopes and dreams, we have both…

…loved and lost…

…lived through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows…

…and we have both managed to come out on the other side of things able to talk about them…

When, on a random Sunday morning, one text message starts the whole cycle over again, you find that your past and your present and your future are all rolled into one…

And then one day, you look up and someone you met 20 years ago is there…smiling at you, and asking, ‘Where have you been?’

And you just know that your heart has come home.

His Word, Kids/Parenting, Series

‘Singled’ Out

This post was originally published on March 18, 2014. Yet, as I republish it on April 29, 2015, I feel like somehow, things haven’t changed all that much. I still feel the way I describe below.

Lately, I’ve felt ‘singled’ out. Truly, as though because I’m a single mother, I’m a single woman, that somehow, I’m not worthy. I’ve felt that I don’t have as much to contribute to any cause; that I don’t matter as much…in the eyes of the world.

I’m not part of a couple. I can’t go on double-dates with other couples. I don’t have a ‘better half’ to fix things around my house or to send on errands when I just don’t feel like going to the grocery store. I don’t have someone else that can entertain the kids while I take 10 minutes to myself.

I know that in the eyes of the world, I may not be ‘complete.’ But the truth is that in God’s eyes and in His viewpoint, I matter just as much as everyone else, if not more…simply because I’m doing it all by myself.

I’ve been reading through my bible and I’m on course to finish it in a year. I just completed the book of Joshua this morning. I noticed something as I was reading this book. This book is powerful stuff! In the book, Joshua and his armies battle neighboring lands in order to receive the Promised Land that The Lord is to deliver to them. Therefore, it’s only natural that you would find uplifting and encouraging words. There are 24 chapters and 658 verses in this book.

Of these 658 verses, there is some repetition. Where there is repetition, you know God is trying to get a message across to His people.

In the book of Joshua, you find the phrase, “Be strong and courageous” or some variation of, six times! It’s in the following passages: 1:6, 1:7, 1:9, 1:18, 10:25, 23:6.

In the book of Joshua, you find the phrase, “Do not be afraid” or some variation of, five times! It’s in the following passages: 1:9, 8:1, 10:8, 10:25, 11:6.

In the book of Joshua, you find the phrase, “Do not be discouraged” or some variation of, three times. It’s in the following passages: 1:9, 8:1, 10:25.

Now, I don’t know about you, but it seems that God is trying to get a message across to Joshua (and you and me!). All of these phrases and the many times they are repeated, indicate to me, that I should be strong and courageous and that I should not be afraid or discouraged in my ‘single-ness.’

I shouldn’t be discouraged that I am ‘singled’ out, because it means that My God has taken notice of me! I shouldn’t be afraid that I’ve been set apart; after all, aren’t we told that to be ‘holy’ means to be set apart? And being ‘singled’ out is to be set apart.

YES! I think that I will begin to rejoice in being ‘singled’ out! I will begin to shout for JOY when I remember that My God has thought enough of me to ‘single’ me out; to set me apart, to consecrate me for His use and His purposes…to make me holy for His glory.