Friday, August 13, 2010

What's in a Name?

This is what the Lord says: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I created you,  formed you. Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. Jeremiah 31:3, Nahum 1:7, Isaiah 43:1 (NIV)

I’m not sure how long it took me to grow comfortable with the term “single parent”. It didn’t fit. It felt like someone else’s clothes. Certainly, not mine.
When stripped of the honor and title of “wife” and every other moniker associated with marriage and acceptance by polite society, I clung to the only descriptor left—single mom. That name made me at least feel somewhat human. “Single” and “mom” described my circumstances, my status, and my daunting responsibilities.
Even though who I was had not changed—how I was viewed and treated by others changed. Without knowing me, religious leaders
  • judged me harshly
  • called what was left of my shattered family uncomplimentary names
  • predicted I’d fail at parenting
  • pronounced curses upon any hope for my children to achieve any success in their futures
  • and accused a terrified single mother and two innocent children of the downfall of society.
Their dire warnings, prejudices, and forecasts further stripped me of dignity and courage. Where’s the voice of encouragement when you need it most?
The only person who didn’t treat or view me harshly?
El ‘Echad, The One God. God’s care, affirmations, and support never wavered.
I was still his friend, his child, and his beloved. The father of every man, woman and child on the face of the earth cheered me on.
Nothing and no one could separate me from his love.

El Echad, I praise you for embracing my precious family. You didn’t slap a negative label on my precious sons or me. When terrified by those who branded my family with treacherous words, I turned to your Word that convinced me that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, can separate me from your love.