I came to single parenting as an accomplished adult and professional. Rejection and abandonment slashed my personhood and confidence to negative digits. The daunting challenge that lay before me reduced me to feeling like a child—in need of guidance and support. Where would I obtain the knowledge to successfully navigate life and guide my children?“I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.” Philippians 3:12-14 (The Message)
Just as everyone begins life as an infant, I lacked solo parenting experience during those first days on my own. From dealing with car troubles to finding a job and childcare to emotionally surviving the day without a major bawl fest, every day offered new challenges to overcome.
Like children who grow from helpless infants to mature adults, I learned how to survive, cope and grow—one step at a time. Every triumph over an obstacle boosted my confidence. There were times when I took two steps forward, then fell to my knees and crawled until I could regain my footing once again. Too often I was too hard on myself. I only looked at what I didn’t accomplish that day or where I failed. I lost sight of the skills I'd developed and how I’d grown more adept at overcoming frustrations.
A New Look At the Past
When discouraged I looked back, not upon my sorrows and disappointments, but upon the headway I’d gained. I stopped comparing my life to what I'd lost and started asking God give me the courage to face each day and hope for the future. Each time a new crisis reverses my forward momentum, I ask, “Am I better than a week ago, a month ago, a year ago?
Growing up is never easy. We hold on to the way things were, while fearing, “What’s to come?” Let go of the past. Live the best life you can today. Look ahead to what can be and trust God. Never forget—stress and trials mature us emotionally and spiritually.
How much progress have you already made from the first day you found yourself a single parent? Each day’s unperceived progress pays it forward towards our future. Faith, wisdom, and maturity start today. Ask God for wisdom to help you move forward—today. Right now.