Please know that we love God too…
For many of us who have grown up in Apostolic, Pentecostal, Old School, Foot Stamping, Hat Wearing, Hand Clapping ( you get the picture) churches, we’ve listened to message after message about the backsliders, and the girls that left church “for a man”, the ones that trimmed their way to find love, having babies out of wedlock and many other saying and labels for how a woman became a single mother. And for many of us to now be that woman who is spoken of in not so favourable light is enough a burden to carry let alone all the other things that come along with being a single mother in this day and age. But God’s grace has been sufficient, so much to the point that we are here, we turn up, we came back.
Single mother in Zion.. not a biblical concept by any means but this is how we stand, we can never seem to detach for the single mother element of who we are. Like we are the ones who have made the mistake, and while others can repent and run on with no evidence of what they did and it just remains a “Me and Jesus” testimony, but not so for us, we can’t cover this. They are in Sunday School, well dressed and on time, they are collecting offering, proudly too. They are there, front row, tambourine and drum sticks at the ready, just waiting for the next lively chorus – they are a new life, guilt free and ready to go, but little do they know how much effort it took for mummy to be at church today.
The question remains, are we really accepted when we come back with buggy and baby? Are we forgiven by the fellowship? This is important.
We know that our actions cause pain to the body let alone God our Father, but often times there is a sense of un-forgiveness that lingers. Unspoken, Nonverbal, but very present. Almost as if we are to prove ourselves before we are accepted back into the fold.
You’d have to be a prodigal daughter to know what it feels like to come home, from years of vanity and pride. Yes, we all know what happened, but there seems to be a struggle to celebrate something that only exists as a result of a sinful act. Do I hang my head in shame forever, or am I free to quote the Psalmist David and confess that “The fruit of the womb is HIS reward? Can my child, born of a sinful act still be the reward of God?
Now while our Father is good to throw down and kill anything with a heartbeat to celebrate at the return of His child, here comes the brother/sister. You’d expect them to just be glad to see you home, but that’s not always the case. There are the quiet rumbles of – why? How comes she gets that? She does not deserve that! Not only is it a hard and scary thing to lone parent, but to also return to a church where my choice(s) (In the past, under the blood and in the sea of His forgetfulness mind you) are so frowned upon – and – the monument- nay testimony of those choices follows us to church every Sunday. We can’t hide what happened, we can’t even forget about it and pretend it never happened – we have to daily make a choice to accept that the blood of Jesus covers us too. That He loves us too. That He cares for us too.
Many of us put on a brave face for church along with the rest of the attire, and if asked we will tell you and swear blind we are fine. But the truth is while we are working full time, studying at night, trying to make ends meet, trying to ensure we don’t make a mess of our child’s life, keeping up with homework so the schools don’t complain, often time feeling inadequate for the tasks at hand, as well as trying to be at church on time and enough times to stop the speculations of you backsliding again, things can become very overwhelming. Oftentimes we would just appreciate someone celebrating the fact that we have turned up in one piece.
Saints, please appreciate that us who are single mothers of this day and age do not have it like you had it back in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s even the 80’s. You who can testify of leaving you children at home while you went to prayer meeting didn’t have the threat of neighbours who would call social services for you and you would return to a note telling you where to find your children. You lived as a unit, and a community, nowadays you can’t even leave your buggy outside your house while you unload your shopping without it being stolen (true story!), and as strange as my neighbours are I wouldn’t ask them to watch my goldfish let alone my children. These are VERY different times we live in – and honestly, its hard work.
Now we are not asking you to condone our choices. We are not even asking you to sign up to a babysitting contract, but we are asking you to be mindful of the fact that while we have made mistakes, we love Jesus too. We are not defined by our missing fathers, or struggles to keep up, we are hardworking and dedicated to providing the best for our children. We are in church and bring the testimonies to church. We are still here because we love God too. We are women and we are mothers – how we got there does not define who we are in Christ.
Sisters Daily x