Supporting the Single Parents in Zion

Ministry to Single Parents.

A few months ago I shared my heart on the the topic of being a single mother in a very old school Apostolic church. Following that article I was asked to share my views on what the church need to be doing for us single mothers and indeed fathers in church. While I cant speak for the single fathers, I am sure some of the 5 points below can be crossed over into a ministry for them too.

Let me know your thoughts.. Do any of your churches “CATER” too or for your single parents, if so what does it look like?

What we need is:
1. Acceptance: Within a church that is so intently (and rightly so) on marriage and the wholeness of marriage, we are dropped in the category of the broken, raising children in broken homes. This often feels as though our family unit is somewhat second class to that of a two-parent family. It should not matter how we have come to this single parent status, the fact is we are still mothers and we are still women. We still encounter the same feeling and struggles as any other women or mothers, it’s just that out circumstances are different. It’s important that the circumstance does not overshadow the core needs that still need to be met.
2. Understanding Our Priorities: Often we are not appropriately catered to as no one really understands what our priorities are. The typical marriage or family aimed seminars don’t always cater to single parents. We often get thrown into singles seminars with the perception that singleness is our priority – no – parenting is. Doing an adequate job of getting this little life from A – B as best as humanly possible is our priority.
3. Be Practical: Physical needs must be addressed and considered before you attempt to deal with the spiritual needs. The offer of prayer is a nice one, and to know that someone is praying for us is a blessing, but practically, the needs and demands in that of a single parent home can be very overwhelming. Generally, our pressures (much like any other home) circle around; Child care, Housing, Finance and Parenting. Consider the contribution to these. Additionally, considering we are so well informed about the impact it has on girls growing up without their fathers, or for boys who grow up without their fathers – the men’s ministry should be equipped and ready to step in as male figures in their life. Offering money in this case is not the practical solution here, engage with these daddy less daughters, engage with these fatherless sons. Don’t just assume the role is being covered, and don’t accept a weekend visit from their own biological fathers to
be sufficient. Be proactive and practical in addressing the needs.
4. Then Go Spiritual: Along the journey to single parenthood some women have encountered and come through some very traumatic childhoods, harsh and abusive relationships, heart breaking break ups (and downs) of marriages. Many of us are wounded and exhausted – at times limiting our initial ability to serve. For this period of time we need just that, time, patients and most of all love. Love Covers All. Many have to learn to trust again forgive again, overcome the past, have our hearts mended while learning to forgive ourselves. This takes time. The implementation of mentors – where older women are matched with younger women who are to provide a line of accountability for her as well as a safe place to be human.
5. Allow Us To Grow: Serving in the church allows mothers to feel a part of the fellowship rather than an outcast being held up by their past. This act as a healing for the mother and adds value not only to the church but to the Kingdom. This will come via encouragement from the body to serve and personal invitation to continue to do so. If there is an identified gifting / ministry identified – fan the flame! Encourage and support the growth, support the development.

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Keep Your Eyes On God

Where are your eyes? Often time the things we see go on to affect our subsequent action. It’s important that we as believers have a grip on what and where our focus is.

To be focused is to keep our attention on Him.

Matthew 14:24-31 KJV

But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.  And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.  And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.  But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.  And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.  And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

A good place to put your eyes and focus: Psalms 121:1-2 KJV I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  My help cometh from the Lord , which made heaven and earth.

The benefits of keeping your focus on God, He’s the only one with insights into your future. Jeremiah 29:11 KJV For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord , thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

When you face trials it can be very easy, in fact too easy as its a natural human reaction to be fixated on what seems like the greater power – the problem. But God’s words provide us with the assurance we need to make a choice to focus on God who has all power.Job 23:10 KJV But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

If you wanted to know the ins and outs of a story, who better to talk to than the actual author. God has predestined every aspect of our lives to the finest details. He has planned orchestrated our life in His wisdom and love. So who better to focus on and follow than God? He knows how the story ends.. #spoileralert WE WIN! Hebrews 12:2 KJV “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”

Life is full of distractions, often the aim of which is to plant our aims and hopes in a feeble, lesser power that will ultimately fail us. The enemy knows the power we would possess and the benefits we would obtain from just having MUSTARD SEED size faith in God.

Try Looking Away From:

– Yourself; beauty,  humanity,  skills, talent, own abilities. Prov 14:12 reminds us that; “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” Each of us would have our preferred method of doing things, a way that makes sense to us. But we all need to take account of the fact that we are on a journey, one that has a very particular route that we are require to keep to if we want to make it to the promise land. It’s not really about us, but what it is that God would have us do at all times. Not my will!

-Man : expectations of another humans: Jeremiah 17:5-8 , “Thus saith the Lord ; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord .  For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord , and whose hope the Lord is.  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit” The scripture goes on to talk about how wicked the heart can be and that it cant be trusted. Often times we assume others intentions towards us are good and would want the best for us, but this is not always the case. Again, who better to trust than your creator.
-Alternatives: stop looking for everyone else and everything else. People in the 3rd world and deprived nations only have God,  which is why they seemingly receive so much from God. They literally have no other helper. They have no plan B, they have no back-up plan, they have no other person to call other than Jesus. This is trusting the Lord with ALL your heart. Not looking at or even considering others, simply  looking unto Jesus (Hebrews 12.2)

-The situation/ environment : the winds the waves, the fire. Refuse and Reject anxiety,  worried, fears. He that keepeth Israel neither slubers or sleeps. (Ps 120) He is very much aware of where you are and what you face.

-Looking back… God is Ahead!
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. Philippians 3:13.

My friend.. the wind will blow.. the storms will rage..life at times will flip you upside down. But its ok. This is life.. it’s not an all inclusive life time holiday in the Bahamas. The aim is to be presented back to God, having been born in sin, as pure gold. This is going to take some rough and tumble, some heat, some pain, some pressing, but keep your eyes on the end goal, be assured that God has got you. Be confident that He is ever present and He knows what He is doing!

What Do You Have?? – Red Sea Faith

Exodus 14 tells us of the account of the Children of Israel having come out of 400 years of slavery and now in some what of a predicament. They had made camp on the side of the sea, during this time the heart of the king of Egypt was full of regret for having let them go in the first place and had gathered 600 of his choice chariots and men of war and were set to recover the Children of Israel.

The children of Israel seeing these men in chariots and horses were very afraid. So much so they turned on Moses and asked him why he had taken them out of Egypt in the first place. They asked him if there wasn’t any graves in Egypt for them to die in why he had taken them to die in a wilderness! Moses did his best to encourage them to stand still and see the salvation of God, but at the same time he turned is concerns to God.. I often think that he too must have seen the army coming, the mountains on either side and this HUGE sea in front of them.While telling the people of God to be calm I can imagine that his own heart must have been going a mile a minute wondering to himself “God.. what now??”

This is a common position for the believer. Feeling like we have no where to turn. We cant even go back, because of the evil that way. Many of us would never consider going back due to the people and lifestyle that occupy those paths.. Cant go left or right because there are mountains there. These represent large blockages, things that seem bigger than us, situations that seem to tower over us with an impenetrable presence. Fear.. Doubt.. Shame.. The Past.. you know the mountains I talk about. In front of you .. a Sea. This can often times represent things that would look to drown us, carry us away, sweep us off our feet.. for me this is things like emotions, perceptions etc. These things move and change and can be of silent but great force if allowed the freedom to do so. They were at what seemed like a dead end.

bible-archeology-red-sea-crossing

Sometimes we are come to these dead end places in our lives, just so that God can get our attention. Moses and the Children of Israel had no where else to look. The Children of Israel had followed Moses out of Egypt. He had been the instigator of this move being driven by God. Physically they had followed him out, hence why at the first sign of trouble (and often times in there 40 yrs of wondering) they turned to Moses and looked to blame him. But Moses, knowing his position had no where else but to turn, but to God.

Sometimes we too get reliant on individuals being there to lead us out of a situation that we forget that it is GOD who has called us, its GOD who has made all the promises to be there and help us, its GOD who has seen our end from our beginning.. Sometimes these dead end situations come where we have no where to look other than UP!

And the interesting thing about it. While Moses is looking up and looking for God to intervene – God is looking right back at Moses and asking him what he has in his hands.

You see sisters.. we are a finished work. Jesus uttered three words before He died on the cross.. It, Is, Finished. All that was needed to be done was done. This plan of redemption that was put in place before the foundation of the world (remember there are no surprises to God, so the fall of man from the Garden was not the start of the plan, just part of the plan). God hasn’t got anything more to be doing now. He’s finished. This situation was not a surprise to God for Him now to try and figure a way out for them.. Moses had this rod.. probably of no real significance to him – until now..!

God told him to stretch out the thing he already had in his possession. This is an example of the finished work of God. Our deliverance is often time in our own possession. That little pot of oil that the woman had in her house – likely she felt it was of no use, not what she needed being in debt and her sons about to be taken from her. It was of such little value that when she was asked what is in your house she said – nothing.

Sisters – the means to your deliverance is already in your possession. Often times its that thing we have been doing for years, that thing we do without thinking, that little praise that you have left in you, that verse of scripture that you have remembered from Sunday School that just turns up, the one and only verse of the song you know, even the one line of a song. The rod was not only for the deliverance of Moses, but the Children of Israel. The pot of oil the mother had didn’t only get her out of debt and save her the heart ache of loosing her children, but it saved the lives of her sons.. and buy selling the oil, she was making provision for others!!!!

If you have been brought to a situation – remember the work of Calvary is one that is completed. God is not watching you enter a situation and then having to try and figure things out, your deliverance is already at hand, its already present, its already available.

I will leave you with the same question the Prophet asked the woman.. and God asked Moses… what do you have!!??

 

 

Create Your Own Opportunity

The woman with the issue of blood. One of the accounts in the bible that gives me life every time I read it. Amazingly, it’s always new life. There is always something else that I see that encourages me to live again, press again, stretch again, reach out again, live again!

This woman shows that Desperation = Deliverance. Being casual and indifferent about a situation won’t get you to your breakthrough. You’ve got to really want it and at times do things outside of the norm to get it.

Maintaining your composure as if you don’t really care either way wont really get you anywhere either. Desperate people will constantly be listening and waiting to hear and feel that God is near or that He is passing their way just to get something from God. They are just waiting for the opportunity to get in the same vicinity as the only one who can make a difference to their situation, and if they have to they will create the opportunity themselves.

We read about how this woman had suffered for 12 years. The account from the book of Mark tells us that she had suffered at the hands of many and had also lost all her money. So not only was so socially unaccepted, ostracised, considered an out cast, considered unclean buy all, she was BROKE! Hardly a good mix of conditions, but she was not about to let that stop her. She was desperate now.

Jesus was on his was to another man’s house. He had been sitting to a meal when another desperate man turned up asking for help for his daughter who was dead. While on his way the crowds as per usual around Jesus, but there was desperate woman among them today. This woman was doing SO much that seemed SO wrong for her and her condition

A woman in her condition was not supposed to be out in public unannounced. She was to announce her self wherever she went so people could move out of her way. She was not supposed to be in crowds, peradventure she touch someone, or someone touch her. This woman wasn’t even going to talk to Jesus about her condition. We see often times when Jesus performed miracles there was some kind of engagement, some kind of dialogue between Jesus and the person being healed, but this woman was too desperate to even engage in conversation. Her moment had come and she was looking to maximise this opportunity.

She had already made up in her mind what was going to happen. She had already created the opportunity and environment all by her self and she was ready to go and get what she needed. She wasn’t going to ask, she was just going to go and touch Jesus. Such was her assurance of the power that was in Jesus. Such was her faith, that she wasn’t going to ask him to touch her.. she was going to touch him!

I’ve been encouraged, so I’m sharing my encouragement (Caring is Sharing right!)… Don’t get into the habit of waiting for things to happen before you think God can deliver you. When Jesus died on the cross – that moment the curtain was split – we were all automatically given free access to Jesus and all the power that He holds. Some of us are wrapped into the traditions of needing a particular day, and a particular service, with a particular preacher who needs to preach a particular message. They then have to then call a particular alter call, and have to be prayed for by a particular person for deliverance. No way would God make deliverance so complicated!

All you have to do, like the woman, is make up in your own mind that today – right now- this instance, is my time to be delivered. So long as you and your faith are ready, deliverance is available to you.

 

The Rest Of The Armour

In my last blog post I spoke about the Belt of Absolute Truth and how important truth is to the believer..But we can’t forget the rest of the armour…

Breastplate of Righteousness

Righteousness talks of the quality of being morally right, or justified. It talks of goodness, virtue, uprightness. A breastplate has the function of covering the chest. A large majority of the vital organs are in this area of the body. Essentially the heart. We understand that the issues of life flow from the heart (Prov :4:23) We also hear that the heart of man is desperately wicked according to Jeremiah 17:9. We also understand that this armour is not our armour, so this covering of righteousness is not one that we have established, not one that we have created. If we were left to create this covering with our own righteousness it would malfunction at the first opportunity because our own righteousness is of no effect when it comes to warfare. It’s the righteousness of God that protect our hear and acts as a filter to what comes in and what comes out from the heart. The virtue of God covers our heart and allows better governance of our emotions and reactions. We are made righteous through HIS righteousness.

Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace

We understand that shoes are an essential part of any outfit. We may be fully clothed and have all we need on, but we are not ready to leave the house and accomplish anything without our shoes on. We can’t leave the house, we can’t go out and do what we plan to do with no shoes on. Also, it’s important that the shoes we have on are appropriate for where we are going or what we are going to do. Shoes are a protection from the ground that we have to walk on. The stones and harness of the ground would make walking and travelling long distances difficult and act as a distraction to the journey. Especially in warfare, it’s important that the shoes were purposeful and efficient for battle. They could not be too heavy or they would slow them down, and no too light or they would not protect against the hard ground. Our mission is to walk with and in the Gospel of Peace. This is the message we look to bring everywhere our feet tread.

Shield of faith

A shield has the function to protect, defend and cover. It is not attached to any fixed part of the body so it has the ability to protect anything from the head, to the feet. It also has the ability to cover and protect others. Faith we know to be the substance of things hoped for (what it’s made out of and made up of), the evidence of things not seen (the proof of things we don’t have yet) Heb 11:1. So how can faith be a defence? When the fiery darts of the devil come, aflame with doubt and fear, it’s the shield of faith that will render them powerless. Our faith allows to remain confident in the ability of God. It’s our faith that stops the attack to our mind, chest, feet. Faith disables anything that might stand against what God can do. We can cover ourselves and other with faith.

Helmet of Salvation

A helmet has the function of covering the head, and depending on the style, the face which holds the eyes. Salvation talks of deliverance from harm and injury and ultimate ruin. Christ has brought us salvation via His death on the cross. From that act of love we have been rescued, preserved and delivered all at the same time. Salvation talks of deliverance from sin and it’s consequence (death). Romans 7:25 (NIV) says “Thanks be to God who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. Proverbs 23:7 says “As a man thinketh, so is he”. We understand from these the power of the mind. The power of Salvation and our deliverance and ability to walk in the newness of life starts in the mind. We know that most things we do start as a thought in the mind which is why Romans 12 begs that we be renewed in our mind. Salvation acts as a covering to our mind and ultimately what we do. Because we have been changed, new born and our life has been rearranged, the things we used to do we do them no more, places we used to go we go, we go there no more thanks to Salvation and the change and covering of the mind.

Sword of the Spirit

The sword is a powerful part of the armour. One that is again in no fixed place, but can be directed to the enemy at hand. The Sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Hebrews 4:12 tell us that the word of God is alive, and quick and sharper than any two edge sword, penetrating, and dividing. Such is the power of the word of God. The word of God is the only part of the armour that is used to attack. The rest of the armour is used to defend but the word of God is set to attack and fight back. The believe must have access to a sword to make it through warfare. The undiluted word of God that is forever settled in the heaven is the only line of attack that we have against the enemy.

Prayer:

A forgotten part of the armour. Prayer. It is here where we suit up. It’s here where we get repairs and replacements and reinforcements to our armour. It’s in prayers that we learn more about the enemy and receive insight about it. It’s here that God allows us to communicate and strategies and plan and attack. Its where we meet the captain of the Lords host (Joshua 5) and rally together with others in the war and boost each other up ready for war. It’s here where we heal from a battle that we may not have won. Its hear where our wounds are bound together and oil and wine is poured in. It’s here where you can be encouraged to go and fight again!

Belt of Absolute Truth

Ephesians 6 talks about putting on the whole armour of God that we might be able to fight in this spiritual warfare that we as believers are constantly engaged in. The one part of the armour that always engages me is that of the Belt of Absolute Truth..

armor-of-god-belt-of-truth

Truth:

  • The quality or state of being true
  • Fact or belief that is accepted
  • In accordance with fact or reality
  • Something that is true: Accurate, Exact, Without variation, Bring an object into exact shape or position.

Belt:

  • Worn to support or hold in clothes or carry weapons
  • Continuous band of material used in machinery to move something from one wheel to another
  • Implement of punishment

What we consider to be TRUTH affects our belief system. What we believe of God is based on what we know and hold to be true of God. Belief Systems go on to govern a lot of who and what we are. It is important that we have full comprehension of where our truth comes from and what it is we hold true. Prov 23:23 says buy the truth and sell it not.

This is why words are so impact-full on children as they believe all they are told, they hold it true. These words form the basis of what they believe they are, what they believe they are capable of. The absence of absolute truth is also damaging, as often the truth is now based on a) the opinions of others or b) ones imaginations. Often in the absence of the truth, the mind will make up in formation in aims of having something to base future actions and beliefs on. People govern their entire life on what they hold to be true. Wars are started, prejudices are established, divisions are created all over what we hold to be true.

In the days of the apostles the challenge was not so much about what they believed of Jesus to be true. It was not a challenge to prove Jesus’s existence or if He said what He said. They were with Him pretty much night and day so anything He said, they heard for themselves, the challenge on them was physical. For someone to tell them Jesus didn’t exist wouldn’t be much of a challenge as they could simply point Him out.

The challenge of who Jesus is and the words He has said is for us – now that they physical person of Jesus is no longer with us. The enemy is looking to challenge what and who you know to be true, knowing that if he can loosen that belt, other things like your breastplate of righteousness will start to slip, your sword will start to slip, you shield will slip and fall out of place. If the truth is compromised it has as direct effect and reflection on your belief system and perceptions and ultimately your level of faith.

If you read in the word of God that He is a healer, and you hold this to be true. When you encounter sickness, your Belt of Absolute Truth is holding the Sword of the Spirit firmly in place which is the Word of God that allows you to repeat and confess that by His stripes you were healed. If you didn’t hold it to be true, likely your sword would not be in place to allow you to enter into warfare against the sickness because your Belt of Absolute Truth was not adequate,it wasn’t secure enough.

Before Jesus left it was important and crucial for Him to ensure that the disciples were settled and assured in their minds as to what it was they believed. He needed to ensure the quality of their truth basis. While Jesus was with them He was able to direct, govern, steer and direct them. He was able to step in when their faith was little, or when they were sinking, or when multitudes needed to be fed, but He knew that there was coming a time that they would need to be grounded in the truth of who God is as it’s only that, that would go on to govern their belief and their level of faith.

He asked the disciples in Mark 8:27 – “Who do men say that I am?”, they gave their answers. Now while it was ok that they could repeat the opinions of others, the question was changed to establish a more important point. “who do YOU say that I am?”. What other people have to say about God and His word is not sufficient enough to base your own belief system on. The opinions of others are likely and susceptible to change. Additionally, when you are faced with war, you are not able to draw another man’s sword from their belt, this must be from you own belt. Jesus wanted to hear what their truth basis was, what their foundation was, what their grounding was based on. What do YOU know to be true?

It is important that our truth is based on the word of God – only. John 1:1 states that in the beginning was the word, and that the word was with God, and that the word WAS God. John 17:17 Jesus in prayer said “ Sanctify them through thy truth, for thy word is truth”. In these two scriptures we understand that God is His word and that His word stands as absolute truth. We understand sanctification to be the process of separation and being set apart. This is what the absolute truth of the word of God does, it separates. Separates you from doubt, from fear, from confusion, from lies, from sin to name a few. When you are presented with something that comes to challenge the word of God, the Word of God stands as truth and separates you from lies.

What happens when what we hold true is compromised? Consider it literally, if your belt is there to keep your clothes in place, if it becomes loose you’re likely to be left in compromising positions, exposed and ultimately in shame. Consider Adam and Eve in Genesis 3;4. Considering all this time their belt was tight, they knew what God had told Adam, that if you eat of the tree you shall surely die. Now when the devil came to converse with Eve he didn’t challenge IF God had said what He said, that much he could not do.. but instead he challenge WHAT God had said – in aims to loosen the belt. Adam and Eve eat of the tree and as soon as they did, as soon as the belt of truth was compromised and removed you see they automatically felt naked, and ashamed, so much so that they felt the need to cover themselves.

Before this they were fully covered, their righteousness was in place, their belt was in place, their shield was in place, their sword was in place, but as soon as that belt of absolute truth was compromised everything came out of place and they were naked, exposed and in shame.

How can we stop ourselves falling into this? 2 Cor 10:15 says “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” we have to be a )solid in what we hold true so that we are able to combat with the Sword of the Spirit and b) be vigilant to bring down every and anything that would look to exalt itself above the word and knowledge of God. We will constantly be challenged as to what we know is true, and what God can do, but if we are fully grounded in the Word of God, if we have the Word of God in our mouth we are less likely to be found naked and in shame. Your own feeling will often even look to challenge you and loosen your belt. There is no challenge to say your feelings are not real, but the basis of your reactions and further actions are based on you belt of truth – If God said it, so I believe it.

Single Mother In Church

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.

With Love

Sisters Daily x