I sat in my van doing something I never allowed myself the luxury of—screaming. Just for a second. As the primal sound escaped, hot, angry tears forced themselves from my eyes. I turned my gaze at heaven as I pulled out of the driveway and demanded at the top of my voice, “WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?!”
It’s been 18 months and one week since Kraig died. For 18 months and one week I have been moving—no, I’ve been thriving. I have been caring for my home and myself. I have been shepherding the hearts of four confused and wounded children through tragedy. I have been demonstrating that grief is real and stinks but life goes on and we can see God’s amazing faithfulness.
Oh has He been faithful.
He’s provided for my needs financially in ways that would blow your ever-lovin’ mind. Seriously. He has helped me start fresh at a new church overflowing with people willing to help the widow and her children. He has gifted me with amazing friends who encourage me, applaud me, and offer support. He has been faithful. I will forever shout that from the rooftops.
But sometimes this stinks and there’s no way around it. And sometimes despite my strength and my fortitude to do what’s best for my kids and keep moving forward with faith, sometimes life throws enough at me that I just don’t want to anymore!
Widows and single moms everywhere, you get it. Sometimes there are bills and checkbooks to be dealt with, laundry piles that seem to multiply like bunnies, household repairs and car problems and more. And even if you have the resources to take care of them, the endless list of things I must do because I’m the only adult here just hits its limit. Dealing with children who need me to make parenting decisions that grief complicates when there is no husband to weigh in or balance my crazy is too much. It pushes me to go buy a $5 pizza while screaming at the heavens.
And driving down the road, contemplating how to deal with a minor fender crack caused when a poor stranger bumped my van made me scream at the sky because I just don’t want to deal with it. The hot, angry tears came because of the myriad of other things I MUST do this week that I have no desire or motivation to. Parenting alone is the hardest because only I can parent my kids. But not doing it well isn’t an option and the unfairness of it all won’t change that.
I get the pizza and feed the kids. I put off deciding how to handle the tiny crack until morning. As I head off to see my eldest son shine in the school talent show, a song comes on. “Good Fight” by Unspoken beckons me to keep fighting the good fight. To remember that even when I’m on my own, God promises I’m never alone. And Galatians 6:9 whispers into my heart. “Let us not become wearing in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap the harvest if we do not give up.” (emphasis mine)
New tears fall now. This does stink sometimes. This is incredibly hard sometimes. Maybe sometimes I just need to let myself buy a $5 pizza for dinner and cry in my van for 10 seconds. Maybe I need to crank music up so loud teenagers tell me to turn it down. Maybe these are things God gave me to keep fighting the good fight.
So to any mom out there doing this parenting thing alone, keep fighting the good fight. It’s worth it. God promises to never leave us alone and to send us a harvest someday if we do not give up. Parenting is important. Its fruits are eternal and will play out in the lives of our kids. Keep fighting the good fight. Even if it means crying in your van and settling for cheap pizza some days. Know that doing that does not mean you are crazy. It means you need a pressure valve.
You can do this because God provides, strengthens, and never leaves our side. He believes you are the best choice to mother those kids no matter how hard this is. Keep fighting the good fight.
PS – You’ll notice on the image I’ve got a new website. I am in the process of getting it ready for reveal. Stay tuned for more updates here my fantastic followers.