Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
We all come to God on our own time. When we are ready to see Him or when we are ready to hear His word then we seek God. Some individuals find God early in life and model their life according to His plan. Some come to God through a tragedy, an illness or loss of a loved one. For most of us it takes time to come to God. We fall repeatedly, we make poor decisions, we allow people to hurt us, we in turn hurt others, we develop a hardened heart and we take matters into our own hands. Like most that was my journey to God and like a good Father he patiently waited for me.
I spent twenty two years of my adult life as a single parent struggling with all of life’s challenges. You don’t appreciate having a partner in life until you do life alone. As a single parent I carried years of guilt and shame for not giving my daughters a home with both parents. I let unforgiveness live in my heart and bitterness grow over the years. I let pride keep me from asking for help when I needed it. I struggled financially with a one income household. I hit a brick wall with the reality of my youngest daughters congenital disorder. I had failed dating attempts and I buried myself in my job to escape from the world's struggles. My daughters were raised by a part-time mother, nannies and were left home alone in there teen years. This was not the life I had imagined for myself or my daughters but it was my reality. (Ephesians 6:12).
As a single parent you tell yourself your desires, interests, and likes are more important than your kids needs because you’re the adult you know better. It’s not until years later that you see the consequences of your decisions that have affected your kids and family. This world teaches you to be selfish, you’re the center of your world, please your inner child and do what makes you happy. God teaches you to be selfless to place others needs above your own. (Philippians 2:3-4 )
We all get to a point in life when Jesus knocks on our door. Mine came when my youngest daughter was diagnosed with a congenital disorder. I had to make serious medical decisions to correct her condition at two and half years old. I was a naive twenty eight year old single mother barely surviving. These are the moments in life you either blame God or you turn to God. I chose to surrender to God I knew I couldn’t do this alone. I did what most parents would do I wanted a miracle, I promised God loyal servitude anything to have my little girl spared of the suffering. Through the grace of God my daughters condition was surgically corrected. (Revelation 3:20)
This was the beginning of my journey with God. I was no longer going to do life without God by my side. God is not intrusive he gives you free will to make your own choices, to love Him freely when you’re ready and to seek Him when you’re ready. When you're ready to open His door he plants a hunger to know Him and a burden to do His work. Our Father wants nothing but the best for his children. He hurts when we hurt. He cries when we cry. He holds us when we have no one. (John 12:26.)
My life changed when I committed my life to God. When you start to see God work in your life there is an undeniable force that draws you closer to him. My walk with God at times was not easy. I endured suffering, pain and fear but always remained faithful to Him. God is faithful and does not leave you. He walked with me through challenges and blessed me with breakthroughs every time. I praise God and give Him the glory. My family and daughters can attest to our Lord's miraculous blessings in my life. I didn’t have a plan for my career, a plan to buy a home, a plan get married or a plan to see the world but God did! (Jeremiah 29:11).
God transformed my mind and equipped me with the skills to maneuver in this world. He gave me eyes to see beyond this worlds systemic prison and catapulted my career. I traveled the world with God by my side. I visited the humblest and meekest countries where oppression resides and saw the darkness that rules corrupt countries. I lived in Europe and experienced the united but divided countries. God showed me the world through his eyes. Then you realize how insignificant and at times how petty your pleas may have been to God. For the first time I reflected on my life and saw the challenges in my life as victories, the sadness as courage and emerged from suffering in triumph.
After 20+ years of being a single parent God blessed me with a wonderful husband to do his Great Commission. "Jesus calls all his followers to make disciples of and baptize all nations in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 28:16-20.) My husband and I lead a Single Parents group and serve on the Marriage Care Ministry at Higher Vision Church. We are also part of a Healing Ministry and serve our local community food pantries and homeless shelters. We founded “The Shepherd and Me” to help others in their walk with God.
There is so much more to accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Those words have no meaning without action from you. God is waiting for you to open the door.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11