I was cruising down the road today, listening to some 80’s music, singing along at the top of my lungs.
It was just a good day.
So, of course, my mind drifted back over the events of my life since High School. I got married, had kids, then got divorced, and became a single mom. I remembered how tough it was, when all my dreams dissolved into a heap of ashes.
I remembered trying to navigate divorce court and lawyers. And, enrolling my children in school. Since I homeschooled them, I was concerned about how they would adjust to school. Not to the classes, but to the other kids. Would they make friends? Would they fit in?
I remembered stepping out into the work force. I was a stay-at-home mom without any marketing skills. It was tough finding decent work!
I remembered going back to college to finish my degree. I had many sleepless nights, as I worked full-time, went to school, and took care of kids.
But, I look back now, and yes it was tough and hard and I wasn’t sure I’d make it.
However, I did! And I didn’t just survive, I thrived.
God took the ugly ashes of broken dreams and turned them into a beautiful piece of artwork.
Not all of us became single moms the same way. For some of us, a spouse died. Or maybe we never married. But all of us have had tough days. Tough weeks. Tough years. Broken, shattered dreams, lying around us as ashes accumulate in a fireplace during the winter months.
But, when we turn to our God, and hand Him the ashes, He begins to do His best work. Our Heavenly Father specializes in creating something beautiful out of nothing. Look at Genesis 1. The world as we know it didn’t exist. It was just a heap of nothingness, floating. God looked at the heap and began to create! And what a world he created. We have deserts, mountains, waterfalls, valley’s, oceans. All for us to enjoy!
I was reading the story of Gideon. He was just plowing his field, minding his own business, when an angel came to him. “Might hero, the Lord is with you.” I love Gideon’s reply, “Sir, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened…” In other words, Gideon is completely ignores being called a Mighty Hero and focuses on everything that has happened and wondered what God was going to do about it!
The angel tells him to “Go with the strength you have and rescue Israel.”
What? God didn’t give some long analogy about why things happened that way. He just told Gideon to go. And not just to go, but to do it with the strength he has.
Wait a minute! I thought we go on God’s strength! What does it mean go in your strength?
Well, after praying, I think it means this: God made us and God created us. He made us to be strong and resilient. He made us able to survive many things. However, God knows what strength we have and it’s by faith that we take that first step. But, then the miracle happens. For when we lift our foot, to proceed forward, God’s strength infuses us and strengthens us and causes us to do mighty things! Things we could never accomplish on our things. Yet things that never would’ve been accomplished if we hadn’t lifted out foot and allow God’s strength to meet our strength and form a bond that can conquer everything that comes our way!
And, as we rise up,
Even when we don’t want to…
Even when it’s hard…
Even when we have no idea what we’re doing…
Even when we don’t feel strong…
Then, God meets us. He takes those ash heaps and he begins to form a beauty that is strong and passionate and loving and caring. A beauty that comes from deciding to lift a foot and step forward. A beauty that depends on Him and raises these children He has entrusted to us. A beauty that knows God never leaves or forsakes us!
It’s a happiness that causes you to listen to music from High School, turn up the music, sing out as loud as you can, and look back over the life you’ve lived and see the beauty in God calling to you while you questioned.
So, lift up those feet out of the ashes, and watch God do His beautiful story in our lives!
Daring Adventures of Single Parenthood, A Devotional. https://www.gwendolynirene.com/books/