uptomytoes

Hope & Humor for Single & Divorced Parents

What’s Your Choice?

on January 15, 2014

basketball

This past weekend my youngest daughters started playing basketball with a local Christian program.  It’s such fun to see them playing.  They’ve never played before and at times it looked like a cross between football, soccer, rugby, and wrestling.  I was laughing a lot.  But another feeling crept in as I sat in that gymnasium. I was overcome with feelings of sorrow for what I have lost…what my children have lost.

Families came in together.  Fathers and mothers with little lines of children walked through the doors one after the other. I saw interaction I’ve missed.  I saw affection, unity, and love between parents.  I saw married couples coaching together and parents parenting together.

It brought back feelings of disbelief again.

How in the world did my life happen?

I never imagined when I walked down the aisle to my husband that life would be anything but love for a lifetime, raising our children to love the Lord, and serving Him together.  Together.

Sitting together watching the rugby match…I mean basketball practice…enjoying our children’s activities together.

How is our family not together?

There are still days when I can’t believe this is the life my God has allowed for my children.  When those thoughts land heavily on my mind and heart, I, over and over again, endeavor to take them captive.  (I wish I could think of a good basketball analogy for this…but alas, I cannot…just…too…tired…)

Today I’m working on it.  I’m taking them captive again…and again and again.

God brought me to Psalm 145 and showed me some things:

  • I will not get the answers here…at least not all of them, but my God is greater than the answers I seek and I know I can trust Him.

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.  (v. 3)

  • There are always wonderful things about God’s faithfulness I can share with my children and others (like you!).  I’m paying attention to the blessings.

One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.  On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. (v. 4-5)

  •  This verse seems rather self-explanatory

The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.  The LORD is good to all and his mercy is over all that he has made. (vs. 8-9)

  • My Lord is faithful.

The LORD is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works. (v.13b)

  • My Father will hold me through this trial.

The LORD upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. (v. 14)

  • My God will provide all I need.

You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. (v.16)

  • My Lord is with me and He is good!

The LORD is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works.  The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:17-18

  • My Savior will do this life with me…there is togetherness with God.

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. (v. 18)

  • My Lord will save and preserve me.

He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. The LORD preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. (vs. 19-20)

Throughout my life, I’ve had to continually remind myself of my God and His great love for me.

Sometimes I’m just overwhelmed by this world…it is NOT my home.  (Thankfully!!!!)

So much is not how I imagined it would be when I was little and looking forward to being a wife and mother.  It’s not how I imagined it would be when I said “yes” to my kneeling husband.  It’s not how I imagined it would be when I held each of my dear children for the 1st time.  At no point did I imagine this life for me or my children…or my ex-husband for that matter.

This life is just unimaginable.

But it is my life…so I don’t have to imagine it anyway.  I just have to live it.  Just get on the court and play ball.  (There it is…I knew I had one basketball reference in me!)

How do I do that?

How do I live this life in a way that doesn’t ache constantly?  I haven’t quite figured that out yet.  God is showing me.

I will say that when I’m in the Word and praying…the ache is barely noticeable.

It’s the same lesson I learn over and over and over and over (how many overs can I write to convey how often I “learn” this lesson…oh that I would actually learn it).

That lesson…focus on Christ not my circumstances.

Choose to be overwhelmed by life or by Christ.

Well…today right now…I’m making a choice.  Things might still hurt at times.  Sorrow might surprise me with a visit at the most inopportune times.  Disappointment might descend when I’m trying to find the good in this life.  Challenges might chase me down each and every day…BUT…

Today…today…I’m choosing Christ.

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14 responses to “What’s Your Choice?

  1. kathy..... says:

    I like your writing so very much… It is raw and honest. Thank you for that. My life is different, I am a widow and have raised 3 girls ages 2, 4, and 6 by myself for 16 years… So i do know about grief, hurt, and wondering why life gets so hard, when you are on your own… But the best part that I agree with you staying close to Jesus, reading the word, and praying are the only way to survive… Thank again Sue, you are always my first read…. be blessed today kathy

  2. kristy s. says:

    please keep writing! I’m right here with you, a single mom of 2, amazed at how much difference a day can make! I can go from feeling ‘on top of things’,one day, like I’m really getting the hang of this lifestyle, to devastated again the next, feeling there’s no way I can possibly accomplish everything required of me. But I’ve learned enough by now to take note of the word “feeling” & not accept that as my reality. The “truth” is what God’s Word says about me & my ability to conquer in His Strength. Your posts are an encouragement to me, not just b/c of the wisdom & truths you share, but more just reading my own story in yours, and knowing I’m not alone. You are not alone either! There are so many of us single Christian mothers out here, who truly want nothing more than to do our most excellent best to raise our children to know God’s love & faithfulness even in the midst of our messes. You’re doing a great job, Mama! You have a crown awaiting you! Keep running the race!
    Kristy

    • Sue Birdseye says:

      Kristy,
      Thank you thank you thank you! What a blessing to hear your story! I know there are lots of us out there – single moms and dads who are striving to love God well as we raise our children and live an unexpected life – but I was comforted to hear it – to be reminded that I’m not alone in the day to day of dealing with all the messiness of single parenting.
      Thank you again!
      In Him,
      Sue

  3. Lisa says:

    I just recently stumbled on your blog and am so very thankful. I too can’t believe my life is what it is today … Single, working, mom of 4 who shares custody!! My entire life was about being a wife and mother … Taking care of my family. It has been seven years and loneliness still sets in at times when the kids are with their Dad *sigh* I too wonder if the ache will ever go away … But I still have hope that God is good and has a wonderful plan for us :). So just wanted to say thank you for sharing … You are touching lives!!!

  4. Patricia Pierson says:

    Oh Sue, I feel you. I also have 5 children, homeschooled them and thought their Dad and I would grow old together and enjoy grandchildren together. I remember those first few outings to the grocery store. It seemed to be full of Dads, Moms and their children, that beloved family unit I so enjoyed. One time I had to run out of the store to the car to avoid sobbing in the meat section. I was so devastated, I could absolutely not believe the children and I were products of a broken marriage. I tormented my self for a long time trying to figure out what had gone wrong and why, why, why?

    After several months of crying out to the Lord I was able to re-focus on Him and started finding my new life as a single mom with Him as my husband. When we divorced my oldest child was eight and my youngest was two now the youngest is sixteen an the oldest twenty-two.

    I love my relationship with the Lord and with my children. It is better and easier but even now occasionally I feel that great sadness of what could/should have been and even for what the children’s daddy is missing of their wonderful lives. But Sue I love what He has resurrected out of the ashes of my marriage I am happy and enjoying the continued journey of finding out who I am aside from “mom” and as a child of God.

    He is good and worthy to be praised.

    I love your postings the 1st one I read startled me because it paralleled my life so closely. Thank you so much for the insight and laughter.

    • Sue Birdseye says:

      Patricia,
      I wish I could sit down with you and have a cup of tea! I’m sure we would have some wonderful stories to tell of God’s faithfulness. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your heart. What a blessing to hear how God has carried you through.
      Thank you again!
      In Him,
      Sue

  5. Lisa says:

    Thanks for the reminder to get back to the Word of God. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed by the ‘wrongness’ of it all and the terrible truth that it will never go away – that I just want to zone out of life altogether. It sure takes discipline to keep going back to that place of truth in God, when all I want to do is lie in bed all day and stare at the wall. Thank you for being honest. Lisa

    • Sue Birdseye says:

      Lisa,
      You speak truth – sometimes it seems like slogging through mud to move forward, but God will give you the strength to do it. I’m thankfully in a better place with the mud thing, but there are days… I’d be privileged to pray for you – for God to comfort you and strengthen you.
      In Him,
      Sue

  6. Don Birdseye says:

    We are truly blessed and you live that every day my sister in the way you love the beautiful children entrusted to you. Others may seek rewards in what they see as physically valuable but those things are temporary and perishable – you have what many will never know through your trust and faith in God and his belief in you. Rejoice in what you have.

  7. Marisa says:

    Hello Sue
    I have been reading your blog for some time, but this is my first comment. I can relate so much to going about my day with my son, only to be suddenly blind-sided by grief when witnessing intact families enjoying each others company. This exact situation occurred when I took my son to his school’s Christmas dinner. I felt like the only single parent in the room, although that is unlikely. Seeing mothers and fathers and children so excited about the Christmas season broke my heart, even though it has been almost three years since my husband left us. I do my best to stay strong for my son, and I also try to remember that God’s plan for us may not be one that I can comprehend at the moment. Thank you for sharing your feelings with us, there are many of us out here living this life and I appreciate your blog very much.

    • Sue Birdseye says:

      Marisa,
      Thank you for taking the time to share. I’m grateful that you are encouraged by my story. It is such a challenge being a single parent and dealing with grief at the same time. I will pray for you and your son. God will carry you both through it all. I know that to be true.
      In Him,
      Sue

  8. mommy24x7 says:

    I’m just now commenting, but at the time you wrote this (and I read it), my daughter was playing basketball as well, and I was experiencing the exact same feelings sitting in the bleachers on the opposite side of the gym as my ex-husband: “How did we get here? It was never supposed to be this way!” And on and on it goes. Thank you for always pointing my focus back to the One who knew my future all along, and who never leaves.

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