uptomytoes

Hope & Humor for Single & Divorced Parents

Looking for Peace in all the Wrong Places

on March 6, 2014

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I believe I’m carrying burdens I wasn’t meant to, but I don’t know how to let them go.

People are always advising me to just trust God and let go of the worry.  I’m trying to…I truly am.

I know I can trust God.

I think I can let go of the worry.

But somewhere in all that trust and letting go, I’ve got decisions to make.

And decisions stress me out so much…soooo much.

I really struggle with the whole process.

Especially the 2nd guessing part of the process – which is definitely a part of my processing process.

When my husband left and I became a single parent, one of the first things I really really found challenging was all the decisions I had to make.

I’m not good at decisions.

I have a very clear memory of a conversation with God during my first year of single parenting, “Lord, really?  (all my prayers seemed to start with that phrase) I felt like I finally understood the whole submission thing…the whole let my husband lead thing…and now I’m the leader of the family?  Honestly God, I prefer the helpmate role much better.”

God reminded me that He would equip me for whatever He called me to and apparently He had called me to single parenting.

Ugh.

I was and still am up to the challenge…but I don’t like the challenge.

For me the biggest part of this challenge is that my thought processes truly are like mental spaghetti.

Everything gets all tangled up together in my head.  I mean I just don’t know what to do…everything impacts everything else, at least in my head.  And every decision has a thousand repercussions – and each child is impacted differently by each decisions…some for the better, some not.  And every decision makes me bonkers…and even after I finally make a decisions, I second-guess like a crazy woman.

I want to make decisions and find peace. But is decision-making just about being at peace?

Peace.  Oh how I want peace all the time.

A friend recently shared that maybe I need to not worry about making the right decisions and instead make decisions with the purpose of doing something to glorify God…doing something for God.

That thought has rocked my world.

I’m still pondering but I thought I’d share because maybe you’ll share your thoughts with me.

I have to trust that God is going to work in all my decisions.  When my oldest was choosing a college I told him that it didn’t matter where he went because God would use him wherever he was.  As long as he didn’t go to The Cult College (which doesn’t exist to my knowledge) he should be just fine.

I think that’s true.  If my desire is to honor God wherever I am, does it matter where I go?  Or what I choose to do? As long as whatever I do or wherever I go honor God and His word.

This reminds me of Jeremiah 29:4-7

Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:  Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce.  Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease.  But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

The Israelites were in captivity when God said this to them.  They were absolutely NOT in the perfect situation by any stretch of the imagination.  Except…except that it was where God had them and where God told them to make lives!  They weren’t to wait for perfect.

I think I’m looking for the perfect situation and it just doesn’t exist.  That is the stress in my decisions.  I’m assuming that there is a perfect situation, a best answer.  I’m forgetting that we live on this planet…which is decidedly not perfect.  I will not find perfection.

I just have to make decisions based on the God’s guidance in His word, a lot of prayer, the facts I have, the best things I know how to do, and godly counsel.  But sometimes the Word of God doesn’t exactly address my situation.

Like right now the biggest decision I need to make isn’t covered by Scripture.  So what do I do?  Pray, seek counsel, make an informed decision, and trust God!

I almost put the word “just” before that last sentence.  I know I’ve used it already in this post, but “just” seems like a word that signifies something easy and the whole decision-making process is not at all easy!  At least not for me.

But I’m pretty sure I’ve established that point already!

I guess what God is showing me is that the burden I’m carrying is to provide the perfect scenario for all my children, to choose the perfect employment situation for me and the perfect education situation for my children, to give my children the perfect opportunities, the perfect home, and the perfect single parent family I can.  But I can’t make things perfect – never have been, never will be.

And my decisions don’t have the power to provide perfection.

My decisions can honor God though.

My decisions can glorify Him.

My decisions can bless us.

I’m going to try to develop a whole new way of approaching decisions.  There is a lot of stress I can leave behind when I realize there isn’t going to be a perfect answer, and there might not even be a best answer.

Unless the questions is, “How and where do I want to glorify God?”

And that question isn’t a burden at all.  The answer is however I can and wherever I am.

So I will plan and dream and pray, and I will let God lead the way.

 Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.  Proverbs 19:21

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8 responses to “Looking for Peace in all the Wrong Places

  1. Robin Martin says:

    Thank you! It’s not that I WANT other sisters in Christ to be worrying, etc., however, it sure is nice to know that I’m not alone. I also run into the individuals who don’t understand when I say, I just want to do what God wants me to do. I want to walk in the scripture. Some just don’t understand that, especially when it comes to working on a marriage. I’m in a struggling marriage. What I want to do is throw in the towel. Give up on my husband and just make a life with my kids and I. Financially, that would actually be the best for me. Emotionally too. BUT, does God want me to do that? No. So, I’m not giving up. I’m walking with Christ. Anyway, I’m sorry I just rambled!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog my dear!!!!

    • Sue Birdseye says:

      Robin,
      Thank you for sharing and encouraging!
      I will be praying for you A LOT! I know how difficult that fight is – and I will pray that you find your strength, hope, joy and peace in the Lord! And that He will guide you forward in very clear ways.
      In Him,
      Sue

  2. Lisa says:

    This is such a hard thing. Since my husband left us, I have had to make many new decisions, and it is incredibly difficult. I question my own judgement, how could I not? I look back and wonder if I ever should have married him at all, I wonder how I could not have seen the trouble coming and, I wonder what decisions I could have made differently that could have changed the outcome. That is all pretty self defeating stuff in the end – but having all those thoughts in the background does make it hard to make decisions going forward. I also feel a lot of scrutiny from others who question me and my choices in ways they never did before. A friend said to me recently that I should make the decision, and trust that God will come with me in whatever decision I make. It is tough to walk in that.

    • Sue Birdseye says:

      Lisa,
      I think I could have written your comment word for word…I feel the same way. It has been really difficult to trust myself and to deal with the input of others. I sometimes want to say, “Hey, when you are a working single mom with 5 kids then you can tell me what I should do…but until then could you just pray for me?” I told a friend I was going to make t-shirts that said, “Hush up and Pray” A reminder to me to stop talking about things and start praying about things and a “gentle” reminder for friends to stop advising and start praying…my sense of humor is a little jaded I think LOL! I will be praying for you and decision-making as I pray for myself!
      In Him,
      Sue

  3. Betsy says:

    Wow, that part where you quoted the scripture, totally what I needed today. Thank you so much for this. God is working through you in a mighty way!!

  4. Sharon D says:

    Hit this one out of the park, my friend!

  5. Erin says:

    Hi Sue! Our mutual friend, Craig, told me about your blog and specifically shared this post with me because I am also facing a decision about a job and moving with my son. I came to the same realization this week–that God is with me and before me in whatever decision I a make. And he designed me to think and process and compare and pray and DECIDE. I was really stressing while I was coming from the mindset of “there is a RIGHT decision and a WRONG decision here”. Nope, there are two options and I get to choose one. There are so many factors in decision-making as a single mom! One job is a church consulting position and the other is working in a huge corporate environment. One is 1500 miles away and the other is 5 miles away. What I realized is that, as a child of God and co-worker in His kingdom, my real job is to be a light of love wherever I am. My gift is seeing people through God’s eyes and encouraging them with the love of Christ. Wherever I go, I can be obedient to God’s call.
    God has given us all of the resources we need in order to make informed, mature decisions for our families. Trusting with you that He intends more good for us than we can fathom!
    Erin

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