I know you’ve heard the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words.” If ever a graphic illustrates this slogan or idea, it’s this one: a mom walking along doing her “mom thing” (worrying about her child), while her little tot is simply thinking how much she loves her mama. I love it! Not sure why? Maybe it’s because it reminds me of ME years ago as a brand new single mother, only I had one child gripping each hand.
Today my two children, Jason and Sara, both have families of their own, and yes, they both landed well on their feet. I praise God for so much along the way, but I must say I’ve learned three things I wish I would have known in that picture as a single mom that I know today. If you’re that mom in the picture, I have good news for you! Just look at her statements and the counterpoints I’d give her, as my wisdom has grown through the years.
“I NEVER PLANNED FOR IT TO BE THIS WAY.” Friend, life has a way of blindsiding all of us at one time or another. None of us can ever prepare ourselves fully for the death of a spouse, the challenges of raising a child alone, or the struggle of being responsible for everything under the roof. Yet that initial “unwanted plan” has a way of unfolding into something greater than we ever could have imagined. I wish I would have known when my Barbie dream life fell apart that God was working behind the scenes to one day display his power in making good use out of failure and heartache. Always and at all times, God’s ways are higher than ours.
“AM I ENOUGH?” The answer to that is a big ol’ NO! Somehow we think if we had more money, more time, more energy, more wisdom in the matter, we’d be enough to reign as champion with a Motherhood Oscar in hand. But the truth is, we are never enough in our own self-sufficiency. Trying to do so makes us tired, critical, moody. As a single mom, I knew the Scriptures said my adequacy was from God, but I didn’t understand what magnificence lay behind that truth: I was empowered by his spirit to face the most crushing circumstances because God was with me. I was equipped to handle whatever tomorrow would hold because God would go before me. I was gifted in whatever I needed for life and godliness because he was crafting his influence IN me. With Jesus, I was more than enough!
“DOES GOD SEE ME?” What a ridiculous question! It’s like our children asking if we see them. For the days I felt overlooked by God, I wish I would have posted these truths all over my kitchen cabinets: God’s love is a shield surrounding Pam and keeping her safe. God will not let Pam down because his love cannot fail. God sees Pam in her distress. God sees all the steps she takes. God adopted Pam as his child. God will never forsake Pam. God’s ways are good concerning his plan for Pam. Friend, if you’re feeling invisible today in your motherhood journey, take heart. God sees you!
In every graphic that portrays “A picture is worth a thousand words,” there’s always something that leaves you speechless for a moment. In this one, despite all the mother’s painful forebodings, her child is thinking… I love my mom! Doesn’t that grab your heart and make you grin?
About Pam Kanaly
Aloha! I’m Pam Kanaly, President and co-founder of Arise Ministries. But actually, I think Arise found me wanting to bless single moms years ago. Ministry was never on my mind as a kid. All I wanted to be was a hula dancer. So Mother enrolled me in the tiny tots’ class. Guess God knew I’d have two grandbabies born in Hawaii. I love the great outdoors. You might even find me spending time with my husband grizzly bear watching or camping. In fact, it was on a turkey hunt that God gave me the name Arise Ministries in 2002. I suppose it’s a good thing that I majored in Grammar in college since I love to write words of encouragement to single moms.