One of the toughest seasons of my life was the spring of 2019. My 16-year-old daughter had run away from home multiple times. I could see from her Instagram check-ins that she had been in Texas, Colorado, and just hours away from our home near Tulsa much of the three weeks she was gone. Well-meaning people would often ask, “How are you?” I would hold back the tears as I answered with “I’m doing ok,” or “Good.” A few people in my life were gracious enough to push back, and I would sob and let out all the fatigue, emotional exhaustion, and worry for my child.
As I look back at that difficult season, I recognize four crucial components that kept me moving forward amid crisis and chaos:
1. Rest — In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” I found comfort and rest in spending time with Jesus in the Word and prayer. His Word refreshed my heart. I felt his loving arms around me and I knew, even though I was a single mom, I was not alone. He was and is still for me.
2. Eating — 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 reminds us, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” The word “glorify” in that verse means “honor.” So how do we honor God with our body? We choose the foods that God created to nourish our body. We reject the sugary, refined carbohydrates that result in inflammation and physical fatigue.
3. Moving our bodies — One key verse for me on my journey of getting healthy was 1 Corinthians 10:23, which tells us everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial and builds up our body. Would it have been permissible for me to go home after work and stay on the couch because I was exhausted? Yes! Would it have been permissible for me to sleep in and skip a prayer-filled run? Yes! But neither would have been beneficial. God designed our bodies to move and moving them physically is beneficial. Movement is a part of our prayer time. It benefits us spiritually.
4. Community — Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” We have an enemy, and when we’re standing alone, we’re vulnerable to defeat. If we want to avoid being overwhelmed and truly overcome, we must have strong Christian leadership and friendships in our lives. Tap into community through the local church. Attend the conferences offered through Arise Single Moms. Find those people who will continue to point you to Jesus. He is the answer. He is faithful. He will sustain you amid all the chaos and crisis on this single-mom journey.