Monday, February 3, 2014

You Will Be OK

By Johann Jaritz, via Wikimedia Commons

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling (Psalm 68:5 NIV).

Sometimes, we need to hear that we’ll be OK from someone who’s been there.

The teen years are a different stage. It’s hard to watch our kids deal with insecurities as they approach adulthood. Being raised without a dad in the home creates unique issues that may continue throughout adulthood.

Of course, it isn’t hopeless. Of course kids from single parent families turn out just fine. Of course single moms can do a fantastic job, instilling faith and character in their children. Of course successful adulthood depends on a myriad factors besides being raised without a dad in the home.

I’m really proud of my kids. They’re brave, hard-working, and they listen to wisdom. They’re also impacted by the absence of a dad in the home.

It’s easy to forget hope late at night, when your perspective is insomnia-distorted and your doom-and-gloom meditation habit is in high gear.

Or simply, perhaps, when you remember that Christians aren’t exempt from life’s hardest realities.

A couple weeks ago, I prayed fervently for hope. I was beyond worried. All the statistics about fatherlessness haunted me. I saw worrisome signs. I grieved the losses of fatherlessness. I fretted and fussed and prayed alone.

Interestingly, God did not assure me everything will work out. He spoke to me through three people.

The first was a missionary, who told our church about his ministry. This missionary helps other missionaries work through their stuff; and through him I understood that even missionary families are not exempt from huge, scary, humiliating problems.

I watched a concert with my daughter. The lead singer shared that he had almost died from an illness. He mentioned being out of answers, and how that’s a common experience.

Later, I spoke with a successful Christian author. I learned that even people whose powerful words strengthen our faith can experience overwhelming problems.

“Everyone has issues,” the missionary told us. “The people we worry about are those who won’t admit they have any.”

“In the darkest nights when you’re out of answers,” said the lead singer, “that’s when God does his deepest work.”

“I’ve been where you are,” shared the Christian author. “You will be OK.”

People get the mistaken impression that making peace with God guarantees a happy family, good health, a better life. It isn’t true. We all are vulnerable to overwhelming problems, devastating losses, horrific griefs. It’s life. It’s normal; this is no party.

And God is with us, loving us, keeping us sane. One step at a time, he walks through it all with us.

“God is faithful,” said a million single moms, countless times.

I will be OK, and so will you.

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  1. What a reassuring word: you will be okay. I know raising kids without a father is so challenging and raises lots of doubts. Raising kids in a mslm country where they have few friends and have to say good-bye constantly to other TCK kids who come and go is a bit hard too. They don't even know where they're from. At least these are some of the fears that prey on MY mind. :-) But they'll be okay. God is walking us through it. Thanks for this word. Blessings to you as you trust him and continue raising your kids.

    1. Yes, losing friends is a challenge, too, Betsy. I gained a deeper respect for missionaries and their families through what I learned from the counseling missionary I mentioned in this post. You and your family are amazing, and I really respect your surrendered commitment and the sacrificial love you show for people.

  2. Moreover than the title of this post. i will say.. its hard to OK.. moreover kweel...

  3. It always hard to be in circumstances we are not prepared for but always remember, time heals.. and this too shall pass. :)