Some of you already know the beautiful New Mexico mama of two sets of twins and a singleton, Sarah from Kingdom Twindom. She's a real-life friend (remember my prom post) that I haven't seen in ages, but I'm so glad I get to keep up with her through her amazing blog. She's real, honest, and vulnerable in her writing, and she's definitely the kind of mom you want to sit down for a cup of tea with. Without further ado....
Today, God is slowly and steadily piecing back together my marriage. My husband (we call him Papa Bear on my blog) is home and I am no longer doing it alone. For eight months, though, I was. But, of course, I never really was.
About a week after my husband left (I think it took that long to sink in), I started freaking about finances. Papa Bear left in a sequence of events that involved severe depression and a loss of his job. I was a stay-at-home mom who occasionally worked as a freelance writer. I was not earning a significant portion of our income. Needless to say, we were in trouble.
Week two, I came up with a few of what I now call "panic options". These are opportunities that present themselves when we are too desperate to wait for God's best. I tried to move into a friend's lodge (we live in a ski town) so that I could carry a baby monitor and clean rooms after the kids' bedtime. God did not allow any of my panic options to come to pass.
During the third week, God began to reveal to me my strengths and confirm in me the desires that He had placed in my heart. I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I wanted to homeschool my children. I wanted to minister to marriages. I wanted to keep the cookie jar stocked with my homemade chocolate chip cookies. How was it remotely possible to fulfill all of those dreams as a single mom?
But He asked me, "What do you need from Me?"
And I thought, and I prayed...and then I answered.
In order to stay at home, not put my kids in school and not work outside the home, I needed to earn X number of dollars per month...from inside the home. So, I asked for that. I also needed three months of "cushion," so that I could find clients and get back in "the game". Maybe I should have asked for more, or maybe I asked for the number He put on my heart. But He gave me exactly what I'd asked for.
Single motherhood eventually became my new normal and I earned, or was provided with, much more than what we needed to just survive. But even though we were financially secure, it didn't take long for my new normal to wear me down. I had learned to ask God for help. But I hadn't learned to ask [or rely on] people.
One morning in particular, I sprawled over my bed feeling like a complete and utter failure as a mother while my children fought in their bedroom. I'd reached the end of my rope a few days before. Then and there, I was grasping at thin air. Tears streamed down my face as I whispered, "God, I just need someone to help me right now." And about thirty seconds later, my phone rang.
I didn't recognize the number, and I'm a notorious screener. I almost didn't answer the call. But I did, and a sweet woman I have known for years (a good friend of my mom, mother of six, and someone I've always wanted to know better) said, "Sarah, it's Kay. God told me to come get your kids for the day."
No. I'm not kidding.
"Uhhhh...I really don't know what to say."
"Well, I think you should say 'yes'."
"Yes?" I finally answered. And I slept four straight hours that day.
I have about a million stories like that, but you don't know me and I really don't want to talk your ear off today. I just feel like God wants me to tell you two things. First, you can trust Him. His plan for your life actually does work better than yours (and is tons more fun). And secondly, you can trust His Church (and if you can't trust your particular church, ask yourself why). But you do have to ask for help.
Matthew7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!