I bit it big-time yesterday. Presented with an over-the-top, publically presented, single mom success story of redemption and provision and relief, I bit the Big Lie (or at least one of the Top Ten Big Lies), which is that God loves other women better than me, because He's giving them an easier gig. In this story, people were practically tripping over themselves to help this single mom. She got almost everything she needed or wanted and then some. And a great new guy, too! I listened while holding my jaw in my lap and thought, "This is not my reality...or the reality of the single moms I know."
Truth is, the story was a set up. It was intended to look as good as possible. The problem with this, though, is it discounts and discourages the scads of other single parents who are doing the daily slog without the multiple blessings from heaven, without the fireworks. I call this Life in the Meantime (LITM), and it is the life I lead 99.9% of the time. It consists of 5th grade homework, milk shortages and medical lab results that suggest I have another something to deal with. It consists of working with other single moms--one who's going through the ringer, one who's doing better. The fabulous helpful spouse is apparently on back order. My toilets are dirty. I'm tired but managing.
But I needed to remind myself, so I will do it here, for your benefit as well: LITM is holy work. It's honorable. It's not flashy or award-winning, but it's solid and necessary. It's my church, these days...the place where I show up, hoping to hang with God in and around the other stuff and other people who make me laugh, witness my tears and otherwise cheer me on. It's not neat, tidy or optimal, most days, but it's incredibly real and rich, in its own way.
I had to take some time, cry a little, talk to a friend, go for a walk with my girl and generally get back to basics to get past the lie. I don't want to cheapen my life, your life or what we're called to do on behalf of single parents by falling for the Good Life = God's Good Graces deal. Not to mention it cheapens God.
How much do you value LITM? What's your lie? And how do you come back to center?