Monday, February 16, 2009

Biting the Lie

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.

LITM.

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?

7 comments:

Molly said...

Isn't it "funny" how LITM hits us all whether we are single moms or not? It is so easy to get caught in the enemy's lies that we aren't good enough or aren't doing enough to deserve God's grace. Interesting. I don't think there is anything in the bible that lists out the things we are supposed to do for an easy life. We just keep moving forward knowing that God has a master plan. We might get a glimpse of it his side of heaven, but more likely than not, we will have to wait. Being still, knowing that He is God. Faith. Hmmm. All those things I struggle with. Good thing is, the more we relate to other people, the more we realize we aren't in this alone. He is always there. Thank God!!!!!

Eve's Daughters said...

I agree. I just wish I was better at the "being still" part! That lie that chews on us, saying we need to move it move it move it is the very thing that keeps us from being still to hear the truth! Thanks for your comment-- KS

Pumanoel@yahoo.com said...

I don't bite the lie. I gracefully ask it to step aside so I can tell my story, the real story of a single mama who has overcome addiction while living with multiple sclerosis on a low/fixed income. I offer the lie a front row seat and tell it like it is.

Eve's Daughters said...

Good for you! Tell us more!! KS

Mama Noel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mama Noel said...

P.S. I am the Pumanoel@yahoo.com but finally got my profile up and running :)

Mama Noel said...

Well, the big thing for me is having an outlet or outlets to share my challenges as a single mother. I call the side that most single moms, let alone any mom, doesn't talk about or is afraid to talk about "The Dark Side of Motherhood." I don't think that it is a bad thing. It is VERY real and can be a very scary place. Some women only dabble with it and some women fall completely in. It is a place that challenges us as women, mothers and single mothers to the CORE. It is a place of deep anger, resentment, irritation, frustration, depression and even for some hatred for all that we experience emotionally, psychologically and physically as mothers. The limits that are tested, the s t r e t c h i n g it takes to deal with children is beyond what some of us can handle at times. There has to be a safe place, a compassionate person or a good friend who is a sister - who we can share the challenges, struggles and "dark side" with. It is vital to our survival. Single mothers have more of a pull to the dark side of motherhood because of the insurmountable issues and stress we deal with.

I love it when a married woman or a woman with a partner tells me - "I know what it is like for you. When my husband goes out-of-town for a couple of weeks, I feel like a single mother".

I usually have to bite my tongue and smile and say, "yeah" to her. Deep down inside I am thinking - honey, you have NO CLUE. Imagine your husband leaving for two weeks and never coming home. Then I think you'd have something with us.

It's rough, it's tough and we are strong. Having a forum such as this for single mothers - I feel is way ahead of its time and right on track. Once others find this resource, they too will be able to share their dark sides - and NOT FEEL ALONE. This is the key to healing, recovery and and transformation from life struggles. Not feeling alone and being in communication and community with others in a similar situation, reaches out a hand to those of us who really need support.

And......I would not trade my circumstance for the world. Telling my story as a single mother, living the life of a single mother - is a blessing that I would never have seen coming if I hadn't made my way through my darkest hour of depression, chronic health and addiction. There is a way to be in balance as a single mama.

Aloha, Noel