Friday, July 5, 2013

Joy in Heartache

Yesterday I took Lincoln to the zoo on my school day off and we had such an amazing time. We got to feed the giraffes and pet the goats and we got our famous cotton candy snow cone! It reminded me of one of the first times we went to the zoo and I was reminded of where God has brought us from and His amazing grace.

Lincoln was about to turn one (I think), he was walking but no where near good enough to where he would be able to walk the whole zoo like he does now, and he was about 25 pounds. For those of you who didn't know much about him then, he hated riding in a stroller. Therefore, I ended up carrying him the whole time, pushing his stroller, and carrying his bag around the zoo by myself. (If you've never done that, let me tell you, it was difficult. Really difficult.) It seemed that all I saw were happy couples with children. Dad's would be holding the child, mom's were pushing the stroller. You could really tell the dad's were so happy to be there with their children and their wives. And honestly, it bothered me. Bad. I'm not sure that I've ever shared this story with many people, but this day really hurt my heart. I had an amazing time with Lincoln, but my heart was aching that day. You see, I've always been a fan of fairytales. I always dreamed of getting married and having children.. In that order. At 17 I made a choice that made that dream impossible. And if I'm getting real with you right now, that used to break my heart daily. I dreamed of the wedding, the dress, the ring, and then one day down the road having children with my husband. Obviously no one ever dreams of being a single mom. I mean, no divorced mom ever thought, "Hey, let me marry this man, have kids with him and then we can get divorced and I can be a single mom! Yay!" My parents are still married, so I have the amazing privilege of having two parents together. I never imagined (when I was younger) that my children wouldn't have that opportunity. That day at the zoo I wasn't so much sad because I wasn't together with Lincoln's dad, I was sad because I couldn't provide my son with the amazing thing that I grew up with: two parents who love each other and love their child. I used to have a really hard time with it. Granted, on this day I had a reason to be sad, but I was downright having a pity party.

It's okay to be sad. Life is not always going to be perfect and faking a smile constantly isn't healthy. However, being constantly upset because you're going through a storm in your life isn't going to get you anywhere. I look back now and realize when you're in a tough time in life, you can do one of two things. You can have a pity party and be mad that life didn't turn out how you planned, or you can accept that it's life and find out what you can learn from the situation. You see, God taught me a lot during that time in my life. He taught me that He is all I need. He taught me that He is sufficient for me. He taught me that I am a whole lot stronger than I ever thought possible along with a million other things. And if I had continued to wallow in self pity, I would have missed incredible happiness. You may be facing a situation that really isn't all that fun, but I can promise you you can learn and grow from it.

Yesterday we went to the zoo and I saw happy little families and I was so happy for them. It made me smile to see families together and I realized I have come so far from that day. God has really pieced together my heart and my soul is resting in the fact that God is sovereign. I may not be married and have a child with that man, but Lincoln and I are an incredibly blessed family of two! I'm so very thankful that God taught me through that time and that He has allowed me to overcome that and be content where he has me. And honestly, if God has in mind for me to be a single mom the rest of my life, then so be it. I am blessed with an incredibly family, a son that brightens my day every moment he breathes, and a God whose grace is inconceivable. You don't have to like bad days, but you do have to learn from them. So here's my question, are you wallowing in self pity today, or are you trusting the God's whose love for you is endless and learning from everything that He allows you to go through? Because if you choose the second option, I can bet you won't regret it.

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. [Psalm 9:9-10]

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