My oldest child is almost 29 years old. She was 13 when I became a single mom. I sat with her yesterday over appetizers at a local restaurant, sharing with her some of the challenges in my life. I listened to the wisdom of the Lord coming forth from her lips. I listened to the love of her heart and sat amazed at the goodness of God.
It was not always so with Meghan, when her dad left, something of her left too. She closed the door to the Lord, her family, the church, etc. She was angry at God, at her parents, and ran from anything or anyone who might have any power to hurt her heart.
I cried, I screamed, I pleaded, I withdrew, I did everything I knew how to do to “draw her out” but nothing worked. She looked rebellious to the world, friends even labeled her rebellious and in my ignorance I agreed with that label over her life.
I am so thankful for her persistent Father, whom I sought for counsel and hope. I recall sensing Him telling me, “Misty, she is not rebellious, she is just in pain”. Wow, how many of our sons and daughters have we called rebellious when in reality they are just hurting and in their immaturity, doing the only thing they can to survive.
In a time of deep anguish over her life, I sensed the Lord directing me to the Book of Ruth in the bible. As I began to read, re-read, study, and meditate, I felt the Lord direct me to identify with Naomi. What did she think? How did she feel when certain things happened? What did she say? Why did she return to Bethlehem, even after living in Moab for so long? Who was the Lord to her? I asked a lot of questions as I meditated on the Word.
One day as I was reading this book again, Ruth and Naomi’s journey back to Bethlehem struck me… in the famous words of Ruth, “I want your God to be my God and your people my people,” caught my attention in a new way. I sensed the Holy Spirit whisper to me, “Misty, if you walk like Naomi: identify with your bitterness, turn to me even when you don’t want to or it would be easier not to, display that I am worth the journey and my house is the House of Bread…your daughter will be like Ruth and she too will say, ‘I want your God to be my God.’”
That was it, I knew and have known from that moment on that the Lord would break in as her Kinsman Redeemer. He would show Himself to her. I knew I must embrace the painful journey of healing, learning how to embrace HIM even in my bitterness of soul, and this would open a door for her to know Him.
I knew she would be watching my journey, my choices to say no to the pleasures of the world, to the Moabs that offered me food or an easier life. I knew I would have to keep turning my face to Him, even when I was hungry and destitute. I would have to learn what it REALLY meant to “lean on Him and not my own understanding”. And when there was seemingly no hope for the future, I would have to find HIM as Hope, not the things of the world or that the situation would change, Christ and Christ alone would need to be my cornerstone.
I did not wake up the next day, having arrived. I made many mistakes along the journey of letting Christ live in me but He took every failure and made it into beauty thus fulfilling Isaiah 61:3 in my life (and eventually the life of my daughter).
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
Single mothers long for so much for their sons and daughters. We don’t want their marriages to end in divorce. We long for them to walk in purity. We don’t want them to feel lack or have a poverty mentality. We certainly don’t want them to be victims. Unfortunately, we don’t know how to deliver them and we can’t.
As we allow HIM to deliver us, to heal us, to restore our hearts to Him, our children walk the path we set before them. We as mothers have the ability to open the door to healing and restoration for our children, but it often means embracing the painful journey of healing for ourselves.
But Ruth replied,
“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you.
Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.
Your people will be my people and your God my God.”
What are the first steps you can take to lead your children to Him and their destiny as His sons and daughters?
By Misty Honnold
Mother of 2 adult girls, 2 adult sons & 2 amazing NEW sons (married to daughters)
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Executive Director and Founder of The Single MOM KC
Hostess of Mocha Moments For The Single MOM