So. I’ve been a single mom for 5 years now.
I survived those first few months, on my knees, constantly asking God for strength.
I survived the first couple of years. Grieving the loss of my marriage. Healing from the brokenness. Slowly being redeemed through all of it.
And I finally reached the point where the pain lessened and the days became easier. I stopped struggling so much and believed that we were in a good place. Not ideal, not what I had planned, but we were thriving.
Except for one thing.
I still found myself waiting for a husband. Not consciously. But I guess it was always hiding just beneath my thoughts. I felt like I had proven myself. I had overcome the (seemingly) impossible. I could support us; we were healthy and safe and happy. Now the trial could end and God could send someone to finish redeeming our situation. That we did great, so now this season can end.
Until I heard Jill Briscoe speak a few weeks ago. We were studying James 1.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3
And she said in trials we often ask God, “How Long?”
How long will I be sick? How long will I be hungry? How long will I be alone? How long will I suffer?
When what we should be saying is:
However long, Lord.
However long You want me here. However long it takes. However long it brings You glory.
That’s where true submission is. Not just enduring the trial, and waiting for it to be over. But telling God, honestly, “However long you want to keep me here, I am willing to be in this trial for Your sake. For Your glory. For You to be lifted up and exalted. For Your will to be done.”
Even Jesus asked for the trial to be taken from him. But He stayed in submission.
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will. Matthew 26:39
I may be a single mom for the rest of my life. And if that is God’s will for me, I’m ok with that. Not what I would have chosen, but the only place I want to be is in the center of His will.
I may always have days where I ask for this to end. But I pray I always remember her words as they echo in my mind now.
However long, Lord. However long.