Last Updated on September 3, 2013
Before I became a single parent, I had a walk-in closet — now I have a fall-in closet.
I don’t mean that I fall over all the stuff in it, although that is also true. By “fall in” I mean me falling in on my knees — often in tears. Sometimes this life is just too much to bear. The responsibility, decisions, issues, and emotions simply overwhelm me at times. I desperately want to make the right decisions. Everyone says that there really are no “right” decisions with regard to many of the things I’m considering, but I still have to actually make a decision. I still have to weigh the options, live with the consequences, and bear the responsibility alone. It just isn’t the way I wanted to be doing this parenting thing.
Decisions aside, there are so many issues to deal with — so many people’s feelings, thoughts, and needs to take into account. My children are all in different stages and phases of life and healing. I can barely get myself through the drama of our life with any semblance of sanity. Somehow I have to walk five other people through it, as well.
I am blessed. My children are wonderful. They are exhausting and difficult at times (but, then again, so am I) but wonderful nonetheless. These amazing little and big people need something beyond what I can give. I am trying to point them to the Lord, but I am struggling to do that consistently. I think too often we are just rushing through the day. School. Activities. Sports. Homework. Meals. Chores. I want so much more for them and me. So to the closet I fall. …
Less-than-stellar Mom moment when someone is disobedient or difficult: Fall in!
Forget to turn in the form so my son could get the field day T-shirt and hamburger lunch: Fall in!
No idea how to deal with teenager angst, middle-child drama, or toddler tantrums, which usually occur simultaneously: Fall in!
Someone questions me about something — anything — I have done or decided, and I second guess everything: Fall in!
My daughters’ pre-school teacher re-does their hair again. Geez, I can’t even get that right? Fall in!
My children miss their father, and I can’t make him come home or make it better: Fall in!
So much left to do, and it’s already 11 p.m., which means tomorrow will be another exhausting day: Fall in!
Hormones: Fall in!
I don’t meet my expectations for anything: Fall in!
Sounds like I should have perpetually bruised knees, but it’s really getting better. I used to be curling up into balls all over the place — the basement, the laundry room, the bathroom, the sofa … anywhere would do — but it’s better now. God is faithful; He is holding me together.
I don’t think it is about me falling down, regaining my strength, and setting out to face this life. I believe that it is about me falling at the feet of Jesus and asking for His strength, perspective, and peace so that I can move forward. I know that my strength comes from the Lord. I don’t believe that being a strong woman removes the pain of this life, but it enables me to move forward even if I’m falling and weeping along the way. I know that I will find Jesus’ strength at every turn … even on my closet floor.
Sue Birdseye is an author and communicator who shares the adventures she has on her unexpected journey of single parenting. She went from the typical “picket fence” kind of life to being a single mom to five beautiful children. She has learned what it means to be totally dependent upon the Lord and how beautiful that dependence is. Her change of life circumstances has led to a passionate desire to encourage and bless other moms no matter their life circumstances. She has been active in her community as a foster/adoptive mom and public school teacher. She has also been part of her church’s worship, discipleship, women’s, and children’s ministries. She is an avid book reader, a game night hoster, and an early morning writer. Her book “When Happily Ever After Shatters” is the story of how God stepped into her life and the lives of her children just when everything seemed to be falling apart. She hopes that her writing will encourage, bless, and maybe even make someone smile.