Mother’s Day… is the one time a year that we celebrate… something that my sons and I no longer have with us: A mother. Oh yes, we have mothers. God chose them to die, and chose us to live.
I did not even realize that my sons and I actually had that “loss” in common until I began to write this blog. I lost my mother when I was 31 and newly married. They lost their mother, Sandi Carlisle, when they were still school aged. Though our ages differed greatly, our loss was the same. We all hurt some days just because… just because there is a hole in our hearts that nothing but the love of God could fill.
As a single dad, I am realizing that people like to wish me Happy Mother’s Day because I am standing in that gap, filling that role of a mother. I do not want to ever disrespect mothers and say that I am one or ever could understand what it feels like to conceive and/or birth a child. Every time I am greeted with that salutation, I cringe and bow my head as if I were trying to dodge the compliment. As if that were even possible. I am a father. I am a dad. I am a widower. I am a shepherd who is now leads his flock of young men down the path to becoming who God predestined them to be. Am I the right person for this role? Both roles now? To me, I don’t think so because I am not qualified to love them like a mother would. And I most definitely could never come close to imitating how their mother loved them. All I can do is play my role and be obedient to Christ (1 Sam. 15:22). Knowing that God will guide me to all truth (John 16:13) and that He will reveal to me how to guard my son’s hearts, is what drives me. God does not call the equipped. He equips the called.
My role as a parent is be obedient, consistent, vigilant, loving, kind, compassionate, and caring, but in my own way. I can not act like anyone else or try do things like their mother… because I’m not her. I can’t or ever could be her. I can not even re-marry and demand that the new woman be just like their mother. Most importantly, my sons don’t even have to choose between loving their mother or the next woman that the Lord will send to be my wife. All they need to do… all I need to do… all we need to do is love God and be obedient to Him, and everything else will be taken care of (Prov. 16:9).
Now, I no longer have to carry the burden of perfection or performance in my parenting and living. I don’t have to try to wear one pair my shoes and one pair of Sandi’s as I walk this long mile of raising our men. Not to mention that I would look ridiculous. But imagine if actually did that. I could not even be effective in my role while wearing one regular man’s shoe and one ladies high heel. I need to stand fearlessly in my role as father, and continue to move toward God. He has a plan for our lives that far exceeds our expectations (Jer. 29:11).
Through pain and strife, joy and laughter, we will rejoice and be glad. Why? Because God made each day especially for us. If we live out each day with expectancy in our heart, putting everything we have into seeking God, then we can end that day knowing that we did our best. And in doing this, God is pleased. That doesn’t mean we would succeed every day, but it does mean that we moved another day closer on the journey to what God has intended for us.
Lord, I thank you for this day. The one you made especially for me. You took the time to plan and order the steps of some many other things and people in order for me to have this one day. I rejoice in and because of what You will allow me to see, experience, and do. Show me where you are working in my life today. Reveal to me where and how I may join You in ministry. I will not worry about tomorrow, because it has enough issues of its own. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
- 1 Sam. 15:22 (NLT)
- But Samuel replied,
“What is more pleasing to the LORD:
your burnt offerings and sacrifices
or your obedience to his voice?
Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.
- But Samuel replied,
- John 16:12-15 (NLT)
- 12 “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. 14 He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’
- Prov. 16:9 (NIV)
- In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORDestablishes their steps.
- Jer. 29:11
- For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.