When All You Have is Mercy

When All You Have is Mercy

I grew up around boys. A LOT of boys. For most of my early childhood, I was in a neighborhood with about 20 of them . . . and then me. I learned how to build forts and dig traps around the perimeter to keep the boys out of my hideaways. I learned how to catch salamanders and tadpoles without falling into a creek. And, I learned how to beg for mercy to stop Indian burns from leaving a mark (if you’ve never experienced one, think: a relentless twisting and rubbing of the skin on your arm until you believe it might actually catch fire.)

I learned early on that one of the few ways to get out of an uncomfortable match-up was to call for mercy. Ok, shout for mercy. It was the single thing that made them retreat. The single thing that meant you gave up. The single thing that got you off the hook.

In my relatively short time being a single mom, I’ve come in contact with a lot of other moms on this same path. Each story is unique, each struggle different, and each one heartbreaking in the fact that no mother ever wants her family to fall apart—not one.

And in all of my encounters with these women, as they reach out to tell their story, they all have the same need: someone to hear that story and offer something it seems they haven’t seen much of recently: mercy.

Mercy as they cry and pour their heart out to someone who is safe.

Mercy when I tell them that there is still good in their lives, there is still good in them.

Mercy instead of judgment.

Sometimes, mercy is all you need.

My heart breaks for each of them, even as I do all I can to point them toward healing that deep wound within. My heart breaks in understanding, because I have a matching wound. And though mine is beginning to form a scar as God heals it, it’s still tender to the touch at times.

Sometimes, mercy is all you have to offer.

Because God has shown me the same mercy during this most difficult time in my life, it’s filled me with an overabundance of mercy toward others. I’m merciful because I’ve experienced the sweet relief that comes from someone whose looked at my life and offered mercy when I certainly didn’t feel I deserved it. In such a compassionate and loving way, that they stood out from what everyone else in my life was saying.

From family members who have forgiven hurts in order to be there for me during my time of need.

From friends who haven’t asked questions about what happened in an attempt to gain a morsel for later conversation, but because they deeply cared and wanted me to know it.

From church leaders who watched me approach them in shame, and encouraged me to lift my head—and my hands—toward heaven.

Isn’t that where God wants all of us in our walk? To live and give mercy?

Isn’t that what we all need? More mercy in our lives?

Whether we shout for it or can barely manage a whisper.



Stop by Proverbs 31 Ministries, Suzie Eller’s, blog this Live Free Thursday to discover more stories of mercy <3




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  1. I recognize the voice of someone who has clung to mercy like a life raft in a raging sea. What a beautiful post, and such a wonderful reminder of the fact that we need mercy every day. Thank you for such a refreshing this morning! What a blessing to have been able to post next to yours. I look forward to reading more of your life-giving words.

  2. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful my friend. God is raising you up through a hard place to be a light to others who desire to know Him. I love you, girl. I love your words.

  3. Yes! I too, have walked the single mother journey. My four kids were five and under when I became a single mom. In that time God covered me in mercy and I felt His love through friends. Though none of my friends were single moms they just listened and loved on me. When I became a stepmom God gave me a passion for forming community to walk alongside other stepmoms. Knowing you are not alone on the journey is a life raft for a woman who feels like she is drowning. Connecting, sharing and loving each other. God’s mercy is such a gift and it’s a beautiful gift to share with others. Thanks for your heartfelt post. I love your site and your heart for others.

    – Heather

  4. Yes! So much, yes! Mom’s with their sagging shoulders and tired eyes need the mercy of other mothers. We need to know the mother experience is best when shared, not judged. Thank you for your #livefree words this morning!

  5. Thank you, Heather! I love what you did to help support other stepmoms. I watched my own mother struggle through that and know it would have made a world of difference to have a group of other stepmoms to talk to. Love that idea. <3

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