When the Waters are Deeper than You Thought They’d Be

water

It felt like I’d just stepped into what I thought was a puddle, only to discover I was sinking below the surface. In my first days as a single mom, I was grasping to stay afloat. I looked everywhere for support and encouragement for single moms of faith—and found next to nothing.

And so I did what I’d been doing for the previous twelve years: I continued writing about my life and prayed that God would use me to encourage others, even when I felt I had nothing to give.

I was just . . . worn. You know?

My particular set of single mom problems built and built until I felt like the burden I carried would push me right under the water’s surface. I began to ease off of the things that I needed most. Like going to church, and reading my Bible, and reaching out to others who would support me in love. My faith was at a standstill—even as I continued to write about it. I felt like I was becoming two different people: the one who encouraged others, and the one who barely held enough hope to get her own self through her situation.

You see, I’d come to realize a new truth through my ministry. As story after story of others just like me whose attempts to move on past their battered marriages were met with discouragement. With people who had no real understanding. Who offered condemnation instead of hope. Who spoke of faith, while pointing out our lack. Of friends who’d chosen to step away. Of whispered rumors, and made up ones. Of emotional abuse and harassment: of sometimes them, and sometimes their children. A myriad of problems that no one would talk about, but most experienced. Alone.

It was the hidden norm. And the magnitude of it exhausted me.

And yet through it all, I kept telling myself that I’d chosen to step into these waters with Jesus. And because of that, even if I were to sit in a corner away from the world, in an attempt to hide from everyone including Him: He still wouldn’t leave me there alone.

That I AM would fight for me. It became my mantra, in fact.

And yet, I still just felt . . . worn.

Then somehow, and for no apparent reason at all, with the tiny bit of strength I had left, I reached out to a godly group of women on Facebook that I barely knew. Telling them the truth of my situation. The truth I’ve hidden because I didn’t want to speak badly of my ex for the sake of my children.

And a sweet friend replied:

“As I read your words, I’m imagining Jesus holding out his hand and saying, come with me. Just the next few steps. Just today. My yoke is easy.”

And as I read her words, I wept. Because it spoke to my heart of hearts. The broken one. The battered one. The one that felt like life would never move forward despite everything I was doing to heal and help those around me to do the same. The one that wondered that if Jesus came to me and held out His hand, would I be too weak to take it now and follow.

Too . . . worn.

And I felt a spark ignite in my heart, sweet friends, as I realized another truth:

The reality is that all any of us has to offer Jesus is the same:

The next step.

Just today.

And accepting that and taking His yoke in place of our own is really the only way any of us has enough weight lifted off of our shoulders to be able to balance back on our own two feet so that we can step forward. Even the tiniest of steps. Even the smallest easing back into the waters with Him.

Even though we’re worn.

And, so I’m taking His hand again. I’m coming out of my corner. I’m giving Him just today.

I pray you’ll join me.

 

Stop by Proverbs 31 Ministries, Suzie Eller’s, blog this Live Free Thursday to discover more stories about living free. <3

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8 Comments

  1. Laura, I don’t pretend to understand your worn but I do understand worn. During a particularly long and wearing battle I had to learn to ask God for enough strength to get through a day. And sometime during those days I had to ask for the moment. I completely came to the end of myself and each next step can only be attributed to His strength that carried me. That was almost 10 years ago. I thought I saw what He was preparing me for6 years ago, but truthfully feel as though I will be seeing what He was preparing me for over and over. The latest is the deployment of my spouse. I’ve been a military wife for 22 years and I would have crumbled 10 years ago … I feel I can take each step with Him and have peace in the uncertainty of life. You are on my heart. Again, our worn is different but I’m trusting Our great God to hold you and strengthen you! Love- Jodie

    PS : Have you ever listened to the song Worn by Tenth Avenue North?

  2. Thank you, Laura, for sharing your heart. I’ m only able to offer Jesus that next step. Just today. Just like you. This encourages me because right now I have a lot of challenges and a lot of unknowns on the horizon. I’m just going to take my next step. And pray you’ll take yours.

  3. Thank you, Jody. In many ways, you are a single mom as well. <3 That Tenth Avenue North song has come to mind quite a bit lately. I'll be praying for you as well. 🙂

  4. Bless you, Laura. Your words of transparency are healing for me. We each have a situation in our lives where we are worn, and even though mine is different than yours, I can relate. One step at a time with Jesus. One day at a time with Him. Sometimes that’s the most important thing we can focus on. I’m thankful we can walk this road together. Lifting you in prayer today!

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