Happy Wednesday, Moms!
Over the past weekend, my five-year-old son noticed a few flowers that had begun to bloom and mentioned that Spring was right around the corner. Always amazed at his attention to detail, I began to think about the many transformations that nature must make to prepare for new seasons. As I sat outside thinking and basking in the warmth of the sun, I noticed the dried-out, molted skin of a spider. There was no spider inside and I could tell that it’d been abandoned for quite some time. After many minutes of staring at this seemingly discarded shell of what once was, it came to me that we as single mothers also endure many transformations as the seasons in our lives continuously change. In fact, like the spider, we’re always in a continuous state of molting or shedding of our old skin to make room for the ever-changing versions of ourselves.
Most single mothers didn’t set out with the goal of being a single mother left alone to raise a child while simultaneously balancing the weight of the world. It’s just the way the cookie crumbled in our worlds, and we were left to put it back together. While I’m sure that motherhood isn’t easy for any mother, single or not, there’s a different type of hardship that comes with having to do it all by yourself. As a single mother, I can attest to the fact that we’re almost always overworked and underpaid, stressed, struggling with our faith, physically and mentally exhausted, and just longing for a break from the daily struggles that life has presented. Simple things like sleep, stable finances, and peace of mind are like urban tales to us. Do they exist? How do we obtain those? As you can imagine, that begins to wear down on not only our minds but our physical bodies as well. This is where God steps in every time. Like the molting spider, when I’m most uncomfortable and busting at the seams with life’s craziness, I began to shed my old skin. It doesn’t feel great but it’s vitally necessary. God has a way of stretching us so thin that it feels as though our skin is tearing. It hurts. It burns. It’s uncomfortable. We question “Why me? Why my child? When does it get better?”. God says “I know it hurts. I know it isn’t easy but it’s time to leave that old skin behind. For you can’t take it with you to the next level. The next level requires a thicker, more durable skin.”. If God allowed us to remain in our old skin, we’d never be able to conquer the next level of life. We’d never be able to keep our heads above water as we navigate the treacherous oceans of single motherhood.
Although we may not always realize it, God is always stretching us to prepare us for the next level’s battles. At our weakest moments, he snatches off our old skin to remind us that he lives in us and that we already have everything that we need internally. Let’s start preparing for battle by shedding old skin that weighs us down or prevents us from moving fluidly. The next time you’re outdoors and see a bug living its best life, ask yourself what it has had to endure to get to that point. Consider that maybe, like you, God gave it new skin to carry on and endure. Being a single mother is hard but it’s not impossible. Keep shedding, Moms!
-Written by Ashley Williams