From One Single Mother to Another: Sandra Aldrich Offers Encouragement
- Tuesday, July 20, 2010
SA: Oh, my! It depends on the day, because some days, I needed encouragement. I needed someone to say, "Now, come on, you can do this, and I'm praying for you!" Other days, I needed help with my checkbook. In fact, one of my friends asked me if I had reconciled the checkbook, and I looked at him with bewilderment, and I said "Why should I reconcile myself to it? I'm not mad at it?" Obviously, I didn't have a clue of how to balance the checkbook.
So, the bit of advice that I would give would be, first of all, take a great big deep breath, pray the most profound prayer we can pray, and it's one word - Help! Then, be open to the help that the Lord sends.
I remember when my son was 13. We were vacationing on the lake in Michigan, and he came home just so excited. He said, "Mom, we got this great new game. While Andy drives the boat, we take turns jumping off of the back!" Well, I went into hysterics. I kept saying, "Oh, you can't do that! That's dangerous!" I hauled out in typical mother style every story I had ever heard about boating accidents, dismemberment, etc. Well, he was looking right through my head at the wall behind me and just totally unimpressed with my hysteria.
Finally, I took a deep breath, and said, "Oh, Lord, help!" The thought came to call the Coast Guard. So, I called the Coast Guard. I explained to the officer on the other end what the situation was, and I said, "I am tired of trying to shout him down. Am I being just a hysterical, out-of-it mother?" He said, "No, ma'am. You put that kid on the phone! I'm tired of fishing bodies out of Mona Lake!"
So, I put my son on. He is sitting there slouching. He's listening, and he's saying, "Yeah." All of the sudden, he sat up straight, and he said, "I mean yes, sir!" I couldn't hear what the officer was saying, but I could hear the tone. To my knowledge, Jay and his friends, (notice to my knowledge), never played that game again, because I asked for help. That's one example.
Sometimes, we need to get a counselor involved. Sometimes, we need to get a big brother involved. Sometimes, we just need to say, "Okay, Lord, give me your fresh idea how I'm going to handle this." As long as we are hanging on to the Lord, we are not in this alone. I claimed Isaiah 54:5, "For thy Maker is thy husband. The Lord Almighty is His name." I would say, "All right, Lord, you are my husband. That means you are their Father. So, help me with this situation." As we ask, the help comes. I am so grateful.
CW: I am wondering if you have any words you would like to share with children who have been raised by single parents, who are still reconciling that in their own minds. They maybe have some wounds from that.
SA: The biggest thing I would just say is forgive your parents for being human, that they do love you. Just because they are no longer together, just because they don't love each other anymore, does not mean that they don't love you. They do love you, and they do want what's best for you.
Also, know this - Because parents are human, sometimes they will not tell you everything that you need to know. Hear this - it was not your fault that they got divorced. If you had been a better child, if you had been an all-A student, if you had been the opposite gender, it still would have happened. It was not your fault.
Also, as gently as you can, don't let them use you as a pawn. Don't allow them to say, "Well, what happened this weekend while you were with your dad or while you were with your mother?" Just say, "Mom or Dad, I love you very, very much, but if you need that information, I would rather that you talk to Mom or to Dad yourself, because I love both of you, and I don't want to be caught in the middle." Say it with love, say it gently, but don't allow yourself to be a pawn.
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