We'll Figure It Out
Dena Johnson MartinDena Johnson is a former single mom to three amazing kids: Blake, Cole, and Cassie and wife to her high school friend, Roy. She strives to follow Christ each day and to lead her children to do the same. She delights in taking the every day experiences of life and turning them into biblical lessons for her children. Dena's daily prayer is simple: Lord, my life is yours. Live through me. Love through me. Parent through me. Let me decrease that you might increase. Dena is the founder of Dena Johnson Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people find beauty through the brokenness of this life. Her heart's desire is to use her own pain to point others to the power of God who redeems every hurt, every pain. You can contact Dena at Dena@denajohnson.com. You can also find her blog at Dena Johnson Ministries.
- 2017 Jan 26
I was born an organized, detail-oriented, planner.
My mom was unconscious for five days after I was born. By the time my mom and I were stable enough to come home, the nurses had me on a strict schedule. I would take a bottle and go to bed at 10:00 pm, and I would wake up crying for a bottle at 5:00 am. My mom could practically tell time by my schedule.
As a child, I remember getting upset when something interfered with my schedule, my plans. After all, order was the hallmark of my life.
But then I became a single mom.
Over the years, I have learned that organization and schedules are not conducive to single parenting. I would probably drive myself insane if I clung to my schedule like I used to as a kid.
Instead, my motto has become, “We’ll figure it out.”
“Mom, how are you going to get me to my pig show if you are taking Cassie to voice lessons?” asks my son.
“We’ll figure it out,” I respond.
“Mom, how are we going to pay for camp?” another child asks.
“We’ll figure it out,” I respond.
“Mom, how can we make cookies for my class if you are taking him to a game?” my daughter asks.
“We’ll figure it out,” I respond.
Honestly, I have discovered that phrase rolls off my tongue multiple times every single day.
Last weekend, my oldest had a robotics competition. My youngest had voice lessons. And my middle child was showing pigs. Three different activities. Three different cities. All at the same time. It leaves me, the mom who wants to be there to support all of my kids, in quite the conundrum.
“We’ll figure it out,” comes the rallying cry.
And, as always, we did. It was a long day, one that started at 5:30 am and ended at 4:00 am Sunday, but somehow we managed to get all three kids to their separate activities AND attend all three activities for at least a portion of the time.
Now, I’m the first to admit I had some help. My parents helped me shuttle kids to and from, and they did their best to attend and support as well. But, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants mom was running non-stop, cheering all three kids on!
In some ways, I kind of like being the fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants mom. Oh, I’m much more comfortable in the organized, scheduled role. But, if I’m honest, it’s probably only because it gives me a sense of control.
I’ve reached the conclusion, however, that I am not in control. I didn’t have control when my life fell apart and I was thrust into the role of single mom. I wasn’t in control when my finances were crumbling. I wasn’t in control when my kids lost their dad. I wasn’t in control when my daughter was lying in the floor, her body convulsing from the seizure attacking her brain.
Truth is, I’ve never been in control. I might think I am. I might want to be in control. But, in reality, I have never been in control.
So maybe my rallying cry of, “We’ll figure it out,” is really more of an admission that I’m not in control, that I simply have to let go of my desire to be in control and trust the One who really is in control.
That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:25-34
I can almost hear God saying, “Don’t worry. Just trust me, and we will figure it out.”
Being a single mom has taught me to let go of so many things, to not stress about things over which I have no control. It’s taught me to simply let go and trust God, to ask Him to lead and direct my steps. It’s taught me to trust His ability to provide for me and my kids, to trust that He will care for even the smallest details of our lives.
I’m not perfect at letting go by any means. I still struggle with how I’m going to pay for college or if I will ever be able to retire. I still get uptight when things don’t go my way. I still get exhausted from chasing kids all over the country. I still long for this season of life to be over.
But as I learn to let go of my desire for control, I enjoy life more. I worry less, and I trust more. My stress level drops, and I laugh at the stupidity of my life.
Most of all, I get to the end of each day and realize that my fears were unnecessary, that His grace was sufficient, that His power is made perfect in my weakness. I realize there’s no better place to be than in His hands, in His loving care. It’s such a gift to know that even when I’m not in control, He is.
Thank you, Father, for your sovereignty, that you are in control of every detail of our lives even when life seems to be spiraling out of control. Thank you for teaching me to release my cares, my burdens, and trust you to meet my needs. Thank you for loving me so much that you meet my every need. Keep my heart, my mind, focused on you, seeking you and your righteousness so I can be certain that all my needs will be met. Help me as I partner with you to figure these things out. In Jesus name I pray, amen.