Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
Most of us strive to be better people, and have done our best to be so, but it is not easy.
I have tried many ways to improve myself, from getting married, changing jobs, and moving away from New York to Pennsylvania, all of which had mixed results; to getting sober, going back to church, and getting a Master of Divinity Degree which had better results.
However, the thing that changed me the most, and had the most powerful impact on my life, is something I am still in the midst of…being a single father!!
At one time I thought my task would have been done by now…as she is 19 and out of school, but today I realize that the job of a parent is never finished but then neither does the learning and growing that comes from it.
Raising my daughter as a single parent has made me a better person, less selfish, more patient (though she may disagree) and more willing to be flexible, as I have learned without flexibility we can break, and break horribly!
Being a single father has also given me a stronger faith and belief in the power of God in my life, and in the grace and love that surrounds us constantly, and shows us that God is absolutely with us…right here, where we are, in the midst of our lives!! Being a single parent has helped me to be more understanding about my daughter’s struggles as she meets the challenges of life, and the struggles of others.
It has made me more willing to help others, and just as important, more willing to ASK others for help when I need it (though it can still be a struggle at times).
I know being a single father has helped me to stay sober for many years, and has helped me to build better relationships, not only with my daughter, but with family, friends, and with my
‘significant other’, as I would not be able to appreciate how really amazing she is had I not experienced life as a single parent.
And I have learned to be more forgiving of others, even those who I feel have hurt me, and learned to let go of resentments, and to rebuild broken relationships, and this has helped me to make amends with my daughter’s mother; and these amends have made raising my daughter so much easier!
In fact, all these gifts I have gotten from raising my daughter, have helped me to be a better parent as well as a better person…and I needed a lot of help! This experience has brought me closer to others and to God; and it is that faith in God that can keep us all moving forward together, as we learn to be better people, and raise our children to be the best that they can be.
Let us Pray
God, please help us to be the best people we can be, and to always strive to do better, without beating ourselves up for falling short. Thank you for your children, and for your love that surrounds us…especially when we cannot feel it because we are worn out, frustrated or tired.
Thank you that your strength never fails, and is shared through our children and those around us.