When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.”
There is an old saying that goes something like this: “You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet” there can be some wisdom in this saying: sometimes things have to be broken down in order for us to start over again!
Hopefully, the changes we have experienced have not been too traumatic, but most of us, as single parents, have experienced loss, and have seen parts of our lives broken down, only to be faced with the task of rebuilding our lives, into something new, and hopefully better than it was…but certainly different.
Starting over can be a good thing, especially if what we had before was not working out for us, or for our kids.
I am reminded of an old building I used to pass on the way to and from work…it was in ruins, and I expected it to be torn down any day, if it did not fall down on its own. Sure enough, one morning as I drove by, I saw a construction crew out in front of the building and I assumed that it was about to be over for the old building. However, that is not the way it worked out; instead of being completely torn down, the old building was gutted, all the useless trash and debris was carted away until it was an empty shell…then the rebuilding began! New siding, roof, windows and doors were installed, then the inside was redone with new walls and ceilings and lights and furniture, and when it was all done, the building was basically brand new, unrecognizable from the ruin it had been!
Before the building could be restored, it had to be broken down, and then it took a long time to put it back together the right way, so that it would survive and function, so it can be with our lives. For those of us who have gone through divorce or the breakup of a relationship, and for those who have lost loved ones…it takes time to rebuild, and sometimes our new lives are nothing like our old ones, but they can be stronger, and more resilient, and often more beautiful, than what we have left behind us.
While I hated going through a divorce, and the recovery was long and at times very painful, it was a necessary step, and was the best thing for everyone involved. A lot of good came out of my decision to start over, like an end to the tension and turmoil that was disrupting our lives, and being able to get closer to my daughter than I ever would have been otherwise.
As a single father I was blessed to be able to form a strong bond with my daughter, which has seen us through the trials of the teen years. In addition, I have also found a way to make amends with her mother, allowing us to make peace, and maintain a decent relationship, which has also been good for our daughter, as it allowed us to work together to make the best decisions for her as she grew up, and provide her with the support and advice she needed as she faced her own challenges in life.
Life as a single parent can be a challenge, but it can also be very good, much better than living in a dysfunctional home. There can be healing in tearing out all the old useless things that no longer work, and rebuilding with what does work, like with that old building! It is not necessarily easy, but the work is worthwhile, and we can learn from it.
And the best part is that we do not rebuild on our own, we have God with us always, both through the Spirit and through the people in our lives who love and care for us, including our children, who can offer us their own (surprising) wisdom at times! Through this support we receive the tools and help we need to rebuild from the ruins, and to continue the task of renewal throughout our lives, and through every stage of raising our children in faith.
Let us Pray
God, thank you for the opportunity to rebuild; and that having to start our lives over can have positive results! Thank you for seeing us through the trials and challenges of life, and for giving us the strength and support to rebuild, restore and reform! Please help us to share the experience and hope of restoration and renewal with others, as they too struggle to regain their footing in life and to build up something new and better for themselves and their children.