10 do not fear, for I am with you,
do not be afraid, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
Being a single parent can be a great joy and a blessing, allowing us the opportunity to form a strong bond with our children as we grow up together…being a single parent can also help us to keep our focus on what is important in life, not money or a career but the love we share with our children.
Yet single parenting can also be scary; an anxious and frustrating experience, when we can sometimes feel as if we are operating without a net…or fumbling around blindly in the dark while trying to figure out what to do next…and hoping and praying that we are doing it right.
Fear as well as joy can be part of our single parenting experience…from the first they spike a high fever, the momentary fear we can feel when our young children disappear from our sight at a store or a playground, all the way to their first trip out in the car by themselves, and that first night that they miss their curfew, and can’t be reached by cell or text!
We can also feel some fear over our own abilities as a parent: fear of making mistakes that will thoroughly screw up our kids, of making a decision that causes more harm than good…fear that we are in over our heads, and don’t really know what we are doing!
Fear is as much a part of parenting as is hope, love and joy…but it does not need to be overwhelming, because faith is also a part of our lives! In today’s reading we are reminded that fear and faith cannot live in the same house, because God is always with us, helping us to make good choices and right decisions, and protecting us and our children from mistakes we all make (though not always the consequences of them), seeing us through any crisis or trouble by surrounding us with grace and love.
Often the help and love of God comes to us from many different sources: a Police officer who really cares and wants to ensure a bad mistake is not made any worse, a clergy person or therapist who listens and provides guidance and support, a teacher who really tries to make learning happen…and of course, close friends and family who stay with us no matter what.
Walking in the knowledge that God is always with us we do not need to have fear (though we sometimes still do); because we know that God is also with our children, watching over them even at times when we cannot, helping them to meet the challenges they face in their lives, while helping us to deal with our fears and worries as our children move further away from us and begin to build their own lives.
God gives us strength, supporting us with love and hope, and this reminds us that it is never the will of God for anyone to suffer or to be afraid; though some days may be shrouded in darkness and worry, we are never separated from the light of Christ…and in this, there is a reason for joy!!!
Let us Pray
God, thank you for giving us faith in the face of fear. For supporting us and our children, and for keeping us close to your loving care always. Help us to share this gift of faith with each other, and to remember to turn to you when the going gets rough, and to share your praise when life is nothing but good. Please continue to uphold us and our children with your grace, and let us always remember that we all walk together in the light of Christ.