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Single Mom Exhaustion (via NotConsumed.com)

She wakes up at 5am just to get a little quiet time with God and shower without tiny hands wrapped around her legs. She works 60+ hours to make ends meet…everyday. She takes no breaks and has no days off. She wipes every tear, comforts every middle of the night terror, and stays up until midnight calming the insecurities to her daughters. She does everything possible to make the leftovers into meaningful time with her kids. She pinches every penny, trying to find a way to buy enough to eat and keep the lights on all at the same time. She prays the jeans will hold out a few more weeks before the holes break through and she gives her financial stress to God time after time after time. Her circumstances continue to swell typhoon size waves and she really…literally…barely stands up from the last swell before the next comes crashing down. If it’s not one legal disaster, it’s another late child support payment. It’s single mom exhaustion.

No, not that stayed-up-all-night-cramming-for-a-test kind of exhausted. The single mom life brings on a whole new meaning to the word. It’s more like I-haven’t-slept-all-night-in-5-years” kind of exhausted. But it’s not just sleep she lacks. It’s enough emotional, financial, and spiritual rest that she needs the most. If you are a single mom, I know you can relate. In fact, rarely does a day go by that I don’t hear the same old story for yet another sweet single mama.

It’s true that God has specifically designed a mom to be capable of living on less sleep. He uniquely created us to deal with the many demands of motherhood. But He also created us to live within a family unit. He created moms to be supported by a loving husband who could pick up the slack or even offer a little nap. That was His perfect plan. And we single moms live outside of that plan, whether by our own choice or not. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t find rest.

There is indeed rest for every weary soul, whether it’s these single mom circumstances or a multitude of others. There is rest because we can lay every single problem at the feet of our Savior. In fact, God commands us to do so. I’m sure you are probably familiar with Matthew 11:28-30 where Jesus tells us to give HIM our yoke or “heavy burdens” and take His in exchange. Perhaps it’s because I’ve heard this verse so often, but I am ever so guilty of not taking it seriously. I’ve been guilty of literally saying things like, “this isn’t really a problem big enough for God” or “God can handle this problem, but maybe He wants me to do something with it.”

I imagine you’ve struggled with some of the same issues, but I also imagine that the problem is bigger than that. The truth is, there is often a disconnect between what we know the Bible says and the way we actually live our lives. I am so guilty of this. I can say that I trust God with everything but then I turn right around try to figure out what I’m supposed to do. Sound familiar? In fact, I was pretty guilty of doing this all the time until one day I came across a verse that changed everything for me.

Psalm 127:1-2 Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.

As soon as I read the words I thought about the 4 hours of sleep that I mustered out the night before. Did you catch how vain that is? I’m not necessarily saying that we should all just quit our jobs and stay in bed all day because God will take care of the rest. But the point is vital: If we are laboring against God’s will for us, we are just running ourselves to the ground for no purpose. It’s all vain. The literal translation of vain is actually “meaningless.” Immediately I came to my senses. I don’t have time to be doing things that are meaningless! Do you?

I’ll admit. Single mom exhaustion is a tough case. It’s hard to rest when the circumstances are swarming and legal stuff is not right and kids are going to bed hungry or you can fill-in-the-blank with 100 other things I’m sure. But the truth is, there is little I can do about most of my situation. And friend, that is probably true for you as well. This is God stuff and God alone can handle it.

Think about Joseph in Genesis. He didn’t deserve to be in slavery nor did he deserve to be in prison, but where do you think he would have ended up if all he did was worry himself to death about how to get out of his circumstances? It certainly would not have been on the royal throne. But he did work hard and he did it with a good attitude. So he was favored. This is a lesson for all of us. A lesson not to spend our days worrying about how to get out of this or even the next predicament. A lesson not to spend our time checking and rechecking the financial situation to see if maybe just maybe we could earn another $5 somewhere. It’s a lesson to spend our days giving glory and praise to God for every little miracle in the moment. Because the truth is, you will find them if you are looking. And then when God’s provision comes (like it did for Joseph in the prison) you won’t be too busy to notice!

I will leave you with this thought. As long as we live in this world, we will experience great trials and tribulation. It’s time to stop being shocked by it and start facing what Jesus told us. Life is hard and sin causes it to be even harder. But we have an amazing promise through Jesus. In Him we have peace. The same peace that has overcome the world! What a blessing!

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Truth about Rest:

Psalm 62:1-2  Rest comes from God alone.

Lam 3:20-23 Because of the Lord’s great mercies and love, we will NEVER be consumed by our circumstances.

John 14:27 God’s peace is not the same peace that the world offers, but because of HIS peace we our hearts can remain untroubled and unafraid.

1 Peter 3:4 A quiet spirit holds unfading beauty and is of great worth in God’s sight.

John 16:33 In Jesus we have peace. In the world we will have great trouble, BUT Jesus has overcome the world!

 This post is a part of the series, The Single Mom Life. Click here to read more.

by: Kim Sorgius

Originally Posted:  http://www.notconsumed.com/2014/04/17/single-mom-exhaustion/