I was participating in a single parent retreat weekend in June of 2006 when God ignited a passion in me to serve the single mom. That is where it began and now, here I am 15 years later starting a single mom ministry in my church. FINALLY! It's finally coming together. I will be working full-time serving single moms and it only took me 15 years! I know! I hear you asking, “what took you so long?”
Honestly, I can only call them GIANTS. It was GIANTS that held me back. It was GIANTS that kept me from becoming that vessel that God could use. It was GIANTS that have kept me from stepping out in faith. It has been GIANTS that caused me to:
• Give Up
• Run Away
• Doubt My God Given Life Purpose
What are GIANTS? GIANTS are those things that keep you from pursuing your dream, your purpose, that call from God out of your comfort zone. I don't think my GIANTS are to much different than anyone else's GIANTS:
1. Fear- Fear can be that GIANT that takes us down for good, if we allow it too. Our natural reaction to fear is fight, flight, or freeze. My natural inclination has been to RUN! We are all afraid of something. Using that fear to keep us from achieving God's greatness is one of the main ways that the enemy works against us. My main fears are being in a leadership position/public speaking/being in charge of anything. The underlying fears that are associated with my main fears are messing up/failing/rejection/being humiliated in front of others. Fear is real. We ALL feel it at one time or another and the enemy will use it to take us down.
2. Distractions- Life can be a whirlwind of activities and mental/emotional chaos. It can be even more so for the single mom who is trying to navigate it all on her own. On a daily basis we are bombarded by social media, our daily tasks, others' expectations, our kids activities, deadlines, the state of our nation, our own emotional baggage, the emotional baggage of our kids, etc. You get the point. With all of this stuff to focus on, who has time to focus on God or our purpose?
3. Obstacles- I've seen it happen to others. Everything is flowing smoothly, doors are opening supernaturally, you let your guard down and BAM! A door closes unexpectedly, someone rejects you with harsh words, or unexpected delays in your timeline pop up. It is easy to let the obstacles discourage us. We become overwhelmed and start to doubt our purpose. If it is this hard, maybe it isn't God's will.
GIANTS are the devils way of keeping us down. 1 Peter 5:8 reminds us that our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 also tells us to be alert and sober minded. We CAN conquer our GIANTS if we do the following three things:
1. Pray- Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Instead of allowing our GIANTS to take us down, we need to pray. Prayer is such a powerful weapon that we have at our disposal. Prayer opens up the heavens and gives us access to the power of God. Matthew 19:26 tells us that with God all things are possible. Prayer is that golden key to make the impossible, possible.
1. Prepare- Instead of focusing on all of those things that are against us, we need to focus on the task at hand. We need to prepare ourselves for battle. Read and study the Bible. Focus on God. Ephesians 6:11-12 tells us to put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
2. Persevere- James 4:7 tells us to Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Keep your focus on God and the task at hand. Don't give the devil a foothold or he will take over. In order to continue to move forward we need to continue to take steps toward our purpose. Write an article while the kids are napping, make that phone call, write that email that will open a door, start a blog, write down Bible verses that will encourage you when facing challenges, do that one small thing that will get you past the GIANT and will keep you moving forward.
Facing our GIANTS is never easy, but with God on our side it is possible. Don't allow the devil to keep you from your God-given purpose. Fight for what you believe in! Even if it takes you 15 years to achieve that dream, never give up on what you believe God wants for you. With God on your side, you can conquer those giants.
Author Patti Burris is the founder of a single mom ministry in Terre Haute, Indiana. She is the creator of L.I.F.E Discipleship Program and God Is: A Seven Week Bible Study for Single Moms. She offers life skills coaching and assists single moms in finding emergency resources as well as those resources needed to move forward in life. She is passionate about using her 20 years as a single mom of 5 in helping other single moms create peace filled, joyful and safe lives for themselves and their children. She is passionate about loving single moms to Jesus.