Posted in Thankful Thursdays

We Are NOT Alone!

The hardest thing about becoming a mother wasn’t deciding on our pregnancy announcement or growing a tiny human being inside me. It was not fear of what labour would feel like and it was not even childbirth. It was the life changes that came after and the fact that I felt I was going through them all alone: the sudden surge of hormones, the unrequested bodily changes, the uncontrollable bleeding and constant cramping, the postpartum depression, the regulation of nursing on demand, the countless sleepless nights, the learning to not be an angry parent and the lost of many friendships. Lord knows that there is so much more women deal with that goes unmentioned. 

I always questioned why is it that young ladies are constantly forced into relationships and sometimes indirectly pressured into having children yet no one takes the time to tell us about the downside of this equation of life we later find ourselves in. Where are the non-enforced pre-marital counselors to check for partner compatibility? Where are the elderly, experienced women to tell you the ugly truth of what child-bearing does to the body, and to warn but also prepare new mothers of the baby blues with positive ways to bounce back into life? Where are the mature, tough-love kind of women that will reach out a hand without waiting to be asked, because they know that new moms feel asking for help proves we are inadequate mothers? Where are the husbands that make vows to be there for their wives through thick and thin, yet once the going gets tough, the “tough” gets going? Why do we lose close friends instead of gaining soul sisters while growing a family? Why is so easy to point fingers and shame a struggling mother instead of lending a hand and reassuring them that everything will be okay? 

I tell you the hardest part of motherhood was going through it all and believing I did not have someone to share it with. Someone that would not judge me for “saying too much” and actually be a supporting pillar while keeping it real with me. A “Proverbs 31” kind of woman to guide me through the journey of motherhood. A “Mother To Son” kind of friend to teach me the truths of this so-called “crystal stair” life. The kind of person that would instill accountability for my actions, both intentional and not. 

That is why I am so grateful for the many women that I have met since we packed everything up and made the long haul from New York City. More importantly, I am grateful for the church we joined that facilitated these groups of people to connect. Two weeks into the move, I started volunteering for the church to keep myself from being completely isolated in a new neighborhood, alone with my toddler at home while four months pregnant, seemingly sinking into pre-depression. By joining the outreach program I was able to meet new friends and help people while having fun with my little boy. The best part was being able to bring him with me to embed in him the importance of taking time to volunteer for the community. While attending a regular service, my husband and I were introduced to a couple that was opening their home to young couples with small children to gather for bible study and to develop lasting friendships. It was wonderful to know that being a young family didn’t have to keep us from socializing with other people. It was a welcoming place where kids can be kids and everyone would understand because we all have little ones. It was there that I was informed of the “stay at home moms” group for mothers who you guessed it… stay at home with their young children. That was when faces at church became familiar and eye contact with smiles became “Hey! I remember you!” and tight hugs. This group enabled me to socialize with other women going through the same phase of raising little humans in the best way possible while not losing myself in the process. It was the place where the kids can run around having fun, building their own social group while the mommies could relax and enjoy adult interaction outside of the home. It was through this group, that one of the moms had it in her heart to invite me to her women’s group. A group of women all on different paths in the journey of life, looking to develop a deeper, more meaningful relationship with the Lord while “building friendships that fit” with each other. And my most recently joined group, a group of amazing ladies that have decided to meet with each other despite initially starting on facebook, to motivate ourselves to be “the best me” we can be. A group where we become the community of supporting women we desperately need and crave, addition to having a safe place to talk about overcoming the anxieties of this life. 

They say, “It takes a village to raise a child” and I cannot stress enough how grateful I am for having these groups of women surrounding me as they have all become my village. Additionally, I have learned to make an effort at being social, to not coop myself up because we do not have to go through life alone. God didn’t create us to go through life without friends and without relationships. It is okay to allow oneself to be vulnerable and take risks opening your heart to building new friendships. Leaving New York meant leaving behind two families, siblings, cousins, nieces and 10+ years friendships from school and church. It meant facing new problems in a new home in a new state with a new baby. I thought it was a new phase in life that was meant to be walked in isolation but instead what I found was a circle of caring soul sisters that will walk life with me, and whose kids will grow with my kids. I am blessed to have found good, honest women to develop “best friends-ships” with and be able to open up to and know that I am not alone. They help me to understand that God’s love for me includes having people to share my life with. And soon enough, we are sharing tips and tricks for surviving our children, advice for our marriages to thrive and for our families to flourish. 

You too! You are not alone in this life! 

{As crazy as this will sound I kid you not! I am listening to The Light FM Network radio station as I write this post and the song “I am not alone” by Kari Jobe came up}

Even if you don’t join a bunch of groups like I did, just know that when you allow the Lord to enter your heart, you are never alone. He walks with you. His Word assures you of this truth – “though I walk through the valley of shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me…” (Psalms 23:4) and He “gives His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways” (Psalms 91:11). He’s God of the hills and of the valleys, and you are not alone! 

Loneliness is a growing epidemic in this age of advancing technology; but, when you learn to surround yourself with the right group of faithful, loving people know that you, too, will have gained a village. More importantly, rooting your thoughts on foundational truths found in the Living Word of God will help you to combat the negative emotions that are so keen on keeping us isolated and from experiencing God’s love for us.  

There is an old African proverb that says, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” 

I don’t want to go through this life alone and I definitely don’t want you to go through it alone either. If you feel like you have no one to go through life with, do not hesitate to write to me and I will be your new friend. I pray that you gain the courage to say to the loneliness, depression and anxiety that want to take over “there is no room for you here in my mind! You need to leave now!” and proclaim victorious truths over your life.

Below I have added biblical truths you can read and declare over your life. Feel free to print them and keep them with you so you may be reminded that God walks with you. You are not alone and He “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, [and has] plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 I have also included a section of Proverbs 31, the poem Mother To Son by Langston Hughes and the lyrics to “I am not alone” by Kari Jobe so you’re not in the dark about my earlier references.

Biblical Truths to trust and declare over your life:

• I am a child of God.

But to all who have received him–those who believe in his name–he has given the right to become God’s children … (John 1:12).

• I am a friend of Jesus.

I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father (John 15:15).

• I have been justified and redeemed.

But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24).

• I will not be condemned by God.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

• I have been set free from the law of sin and death.

For the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).

• The hardening of my mind has been removed in Christ.

But their minds were closed. For to this very day, the same veil remains when they hear the old covenant read. It has not been removed because only in Christ is it taken away (2 Corinthians 3:14).

• I am a new creature in Christ.

So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away–look, what is new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17)!

• I am no longer a slave, but a child and an heir.

So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if you are a son, then you are also an heir through God (Galatians 4:7).

• I have been set free in Christ.

For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1).

• I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.

Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).

• I am chosen, holy, and blameless before God.

For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love (Ephesians 1:4).

• I am redeemed and forgiven by the grace of Christ.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace (Ephesians 1:7).

• I have been predestined by God to obtain an inheritance.

In Christ we too have been claimed as God’s own possession, since we were predestined according to the one purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will (Ephesians 1:11).

• I have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.

And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)–when you believed in Christ–you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13).

• Because of God’s mercy and love, I have been made alive with Christ.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you are saved (Ephesians 2:4-5)!

• I am God’s workmanship created to produce good works.

For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them (Ephesians 2:10).

• I have boldness and confident access to God through faith in Christ.

… In whom we have boldness and confident access to God because of Christ’s faithfulness (Ephesians 3:12).

• My new self is righteous and holy.

… Put on the new man who has been created in God’s image–in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth (Ephesians 4:24).

• I was formerly darkness, but now I am light in the Lord.

… For you were at one time darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light (Ephesians 5:8).

• I am a citizen of heaven.

But our citizenship is in heaven–and we also await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ … (Philippians 3:20).

• The peace of God guards my heart and mind.

And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

• God supplies all my needs.

And my God will supply your every need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

• I have been made complete in Christ.

… You have been filled in him, who is the head over every ruler and authority (Colossians 2:10).

• God loves me and has chosen me.

We know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you … (1 Thessalonians 1:4).

Proverbs 31:10-31

The Virtuous Wife

10 Who can find a virtuous wife?

For her worth is far above rubies.

11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;

So he will have no lack of gain.

12 She does him good and not evil

All the days of her life.

13 She seeks wool and flax,

And willingly works with her hands.

14 She is like the merchant ships,

She brings her food from afar.

15 She also rises while it is yet night,

And provides food for her household,

And a portion for her maidservants.

16 She considers a field and buys it;

From her profits she plants a vineyard.

17 She girds herself with strength,

And strengthens her arms.

18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,

And her lamp does not go out by night.

19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,

And her hand holds the spindle.

20 She extends her hand to the poor,

Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.

21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,

For all her household is clothed with scarlet.

22 She makes tapestry for herself;

Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is known in the gates,

When he sits among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,

And supplies sashes for the merchants.

25 Strength and honor are her clothing;

She shall rejoice in time to come.

26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,

And on her tongue is the law of kindness.

27 She watches over the ways of her household,

And does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;

Her husband also, and he praises her:

29 “Many daughters have done well,

But you excel them all.”

30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,

But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,

And let her own works praise her in the gates.

Mother to Son by Langston Hughes

Well, son, I’ll tell you:

Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

It’s had tacks in it,

And splinters,

And boards torn up,

And places with no carpet on the floor—

Bare.

But all the time 

I’se been a-climbin’ on,

And reachin’ landin’s,

And turnin’ corners,

And sometimes goin’ in the dark

Where there ain’t been no light.

So, boy, don’t you turn back.

Don’t you set down on the steps.

‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.

Don’t you fall now—

For I’se still goin’, honey,

I’se still climbin’,

And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

I am not alone by Kari Jobe

When I walk through deep waters

I know that You will be with me

When I’m standing in the fire

I will not be overcome

Through the valley of the shadow

I will not fear, I am not alone

I am not alone

You will go before me

You will never leave me

In the midst of deep sorrow

I see Your light is breaking through

The dark of night will not overtake me

I am pressing into You

Lord, You fight my every battle

And I will not fear

I am not alone

You’re my strength

You’re my defender

You’re my refuge in the storm

Through these trials

You’ve always been faithful

You bring healing to my soul

You will go before me

You will never leave me

I am not alone

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