The Gap

Breakthrough for Life Coach Insights 01-01-17

One night at dinner, my son asked me to order two books, The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss and The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. I was somewhat shocked and said, “I have that last book. Where did you hear about it?” Very nonchalantly, he said, “It was recommended when I was reading about continually being in God’s presence.” That is when a single mom looks up to JESUS and says, “Thank you God he gets it! My son knows to abide in the true source of wisdom, power and strength. My job is done!!!”  Chip Ingram once told me, “Brenda your only job as a parent is to get your son to obey a parent he can see, so that he can obey a God he cannot.”

As a single mom of a young male, I have been told several times from many different people:

  • A woman can’t raise a boy to be a man.
  • Your son is going to get into drugs and gangs because there is no man around to show him the way of men.
  • Your son is going to have issues in school if you don’t get someone to father him.

My heart’s desire was to have a God fearing husband to do life with but it didn’t work out like that for me.  However, that did not stop JESUS from fathering my son.  Please know my heart. I’m not bragging on me but on how JESUS fills the gap, makes a way out of no way and helps you defy the odds.  Let’s look at some statistics.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics reports: 44% of female teens reported having sex at least one time and 47% of men reported the same.1

The study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, looked at a sample of teens between the ages of 13 to 18.  When it came to drug use, 81 percent of teens said they had the opportunity to use illicit substances, and 42.5 percent actually tried them.2

Now look at the stats in reverse: 56% of female and 53% of male teens are not having sex.  Couple that with 57.5% of teens not using drugs even when given the opportunity.  I would love to see these numbers higher but these stats show that NOT EVERYONE IS DOING IT.  People want you to think everyone is, so why don’t you? “Mom just back off, because everyone’s doing it.”  As a single parent, be informed and hold your standards above the perceived norm.

Devin carries a 4.2 GPA in his senior year at Greater Atlanta Christian School, is very astute with money and decision-making. He is 18 years old and has never tried drugs, cigarettes or alcohol, and is walking in purity until marriage. The last one (purity) was his own choice, not something I ever even discussed with him. However, he has heard me speak on the topic at several different speaking engagements. The purpose in sharing all my son’s personal business is to point to Jesus as the gap filler; not to me, not to GACS or my parenting skills because Devin is who he is, in spite of me.

 
RUN TO HIM NO MATTER WHAT: I’ve screwed up. I’ve stumbled. I have not always been the good Christian example. Sometimes I was a straight out hypocrite, showing my son more of how not to be than how to be. BUT PRAYER! BUT GOD! No matter my sin, I never ran from GOD, I RAN TO HIM.  Jesus is the only one to help me overcome when I am in sin and not living out what I know to be good and true. This is the powerful thing about JESUS, He is faithful even when we are not but we must keep running to Him no matter what. We must always practice the presence of God because He is omnipresent even if we don’t think so.
 

Some people reading this will say, “Oh she is deceived, her son is just telling her what she wants to hear.” If you have one conversation with my son, you will quickly learn he takes after his mother when it comes to telling the raw, uncut truth with no sugar. Even better yet, those who do know him can speak to the essence of his character and resolve.

 
GIVE SOMEONE ELSE HOPE: See this is the thing, if virgins never speak up, the world will think everyone is having sex. If single parents never shine light on their victories, then everyone will think all single parenting is doomed to relentless struggle. If abstinent adults never shine light to their walk, then everyone thinks it’s ok to sleep around. If we never shine light on the light then darkness thinks it’s winning.
 

Once at my former church Free Chapel Worship, Pastor Jentezen Franklin invited a famous athlete to come speak. He said he grew up as a Christian and had never used drugs or alcohol but struggled with other sins like maintaining humility. This gave me hope as a young mother that my son could possibly walk a different path than the one his parents had chosen.  I always loved Free Chapel because they were good at showing both sides of the coin.  As believers, we are not perfect but perfectly loved by the One who is perfect.

 

Pastor Dennis Rouse recently shared his daughter’s engagement with my current congregation at Victory World Church.  He told us that his college-aged daughter was a virgin and recently got engaged to a young man who was also a virgin.  I turned to look at my son and his face was lit up.  The light of hope, that there are people out there that are successfully walking the path he has chosen.

 
KEPT vs. RESCUED: Thetus Tenney (TF Tenney’s wife) once said, “The same God who rescued you from sin can also keep you from it.”  Those words rattled me to the depths of my soul.  See I had known Jesus as a rescuer but I wanted to know Him as keeper of my son.  The gap in between the two realities is Jesus.
 

On the first day of 2017, I want to encourage every single parent out there, that there is hope.  Even if you have screwed up there is help. God can fill the gap! God is great at rescuing our children from decisions they will later regret. However, I proclaim to you today that the same God who rescues can also keep us from needing to be rescued.

 

In this coming year let’s pray that God keeps our children, not just rescue them. Pray that He will show them the narrow path and help them to overcome the difficulties of walking that path. Sometimes if we never see other people do it, we sometimes think it can’t be done, OH BUT IT CAN!!!  Will you stretch your faith to believe with me that this next generation will be the best one yet?

 

1 http://time.com/3966364/teen-sex/ Fewer Teens Are Having Sex Than in the Past by Alexandra Sifferlin July 22, 2015

2 http://www.cbsnews.com/news/survey-reveals-shocking-levels-of-teen-drinking-drug-abuse/ Survey reveals shocking levels of teen drinking, drug abuse by Michelle Castillo CBS News April 3, 2012

14 comments on “The Gap

Interesting… It is definately difficult being a single mother. I never feel like im enough.I need to learn to turn to god not only during my struggles but during times of joy as well.

    Dominique thanks for sharing your thoughts with all of us in the BtFL community. You, Dominique, are more than enough for all you encounter. There is no failure in Christ and no limits either. Reach high!!! You are entered in the drawing that will happen Monday, February 6th. If you win you will be notified via email.

Thankyou Brenda I commend you , your son and thankful how Jesus watches over us. With all the statistics of today it looks hopeless, but God! I have four grown married children that made the same choice and are walking out today as parents that parent their children in knowing Gods love is better than anything in the world! I love when this culture of Honor becomes a the culture that we can host by honoring and loving what God loves..
Brenda, keep them coming , Blessings over every single mother and her children. He is a mighty lover of our souls.

    Kate, you are awesome!! Thanks for sharing about you grown children and how they are honoring Christ in their lives. We need to hear more from you and your husband. You are pillars in the Kingdom of God! You are entered in the drawing that will happen Monday, February 6th. If you win you will be notified via email.

Very well said Ms. Brenda. I grew up in a single parent home, and watching my mom struggle was heart breaking. Its not easy trying to raise children and provide for them all on your own; but God can make a way. Even when things do not look possible, if we just call on him He will work out. Thank you for that story, it gives us all hope. I have a 6 month old, I always talk to God about her. I just ask that He help me to show her the way because I know she is a child of God. We will be conquerors on this journey, we just have to keep fighting! I will keep all mothers in my prayers.

    Jakeya thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I will be praying for your baby as well. She will be kept by the hands of the Most High because her momma trusts in God Almighty. Keep doing what you do Jakeya!! You are entered in the drawing that will happen Monday, February 6th. If you win you will be notified via email.

I am truly grateful to the Most High. Thankful for an opportunity to meet you and Devin. Devin has always been respectful and humble. Reading your blog was truly inspiring to me. I was also a single after being married for sixteen years. I always thought to myself it was a blessing conceive. I didn’t want to mess up the my three daughters lives that I was so blessed . I admit that I wasn’t a single perfect parent either. I turned to the Most High my only source that I knew I could trust to guide me. I had still to this day have faults prayers and stay in the presence Most High is all I know. I give credit to the Most High for the good things my children have achieved in lives. All the credit is due to the Most High with tears in my eyes writing this it was/is a journey i couldn’t have done alone. I give praise because as I look back I’m humbly grateful. I am on the second generation of my family. It’s a journey with the Most High always to guide me every step of the way stay in His presence daily. Thank you Brenda for this opportunity You’ve always kept it real from day one. A good friend, leader, and a great single mother. Love always thank you for sharing your story and allowing others to learn and share as well.

    Leila! You are bringing tears to my eyes! Like you, I could not imagine where I would be without His guidence. You are entered in the drawing that will happen Monday, February 6th. If you win you will be notified via email.

Brenda, What an awesome testimony of how God has worked in yours and Devin’s life. You have beat the odds and it is something that should be shared. What a blessing it is to see that God fills the Gap when we do not see his hand in our lives. Trusting in our heaven father to be that father when we fall short as a parent. It is hard being a single parent and praying you make the right decisions for their lives. Being the Godly example is sometimes very challenging when we are faced with obstacles that detour us from the path God has for us. Thank you for letting us know that their is hope and sharing your journey as a single parent. I can see in looking back on my life where God filled that Gap for me as a parent. In my children’s younger years I was not the Christian example I should have been and still fall short, but God was and is still working in my children’s lives to protect them and guide them. I pray everyday that this generation will seek who they are in Christ and that they are not defined by where they came from but where God can take them if they only trust him. God can fill the gap in every aspect of our lives. God bless you and Devin. The New Year brings a fresh start as does each new day. Keep sharing my friend so all can see how big our God is.

    Joy, you are so kind! Thank you for your words of encouragement! Prayer changes things and I am praying on behalf of you and yours. You are entered in the drawing that will happen Monday, February 6th. If you win you will be notified via email.

Well said Brenda and what an awesome encouraging testimony! Having come from a single parent home and being myself one of the statistics listed above that fell into permiscuity and even tried drugs and alcohol. I often found myself looking into the eyes of my own children hoping they don’t take the roads I took in my life before Christ. One of the most heartbreaking things that I experienced as a single parent was seeing the result of my sin affect my children by the way of feeling the pain of rejection from an absent father. A pain I myself knew all to well. But, praise be to God he has truly been a father to the fatherless! Not only did he heal my wounds and filled my void he blessed me with a husband that has been the best father my children could ask for! I too have four children that has kept themselves for marriage and has never touched drugs or alcohol. All glory goes to our Heavenly Father who faithful to complete that which he began. I love how each story is different in the way God provides but the one factor remains the same and its JESUS! I am fully confident that with or without a husband God’s grace is sufficient to keep our children. Thanks Brenda for being an example that we don’t have to have it all together because we serve a God that hold it all and bridges the gap for us to walk over in victory!

    Natalie thank you so much for taking the time to share a glimpse into your life! Your family is an inspiration to us all that you can make it through and be triumphant!! You are entered in the drawing that will happen Monday, February 6th. If you win you will be notified via email.

Lavina

Admiring the hard work you put into your website and in depth information you provide. It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed information. Fantastic read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

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