My soon to be 40 daughter is a beautiful, intelligent woman except when it comes to her relationships. Because of bad choices, she found herself alone with four children, but managed to put herself through nursing school, first for her LVN and then RN. I sometimes feel that she thinks she’s not deserving of a man who can be good to her. How does one get through to her that she’s just fine the way she is??
Dear Frustrated Mom,
Wow – what a strong woman. Nursing school with four children is an amazing feat. I’m guessing that you have been a loving and supportive grandparent all the way. It’s not what you started out to do, but congratulations on being able to share this success story. It’s hard to tell from your letter if your daughter is still actively looking for love in all the wrong places or if the dream of a good husband for her is yours. If it is the latter, maybe you can let go of that and focus instead on helping the children connect with emotionally healthy men as mentors and friends. If it is the former, I probably need more [info] to go on. The things that keep us from believing in ourselves as God’s own beautiful children are myriad and we can be really good at not naming them, even to ourselves. They come out in healing prayer and in counseling, and they stay out when people who love us are intentional about naming our strengths and gifts – repeatedly. Jesus, who offers us new life, would have us replace the labels that keep us down (useless, ugly, foolish, undeserving) with the words that tell us who we are created to be: beloved, beautiful, resilient, worthy. I love the Woman at the Well story in John 4, where an unnamed woman drops her water jar and every assumption about herself when she realized that the Messiah is in front of her, loving her and wanting the best for her.
Blessings on your good work
of loving encouragement.
Pastor Paige Eaves
Crescenta Valley United
Dear Frustrated Mom:
There are plenty of men that would love to be with a smart and attractive working woman. If she chooses poorly, perhaps she needs to settle first what kind she wants before trying again. In the Song of Solomon, the wife says of her husband, “This is my lover, this my friend” (5:16). A potential mate should not be just the next person to show interest, but a friend with shared passions. Where to look? Take a class. She may find a fellow student with whom she can relate. She might try singles events, or go online. Today, people can specify their wants through dating services and weed through all the pointless chaff. Tell her to take a pal and go out and mingle. You could watch the grandkids once a week to help her with this. Tell her to attend a church populated with available men. At least, churchmen show signs of right priorities. I would also advise that she make God her first priority. He doesn’t want her sad and lonely but he aids those that are His. “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4 NIV). What does she desire?
Rev. Bryan Griem
Montrose Community Church
M o n t r o s e C o m m u n i t y @
I’m really struggling with my faith. I was b r o u g h t u p Protestant. I lost my job, not because of job performance but because the company went bankrupt. Then I lost my house. I’m now renting a room. I’m 42 years old, not married and have no children. What can I do to get my faith back on track? I feel like my prayers are not being answered.
Discouraged in Tujunga
You are not alone. Many people are walking through similar challenges right now. This is the time to double your spiritual practice. Pray, believing your faith is growing. Imagine God, what ever your understanding of God is, as holding the Big Picture of your situation, fully worked out. What does your situation look like as completely resolved? This is where we must place our faith. Turn your faith into the solution and release your attention to the challenge. This will build your faith and place it where it can do God’s work in your life. Prayer is always answered, but we must release our attachment to the way we “think” it should look. Each of us is exactly where we need to be, doing precisely what we need to be doing. Giving thanks for what we do have increases our abundance consciousness. Our old container of belief is no longer a suitable vehicle for the newness of the spiritual transformation that is taking place in our world. This is why many of us are walking through challenges right now. Be flexible and go with the flow of Spirit. Your faith, no matter how small, will prevail!
Rev. Steven Van Meter
Center for Spiritual Living -
I’m sorry life is a disappointment lately. I’ll pray along with you for better times ahead. But I have a question. If you were younger, married with kids and had a job and a house, how would your faith be then? Would it be “on track?” The Bible describes faith as “the certainty of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith sustains us when circumstances don’t. When we cry out to God for answers, sometimes our faith is at its strongest. And husbands, kids, the job and the house can be a major distraction to those seeking to maintain a life of rock solid faith. Whenever I get a string of “no” answers in my own prayer life, I’m forced to stop asking for things and start asking for answers. “Lord, what are you up to? Are you trying to get my attention? Am I missing your ‘still, small voice?’ Lord, show me what you want from me. I’ve certainly told you what I want from you!” Discouraged, you have a God who is a master Gardener and he is able to snip and prune here and there in your life to grow your faith in a way that is meant just for you. He is watching you now and he loves you. What does he want from you? I’ll close with a question: If all you had was God, would he be enough?
Rev. Jon T. Karn
Light on the Corner Church