How To Find Stability When Nothing Is Stable

As single parents, it’s hard to have a sense of stability especially when things seem to be always moving and shifting. We know how important stability is for our kids but when there are so many things out of our control, how do we find stability when nothing seems stable.  
Elizabeth joins Robert and Kimberley to talk about this very thing as her life is full of all kinds of change right now. She just recently walked away from a full-time job that she enjoyed. It paid well, she was doing well there, it was stable, and she had been there a long time, but God called her out of that role. She is now starting her own business, which is very new, different, and scary. She’s never done anything like this before and she’s a single mom.
With all the change, there are many anxious moments, but Elizabeth has found a sense of stability that those around her can see. First and foremost, God has brought her through all of this. She has clung closely to God for the last six months in a way she never did before. She sees she can’t do this without God. Her prayer has changed from “What do you have for me. Lord? Show me the big picture as long as it fits in this little box” to “God, just show me the next step. Illuminate the next step and I will be obedient to walk with You in it”.
Elizabeth was driving recently, when she got this overwhelming sense of “Abba, Father”, an awareness that God is her caretaker. His plans for her are good. When she rests in that, she doesn’t have to be worried or afraid. She can rest knowing that God will take care of her. Feeling a sense of stability while handling all the change in her life comes from a great deal of faith, obedience, and being okay being uncomfortable. She’s also discovering that her joy is not found in her career. Her identity doesn’t come from her work. She enjoys what she does but that is not where her foundation is found. Her stability is in God.
As a single mom, Kimberley found stability in prayer and asking God constantly for help. She remembers as a single mom having someone approach her saying they needed to apologize to her. They had been holding resentment toward her because she was happy while being a single mom. Their life was full of difficulty too and they wanted people to know of their struggle and suffering. Seeing Kim with joy stirred up envy and anger that they needed to confess. In that experience, Kim realized God’s goodness to her in helping her see that every day she had a choice. She could sit and sulk or she could give her days to God and trust Him to be in control. Kim can look back now and see how God was faithful to take care of her and her kids. But she didn’t always see it fully illuminated in front of her. Often, He would shine light on just one step at a time. And as she stepped forward, God built her faith and trust in Him.
Elizabeth discovered this too as she started her new business. She needed new clients and “people just started coming out of the woodwork” without her even advertising. God knew what she needed and He showed up in ways that could only be Him. As she stepped into obedience, He got all the glory because she knew it had nothing to do with her other than just following Him. Kim found the same experience in crying out to God when she had to follow Him in the “nitty gritty” of parenting alone. And God showed up as she chose to trust Him.
Elizabeth shares how, during this season of change, she has often spent time before God, laid out, face first, listening to worship music, and asking Him for what she need. As she pictures herself at His feet, she gives Him her day and surrenders it all to Him.
Robert has done the same. When everything seemed chaotic, getting still before God was an essential practice. Carving out time to make space for God’s presence allows His light to shine on our darkest days.
Robert shares the idea that lightbulbs don’t create light. The lightbulb must be plugged into a power source. This is what we need too. We must be plugged into God’s spirit and take the next step as He leads. When we see Him move, we need to be deliberate to follow and as we do, we will see His faithfulness. This building of our faith is like a muscle that we can carry into every area of our lives and relationships. And it’s strengthened even further when we remember and recount what He has done.
Kim shares that we can take a stone and put it in a jar or bowl to remember what God has done. We can write a word on it to help us remember His goodness and provision. As we do this, we let our kids see God’s faithfulness at work too.
Another thing that helps create stability during change is finding anchors that hold us steady and in place. This can be routine, something that is familiar and predictable. It can be relationships with God and others that help us feel connected and secure. During times of uncertainty and change, we need anchor points to tether us so we can feel more stability. One of our leaders, Amber shared that finding anchors can be like imagining yourself swimming across a big lake and stopping at a buoy when you need to rest. Stop there until you feel rested, safe, and grounded again. Remember God’s faithfulness and then swim to the next buoy. Don’t try to get across the entire lake at once. Find anchor points to help you get there one anchor point at a time. Especially with Covid, there are so many things we can’t control. But we can find anchor points for stability if we are intentional. These can be a daily routine, regular exercise, a morning devotional, and zoom calls with friends for you and for your kids.
As parents, we might not think our kids are picking up on what we are going through or how we are responding to change, but they are picking up far more than we realize. Imagine you are in a foreign country; you don’t speak the language and you’re sitting in a busy piazza. You see a man gesturing with an angry face as he strides by, then you see someone rushing past clearly agitated, and then a woman comes by and she’s smiling and walking with a light step. Just like we can pick up on those non-verbals, our kids pick up the same kind of signals from us. During change, we want our kids to see that we trust God and find our joy and security in Him. So often with our kids, more is caught than taught.
But we don’t need to pretend that change and uncertainty are easy. It’s scary to start something new and wait for God to come through. Trusting God and finding stability in Him can be hard. We don’t have to numb out or act like it’s not a big deal. It is! But as we trust Him and step out in obedience, he strengthens us for what He wants to do next, and our kids will see our faith.
Following Him like this now prepares us for what He is going to do in our future. We may not be able to see the ultimate purpose ahead, but God uses everything we are going through to accomplish His will for us. This is all preparation. And you can never know exactly what God has for you in the years ahead. Often, His plan is bigger than you can imagine, think, or dream.
As a single dad, Robert never thought he would be doing what He is doing now. He didn’t understand why he was going through all that he did. But now he sees it was all preparation that led him to start Solo Parent Society, something he sees as God’s clear and definite purpose for him now. When you look at what is going on in your life, remember to consider it through the lens of God’s ultimate plans and goodness. Trust Him to use it for His purposes and glory.
As God provides clients for Elizabeth, she feels more led to steward those gifts well. His provision is so clear it increases her desire to use it all for His glory. When we see plainly that God is at work, we can’t take credit for it and that’s just the way it should be “lest any man boast”.
Another important note about finding stability is simply acknowledging that change is emotional. Change often represents loss. Loss means there is sadness. We grieve the things we don’t have anymore – like a job you really enjoyed, or a consistent salary versus freelance income, or knowing what each day will hold.  It’s okay to feel sad while acknowledging changes like this while also being able to recognize God’s hands at the same time. Experiencing joy and sadness at the same time is the definition of gladness. Our gladness in finding stability during change doesn’t mean we deny the sadness. Both can exist together. In fact, if we don’t let ourselves feel the sadness of changes, we may find ourselves getting stuck in self-pity. Instead, let yourself feel the losses and ask God to show you what He is trying to do in you during the changes. Let Him bring you joy as you trust Him with all of it.
God has an amazing way of bringing beauty out of the ashes of our lives. Find your stability during change by going to Him. Go to Him in prayer, in worship, and in surrender. Trust Him to help you through the sadness, through the changes, and through the journey. One day you will be able to look back and see that He was with you every step of the way, weaving it all together into His beautiful plan for you and for your kids. As we trust Him with open hands, we don’t have a lot of room for control or self-reliance. Instead, we can let go and lean on Him for everything we need. This is where we find stability when nothing is stable.

Every month we focus on a theme important to single parents and this month our focus is on stability. Each week in our online Solo Parent Society groups, we talk further about our podcast topics. Single parents, we invite you to join any one of our groups, meeting 6 days a week. Check out our game nights too for casual fun and a time of sharing afterward.
As you walk the journey of single parenting, we want you to know you are not alone! Solo Parent Society’s mission is to offer encouragement and hope through our weekly groups,  our communities on Facebook and Instagram (@soloparentsociety), and our weekly podcast. Subscribe here on AccessMore or wherever you get your podcasts. You can access all of this and more using the free Solo Parent app.

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