HIDING UNDER HIS WING
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me under the shadow of your wings, Psalm 17:8
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Psalm 84: 3, 4
Most single moms spend their days in a “survival” “get it done” mode, so a phrase like, “hiding under the shadow of His wing,” may seem foreign, and may even be an unrealistic concept. Just what does it mean anyway?
When my daughter was little, at bedtime, we would lie next to each other, and while she dosed off, I would often remain next to her to pray a little more, or just to love her, I enjoyed her scent, feeling her breathe. It was in those moments, I was providing her a safe place, a hiding place under the shadow of my wing, praying, hoping, believing she would always know she was safe and secure. My love was wrapping her, securing her in the knowledge that she was a beloved daughter, without realizing it, I was mirroring life in the spirit.
Sometimes, on the long hard days, Holy Spirit will lead me to recall those nights years ago with my daughter, as He reveals to me how the longing of His own heart, to show me His nearness, give me His love and provide safety for me. As I remember those fond and precious moments with her, He tenderly, pulls me close to His heart, allowing me to experience the joy of pausing just “to be” with Him; even if it is at the end of the day.
And as I lay there and feel Him we chat, I cry a little, He forgives, maybe I sing, and I dose off with the knowledge that “He remains,” praying over me, enjoying the fragrance of my prayers, and of our conversation: I find I am hiding under His wing.
He stays…on the “night watch” refreshing me as I sleep and just as I believed for my daughter, He reassures me of my identity in Him and of His unfailing love.
My daughter is not little anymore, and well, cuddle times are rare but unfortunately, long, hard tough days still happen; days when I’ve simply muddled through methodically and systematically in “survival mode” but when I stop and consider; I can feel His love surrounding me I am confident He is strengthening me with might and encouraging me with love. Indeed, He hides me and once again, my ears are opened and I hear Him gently whisper: “I have hidden you under the shadow of my wing; I am your source, I AM your True source. Tomorrow is a new day; there are no mistakes in it. (And even if I do make a mistake, which “unmistakably” I will) smile, I get to hide again for He makes all things new.
Perhaps you can recall precious moments with your own child(ren) those moments when the day pauses, no rushing, no guilt, or pressure, no questions: Did I do it right? a moment when you’re simply abiding together.
My prayer for you today, my friend, is that as you recall those moments you will know that your love for your child is mirroring the heart of God’s love over you. and that His Spirit will remind you of how He wraps you His name and lavishes His love upon you; whispering to you: “remember I am your refuge your hiding place and you belong“.
May you have many moments “hiding under His wing” celebrating His goodness and faithfulness. May you find your identity, as a most beloved daughter. Under the shadow of His wing, may you know His heart and thoughts towards you; He is good all the time. May you hear His heartbeat as He redeems all things, everything mistake, all of them. Because of His great love, we don’t have to do life on our own or in our own strength. The Promise Keeper keeps you under the shadow of His wing.
Written By: Selenia Vera
Author of “Go Quickly” and founder of Asher’s Table
SHOWING OUR CHILDREN THE FATHER’S HEART
When I found out I was going to be raising my 4 children without the presence of a father in the home, I went to the Lord and said “GREAT, I don’t even know how to be a mom and now I have to be MOM AND DAD?”I sensed the Lord place a truth in my spirit, “Misty, I did not create you to be a dad and I am not asking you to be a dad…just point them to Me.”
So, over the years I have attempted to do just that, direct my children to the Father. However, I have also come to realize that I am in Him and He is in me. So, if that is a true statement then I too carry the reality of the Father’s heart in me.I am currently reading a book called 21-Day Dad Challenge featuring daily devotionals from some of the leading voices in the Fathering Movement.
Sometimes as I read I weep, because I hurt for my children, I ache for what was not; knowing that at any moment the heart of their father can turn and I continue to pray it does so; but more than that I am seeing how things I have done for my children, with my children, on behalf of my children have literally been the Father’s Heart.
Following I point out 5 simple things that I believe are in the Father’s Heart that we as mothers can reveal the Father to our children by doing.
1. Don’t be afraid to let the jealous heart of the Father rise up in you and provoke you to protect your children.
I have 2 beautiful daughters. Oftentimes I would end up walking behind them, on a few occasions I noticed men looking at them in inappropriate ways, I didn’t hesitate to stop and say something to these men about they way they looked at my girls. My girls would feign embarrassment, but in the end, I knew they were glad that someone was standing up for them.
2. Enter the world of your children.
How many times would I have much preferred to bake something or do crafts, but alas, my youngest two were boys. So I learned to play chess, I learned to build a campfire and put up a tent. And I have taken the controller and attempted to play a few video games or sat and listened as they explained the story line of the game.We get some good laughs out of these times together.
3. Play with them.
When you picture the perfect dad, don’t you see an image of Dad on the floor, giving horsey rides, playing airplane, wrestling, kicking the soccer ball. Do It. Play with your children. And in the process you might just discover the child in you…I did.
4. Do something dangerous with your kids.
Dads are risk-takers.It doesn’t matter what age, the risk might be going to get a late night ice cream cone with a 5 year old, or tubing with your teen, even rolling down a grassy hill with your little one. Let them see you embrace life and take risks.
5. And don’t neglect the kids mom! That’s YOU.
A great dad will make sure his wife is cared for, without the presence of that man in the house, make sure you let your children see it is important for mommy’s heart to be well attended.
Most of the time you won’t ‘feel’ like doing what your children want to do. Single Mothers are tired, overwhelmed, want ‘down time’ for themselves. But I encourage you to push through those times. Go on a journey of discovery into the Father’s heart.
Remember the Word Says “we have to be like a child to enter into the kingdom” So many of us with the worry of the world have forgotten to how to be childlike. With all the pressure to achieve, and be everything we have missed out on being childlike. As you engage with the Father and begin to engage your children you will discover that childlike place in your heart. And you just might have FUN!
Please hear me when I say, we are not able nor do we want to replace the role of the Father, I am encouraging us once again to SEEK the heart of the Father, know that HE lives in us even as mothers and equips and empowers us to in part reveal His heart to our children.
WHERE ARE THE MENTORS? WHO HAS GONE BEFORE ME?
I desperately sought a mentor when I became a single mother, I looked for ‘one that had gone before me’ in this road into the valley of the shadow of death. Jesus directs us in the book Song of Solomon to search out or follow those that have gone before us.
So what does it mean in Song of Solomon 1:8 to “…go forth on the trail of the flock…”
Let me start by giving a little background in the Song of Solomon. This particular book is a love story, or poem. It is between a king, or someone of esteemed background and a Schulamite maiden. Many people shy away from this book because it is somewhat provocative. However, as much of the bible, it can interpreted different ways. It most assuredly is a story of a man and a woman and their love and attraction for one another. However, in this dialogue we can also understand it individually to be the love our Bridegroom King Jesus has for us, His bride. We are ‘dark but lovely’. And we can also understand it corporately to mean how Jesus the Bridegroom feels and what He is bringing about in His corporate Bride the church.
For our purposes we are going to look at this book on an individual basis. Not a romantic love between Jesus and us, but a love most of us can’t comprehend. A pure undefiled love that calls forth our destiny; what HE sees in us.
That being said, let’s look again at what He (Jesus) means when He gives the instruction “…go forth on the trail of the flock…” What is He responding to? Take time to read Song of Solomon 1:7-8. You will see that He is responding to the cry of the heart…”TELL ME, WHERE ARE YOU.” Much the same thing David cried in Psalm 63:1 and Psalm 42:1. This is the cry of a hungry and thirsty soul, one that has tried to live her life according to what others thought she should be doing but it has all been in vain. This is the cry of one who is at her end (but the beginning of her journey with the King). This is the one who has lived the veiled life of shame or reproach. This, my dear sister is you and me.
I cannot fathom HIS kindness toward us in that place of desperation, when we have tried all the pleasures of the world and we come to Him broken and dark and burned by the world. He says “If you do not know MOST BEAUTIFUL AMONG WOMEN”. Do you need to pause here, look around and say “What? Who are you talking to!” We must let these words work their way into our heart. We must let the healing balm of Gilead be massaged into our hearts. Sit and let His truth unlock your heart then receive His instruction.
Jesus invites us to find Him by following the trail of the flock and pasturing our young goats by the tents of the shepherds.
This is a HARD pill to swallow for many single mothers I know. After all, it has been the shepherds, or the older men and women who have often been the ones who have caused great pain. Oh but dear woman of God, it is necessary.
I found myself at a time desperately seeking these ones that had gone before and could find non I wanted to emulate my life after. So, I was mentored by books and by a long distance mentor. But I sought them out and instead of becoming bitter, I cried out to God that I would become one of those that ‘had gone before’ and be able to help direct the steps of younger women.
So my dear dear sisters, I want to say to you “seek them out”. Our ministry is about being this for the younger single moms, even though some may be older in years, many in our midst have been on this journey of raising children as a single parent for a number of years.
Who are the mentors in your life? How can you seek one out?