And so here I am…sitting here in my haven, better known as my garage, smoking a cigarette and praying. There are a total of five very energetic children inside (praise the Maker they aren’t all mine). Judging from the sounds of the pervasive screaming that my ears bear witness to, I should go in and do something to intervene; at the very least I should pop a Xanax and have another beer. However, my heart tells me that I must write.
My name is Ava, and I am the very single mother of two magnificent boys. My oldest son, Jeremiah will be sixteen in a couple of weeks, and Jonah, my baby, is seven and a half. It won’t be long before I reach my fortieth birthday and would you believe it, I have never been married. Yes friend, I have had two baby showers but never a wedding shower (this is ironic since I used to work at Bed Bath & Beyond and run the wedding registry). I have had two epidurals and pushed two people out of my damn vagina, but I have never had a wedding ring…not even a little one. This plagues me sometimes as I often feel that I have the Scarlet Letter “A” embroidered on the chest of every garment that I wear…but I’ll discuss this more at a later date.
In spite of my relentless, failed attempts at love, I am blessed to say that for the last six years I have been a high school teacher. I teach Special Education. My students are incredibly impoverished and incredibly at-risk; it’s no secret that I work in a part of town that most middle-class white folk like myself scarcely know exists. I teach kids with learning disabilities and an array of severe emotional disturbances. Surprisingly, these children have proven to be one of the main reasons that I (barely) make it out of bed each morning. They are honestly like my own children, and I love them more than simple words can express. However, as fate would have it, I had to bid them farewell on Thursday, as I have been forced to face something that is so catastrophic and devastating in nature that I can hardly stand to talk or write about it. (Big sip of beer, baby). I will delve into this chapter of my life in the near future.
Tonight I face not only having to find a new job; I face having to find a new career. And what’s worse, I thought this was my ministry. After all, in spite of all I’ve done wrong in my life, this was something that I did so well. I know that I glorified God in my career as a teacher! How could he take me to the depths of this place and back and then yank it away from me in an instant?
What’s more, I have a beautiful home that my boys and I built almost four years ago. My mortgage has a comma in it. I drive a Hummer, and my debt to income ratio is probably right at 200 percent. This is scary…real scary.
I could go on and on, and trust me I will, but not just yet. Admittedly, I personally feel that I am responsible for keeping the Earth turning on its axis. And as it stands, I feel that I am forced to be All Things To All People. But you know something friend? I’m not. I’m not God. God is God. He is the King of Kings and the Maker of the stars. He loves me…and I just feel that He’s saying, “Hang on Ava, my Beloved mess in a dress! Walk with me a while!” And I will. I’ll walk with Him a while…(but I’m still scared).
So begins my journey. I may lose everything, but I’m choosing to walk in blind faith. Oh friend, don’t get me wrong…”I’m a sinner.” But God is bigger than the mistakes I’ve made. I know He is. He loved me through the ten years that I was a stripper, he’s loved me through multiple addictions and my precious mother’s suicide…he’s loved me through the abuse, rejection, depression, abandonment, and agonizing pain that I’ve endured… I’m willing to bet the farm that he’ll love me through this.
Being a single mother is not natural. It was never God’s plan for me, or you, to be both a mother and a father to our children. I know I’ve personally invited Him to be the Head of my household (because I don’t think I’m doing a very good job)–and I strongly urge you to do the same.
I hope that my posts will inspire you. And I hope that as you watch me venture out into this great, unfamiliar frontier that you will draw closer to the heart of God. He is our only source of hope. So….“Let’s Do This.”
Ava Elizabeth Wisdom