by Sheryl Lullen
I have been a single mom for 18 years. Despite the obstacles that come with single parenting, my children and I can reminisce on the fun times we’ve had and the times God has blessed our family over and over again. But during those years, I put up a wall that had insecurity written all over it. I have known and loved God for many years and He has given me such an abundant life, but there were so many parts of my life that had been scarred and I carried them deep within my soul. I moved through life eager to please others, looking for God to bless me for things that I did. The truth is I was living my life through others, always willing to give great, Godly advice, but would turn the other way when it came to me. I was hiding them from everyone, even God, or so I thought. Scared to let people in, unwilling to be in the company of good people, I felt uneasy many times because of my past hurts, frustrations and battles.
God revealed the problem to me in five words, “You have a callused heart. “ I heard it and first believed it to be the devil trying to throw more mud my way. But God has a way of showing up and revealing truths to you in a way the devil could never pull off. He reminded me that He has plans for my life. Plans to prosper me, not harm me. Plans to heal me, not hurt me. Plans to strip away the strife that had kept me from believing what He had placed inside of me. He was slowly but surely building me up.
About this time, I heard a message by Pat Layton at A Beautiful Weekend about hearing the voice of God. In her talk, she reminded us that we were like pebbles of sand on a beach in which God could reach down and distinctively choose me out of every other grain of sand. She said, “We are so uniquely made by the Father that we can’t hide under all the other sand. And when He wants to take hold of you, you can’t hide.” During this session I found myself sobbing uncontrollably and falling to my knees. It was as if I was the only one in the room. I was in the presence of the Almighty God and He was repairing my callused heart, stripping away the hard pieces, layer-by-layer until it became new again. I told God I was hurting. He said, “No, you’re healing.” I did a lot of crying that night, but I learned the real meaning of Psalm 30:5, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” A beautiful sunset greeted me the next morning. As I look back on that weekend, I have to stop and thank God for knocking down those walls of containment that kept me from seeing His truth years ago.
Since that weekend, I have taken on new things, including co-leading a small group of single moms. God knew I had a testimony that would encourage other single moms to seek Him first in all our endeavors.
God is not finished with me yet. A full restoration is in progress but I know who I am in Him and He loves me even in the rebuilding process, (when things aren’t always so pretty). He still sees me as the apple of his eye. So watch out world! My transformation is unfolding and for the first time in a long time I can look into the mirror and actually like what I see.
Sheryl Lullen loves to go to movies and write in her free time. She is mom to an adult son and daughter, and works as an operation zone manager for Walmart. She serves as co-leader of a single moms small group and in the Connect 2 booth at GFC.
Sheryl, Thank you for sharing your story.. It takes courage to tell the world our faults.. As I too have experienced the hardened heart, but have it no more… Thanks to Jesus everlasting grace and a new friend at GFC that took me to the cross to help me forever bury the calluses!