When God created woman, He took his time with every intricate detail, every emotion, each curve and every delicate feature. He gave woman everything that she required to be fit and adaptable, to be a help meet to man, a mother to her children and a diligent woman of God with a heart to serve.
But ladies… mothers, my single mothers in particular, is there anywhere in the bible that mentions this “super woman” character? Is there anywhere that mentions that we were called to be “superheroes”? I couldn’t find it anywhere in the word of God yet here I stand guilty of striving to be everything God called me to be plus any and everything in between.
And of course I can easily justify this because I am in fact a single mother. My choices, decisions and actions should have no bearing on my son’s life and growth so I simply must gird up my loins and do what I have to do. After all it was my choice that yielded these life changing and long lasting consequences right? So yes I am guilty of saying one too many “yes” when my answer should have been a distinct and unwavering “no.”
I am guilty of adding far more to the plate than what I should and I am undeniably “that woman” who has walked around with the proverbial “S” on my chest thinking that I had it all together, all cranked up in high gear. But somewhere along the line, my “S” started to slip, cape became tethered and my mask began to tear revealing the real woman underneath.
The real single woman who desires to be married someday but wants to tough it out so that the world can know she is capable of handling her own. The woman who at times can be bossy but secretly longs for the right one to “man up” and take his rightful position by her side.
The sister who can appear to be a bit demanding and sporadic yet who is stabilized by the love and support of her brothers; the daughter who aspires to be just like her mother but realizes now that this may never be since God created them to be totally different.
The single mom who loves her son but simply doesn’t understand all of his “growing pains” accompanied with hormonal changes and “attitude” as he suddenly morphs into a pre-teen. Somewhere along the line, the idea was formed and accepted as unwritten code of law that it was no longer acceptable to be this “real woman.” Becoming a “Superhero” was the order for the day and it was no longer enough to just be this “real woman.” But somewhere in the midst of my “Superhero” duties, I began to falter, falling to illness a little bit more often that I would have desired.
I found myself sluggish and exhausted, feeling as though no matter how much I had accomplished in a day that my work would never be complete. I began to have anxiety attacks when a deadline was fast approaching knowing that I had several coals in the fire. And without even completing one task, assignment or project I would eagerly take on yet another one or two more, looking at my proverbial “biceps” and figuring that I was “strong enough” to handle it all.
As a single mother, I began to lose sight of the balance that was required to be an effective and victorious single mom and woman. I started to lose sight of my priorities and in a blink all of my “wonder woman” efforts were meaningless and futile to my son who simply needed me to hold undistracted conversations with him about basketball, Iron Man and our summer vacation plans.
Nights when I should have cooked dinner were replaced with fast food and junk leading to poor nutritional habits but yet I was “Super Mom.” Each week I would pile my schedule high to include radio stints, book signings, appointments and even a few television appearances. To the world I appeared to be a “Super Star” but back home, the laundry had piled up, house was in disarray and many tasks were simply left undone. The activities and engagements that began to fill up my calendar were no doubt positive, productive and even godly but not everything that I put in my little day planner or PDA was necessarily approved by God.
What is that scripture about something being lawful but not expedient? (I Corinthians 10:23) Finally after being simply mentally, physically and spiritually drained I was no longer able to deny it. I not only had a classic case of “Super Woman Syndrome” but I was in the “Advanced Stage.” One of the classic symptoms of this phase is realizing that you’re overwhelmed but insisting that it is your job, your obligation to handle EVERYTHING.
Phrases like “I got this” and “I’ll be alright” become your mantra yet you feel yourself sinking as the pressure builds up. I had to first acknowledge that I was indeed doing too much for one person to reasonably balance and I then had to turn it all over to God. The word of God says in Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Sure, I have obligations to fulfill in each role as mother, sister, daughter, intercessor, musician, writer, editor, consultant and the list goes on and on and on. But I had to look to God’s word and understand how he created all of us to have a healthy balance.
I gradually started removing things off the plate, finishing tasks that I had long forsaken and getting back to the basics. I began to bump up my prayer life and spend more time with God.
Please note that I did not say that I attended more church services or joined more ministries. In fact, as I began to seek God’s face, I realized that I had to let some things go. Not knowing how others would react I had to allow the peace of God to direct and order my steps. So what is the lesson learned here? Well there are 3 major points that I’d like to drive home.
1. All power belongs to God and if I am to be strong at all it is in the power of HIS might, not my own (Ephesians 6:10.)
2. According to Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me but apart from His grace, I am merely a woman, no “super” attached so I no longer have to assume that role.
3. His grace is all that I need to sustain me even despite my flaws, idiosyncrasies and weaknesses and that settles it, period. (II Corinthians 12:9)
If you’ve been infected and can identify with the symptoms of this life crippling syndrome, just know that there is deliverance available and you no longer have to suffer from “Advanced Stage Super Woman Syndrome.” Let the healing begin!
Joy & Blessings!
Joy Turner is the Author of “Content…Right Where I Am”. Visit her website at www.joyturner.com