Further up and further in.

🌿The pain may never leave. It may linger forever—sometimes fiercely, sometimes tucked away in the smallest corner of our heart, sometimes deceptively dormant, yet roaring into an inferno of incapacitating longing, grief, and rage.

🌿But as we move forward, the pain tied to our ankle, we learn to walk again. At first our steps are slow as we drag the weight of grief along with us. Struggling up the mountains in life, we often fear that our pain will drag us back to where we began. But eventually, we will learn to appreciate the times when, as the fearsome storms of life impede our progress, our pain becomes an anchor, showing us where we are, how far we’ve come, and securing us in our climb, though the tsunami threatens to backhand us off the mountain entirely.

🌿At that point, we embrace the pain, realizing it has become a part of us—a healthy part of us. Rather than a burden it has become a ballast, grounding us when gales threaten. And then, when the storms pass we lovingly take up that anchor, strap it to our backs and continue to climb.

🌿The grief of our past is no longer a ball and chain, no longer an impediment, but a tool of stability. A companion more than a curse. A friend more than a fear. It is only in pressing on that the pain will become anything more than an enemy.

🌿When we press on, pain holds hands with promise, and we continue further up and further in.

When God made Adam, the first man, He made him incomplete. Not imperfect, but incomplete. Then through a series of tasks in which Adam was obedient, this new creature realized that he did not have that which was understood for the other living beasts: every animal had a mate, yet Adam was alone in his humanness. There was a community and togetherness that each animal had in their mate, that Adam could not share. 

Yet a mate was not that which made the first man incomplete.

The lack of wholeness Adam had in and of himself was the need for community, love and intimacy and understanding.

But the realization that he did not have a mate, nor the realization of the need for deep soul-communion did not stir up complaint. Adam’s lack of a mate was not a lack of community, love, intimacy, or understanding. There was nothing lacking, simply because those preordained needs were perfectly and overwhelmingly met in God himself.

Yet the Lord’s plan, purposed from before anything had a beginning, was already thrumming through all creation. Before He had directed Adam to name every beast- thus understanding the gift each animal had in a mate- God had looked upon the man in whom he had breathed, and said “it is not good that he should be alone. I shall make him a helper.” 

Not good?

How could God, who had made and named each of his created wonders and called them ‘good’ now look at the current capstone of creation- this man in God’s own image- and call him ‘not good?’

‘Good’ here is the Hebrew word טוֹב (towb), which is translated as good in the widest sense: better, pleasurable, gracious, beautiful, fine, precious.

In other words, God had said, ‘it is not the absolute best that man is alone.’ And so he created woman. Not to replace himself as the perfection of community, love, intimacy, or understanding, but as a helper. An aid, encouragement, and succour. And upon the completion of woman, God looked at all he had made- from the smallest atom to the farthest star and every earthly beauty he had fashioned- and said it was VERY good. Creation was then no longer simply good and whole, but it was the most pleasurable, the most beautiful, the most precious.

And though woman did indeed have the capacity to offer community, love, intimacy, and understanding to Adam, and he to her, that offering was built on the fact that they were made in the image of God. They reflected the characteristics of their Maker, and when that reflection was a perfect one, the needs for community, love, intimacy, and understanding would be perfectly met.

Yet now, as we live the result of sin having thrust us from the Garden, we realize all the more that we are built with humanly insatiable, legitimate needs that we in and of ourselves are unable to satisfy. We no longer reflect our Creator perfectly, and thus are unable to meet the needs with which we were created. 

As Christians we understand that every one of our deepest eternal needs, including community, love, intimacy, and understanding, have been purposed from before time, that we might find our utter satisfaction in Christ.

God himself is our community. He is our perfect love, deepest intimacy, and truest understanding. 

When we reflect our Maker well we have the opportunity to showcase those attributes well (though dimly) to those around us, simply because we look like Jesus.  And when those around us inevitably fail in satisfying our ordained needs, it is because they are not God.

Apart from Jesus we will never perfectly realize the fulfillment of our beautiful incompleteness. 

I am always on the lookout for gospel-driven books with applicable wisdom for the many areas of our lives, and I have just added a new title to my favorites list!

When I first started The 10 Best Decisions a Single Mom Can Make: A Biblical Guide for Navigating Family Life on Your Own I expected to find a book written for mamas with whom I would be unable to relate. Being in a healthy marriage with a beautiful church family and a strong community of friends and family I assumed that I would not personally benefit from reading this book, and was simply hoping that I might better understand my single mama friends better.

What I found, however, was depth of grace for every mother including me, spurring us on from where we are now in our parenting journey, and lending encouragement and clear instructions on how to pursue Biblical excellence moving forward. I was indeed given a more clear perspective on the unique struggles a single mom endures, and found a sweeter compassion welling up in my heart for my girlfriends who have been commissioned to single parent. In addition to better seeing a single mom's heart, though, the utter practicality of the foundational aspects of parenting- whether doing so alone or with a partner- were a treasure!

Other than Scripture, there is no complete instructional on parenting through every hard issue.

This handbook, however, presented and answered ten crucial issues of raising children using practical application of Biblical truths, thus creating a beautiful foundation for every future question that may arise.

From finances to fitness, leadership to love life, caring for hurt hearts and rebellious hearts, talking through friendships, futures, and faith, this beautiful book sits at just 200 pages of hope and practicality.

🌿I heartily recommend it to my single mom friends: may you find hope and direction within its pages.

🌿I heartily recommend it to my married mom friends: may you be encouraged as you walk with your husband to raise your children.

🌿I heartily recommend it to my childless, empty-nester, or single girlfriends : may you better love the single moms in your life as you better understand their hearts.

Thank you, Pam and PeggySue, for pouring your hearts into this beautiful book. It was a delight to read, and a honor to recommend.

Despite having finished this book way past my bedtime, I couldn’t wait to write a review!

Some of my favorite takeaways:

  • Praise God instead of pressing Him for answers.

  • Hope for the future

  • Investing the gift of now

  • Being excited to repent because of the freedom and invitation of forgiveness

  • Simple confidence in God = the joy of peace

  • Deciding that my health and wellness are gifts to me and my children

  • How to better listen and build trust with my children

  • Using gratitude to battle resentment

  • Creating contracts for communicating expectations and building trust

  • Remembering that "no parent, or two parents, can fill a child's love needs... God's love is the only love great enough to meet and surpass all our needs."

  • "God is at work even in this."

  • I am called to be a strong, confident, consistent parent.

  • Even the best moms have lifesavers stuck to their rear ends.

  • "Being a single mom is your experience, not your identity."

  • Financial security: "No matter your path, God has gone before you and walks with you."


You can grab a copy (for yourself, for your single mom friends, for your married mom friends, for your own mom, for your pastor's wife, your brother's neighbor...) HERE.

I love to recommend books that speak to my heart and change my life! Do you have a recommendation for me? Or perhaps you have a new release to share? Please email me at Contact@ChristinHunt.com and let me know! ~Christin