Independence is Overrated

It happened again.

Someone found out I was a mom.

Ha…don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a mom and I LOVE my daughter even more…but sometimes when people initially find out I have a daughter, it’s a little awkward.

I was in class, showing my friend pictures of AvaMarie and the girl next her leans over and asks the question.

“Who’s baby is that?”

“That’s my daughter”

YOU have a daughter??”

“Yep”

“wait…are you married?”

“Nope”

“Oh…so are you just living by yourself”

“No, I live in my parent’s basement”

“Oh…well cool, ya that’s understandable”

(awkward silence)

“Ya…I have some great parents”

“uh huh….well your daughter is cute”

It always goes a little something like that.  And it’s usually extremely uncomfortable.

Why?

1) Everyone gets to know that yes…I had a baby out of wedlock…meaning I had premarital sex. There’s really no way to beat around the bush there. It’s always a little uncomfortable when a complete stranger gets to know your sexual history after the 2nd “get to know you” question.  I wish I had the guts to ask them “so now you tell me about your sex life…” (but of course I would never do that)

2)I always feel so judged when I say I live with my parents. There’s always a super “judgie” awkward silence to follow.

I don’t even know why people feel that they need to ask that just because I have a child.  Why the heck does it matter where I live??? But…it always happens, after they ask if I’m married, they always ask where I live.

It’s like they’re trying to determine what kind of single mom I am.

Am I the dependent kind that still has to live at home and get help….or am I the hard core make it on my own independent single mom that is worth respecting?

See…that’s the problem.  I feel like our culture only respects us based off of our independence.  Can you live on your own, can you make your own money, can you take care of yourself?

If the answer is no….well, then you are a failure.

I’m not saying that being able to provide for yourself and be somewhat independent is bad…but for the most part I disagree with these ideology.

The world spends so much time telling us that we need to be independent and self-sufficient and have a “do-it-yourself” mentality, but in reality Jesus tells us that we need to die to ourselves and become completely dependent on Him.

In fact, God made us for community.

It is contrary to our design to be completely independent, and if we were completely independent I imagine that we would be miserable.

We are called to depend on each other in our human experience, and we are ultimately all called to depend on God.

So, when I remember this, I am no longer embarrassed that I do depend on my family and friends a lot as a single mom.  Without them, I would be dropped out of school and probably living in poverty.  Instead, I have a community to depend on who is also guiding me closer to our Lord.

I really love what Galatians 6 has to say about this:

 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load.
 

Specifically verse 2 and 5.  We are called to carry each other’s burdens.  We are called to help one another when they can’t be independent. But then I love the clarification 3 verses later when it tells us that we are not called to just save our neighbors, they are still called to carry their own load.  We simply lift the burden and help….because no one can live a life by themselves.

That is where I’m at in my life.  My family and friends are lifting the financial burden that I cannot carry on my own.  Once I am capable..I will then be able to carry my own load and move out of my parent’s basement…but only because I allow myself to be dependent on my family and on Christ first.

If I tried to be what the world tells me to be: Independent….then I would surely fall into a pit of failure, unhappiness, and in my case…poverty.

So…all this rambling to say: independence is dumb and I wouldn’t wish complete independence on anyone.  I’m happy to be dependent on love, the kindness of others, and Christ.

Yay for living in my parents basement! ha.

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3 thoughts on “Independence is Overrated

  1. I love this! I think that living on your own is overrated. I’ve done it, and it isn’t all that grand. I live in my parent’s basement too and I wouldn’t trade it for almost anything (most days!). Financially it is a much smarter option. Also, we are among the minority of countries in which moving out at 18 is normal, most kids (especially girls) don’t move out until marriage! People can keep their judge-y-ness to themselves! 🙂

  2. “It is contrary to our design to be completely independent” So true, yet in our culture, humbling to live this out. What if we valued humility over independence? As we go lower, we are lifted higher, yet this is not the language of our world..

    Thanks for your transparency, yet again!

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