"How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand."—Psalm 139:17-18 (NASB)
The lack of validation is another difficult aspect of solo parenting. Religionists accuse us of failure, causing the downfall of society. The school only calls—to complain. I long to hear a teacher say, "Your child is awesome!" The procrastinator boss calls—to shorten the already-too-short deadline. No "thank you's," just more stress. The kids call out in the night—they're scared or missing their dad. Their dad calls—to complain about their behavior, which is all my fault—not related the consequences of his life choices.
Disheartened, sometimes I feel trapped by invalidation, which makes me question, Why do my sacrifices go unappreciated? My commitment to my family? My hard work? Why so little encouragement? I'm sleep deprived, overworked, underappreciated, and long to hear someone say something—anything—life giving.
Too many times, I've given and given only to receive in return the painful snakebite of betrayal. Yet, how often do I look at someone and think, "Wow, you're beautiful." "You did an awesome job." One day I decided to give what too often I long to receive. If I think, "Your eyes are stunning," I say it to friends or strangers. Why just keep it to myself? One woman's cheerful attitude at the Wendy's drive thru never fails to lift my spirits. So I told her, "Thank you, I love coming through this drive-thru because you are so friendly." She beamed.
When others overlook you, God loves and appreciates you, because he made you. You are the Creator's creative creation. Unique. Special. Loved. Some hypothesize that there are 7,500,000,000,000,000,000, or seven quintillion five quadrillion grains of sand in the world. And God's precious thoughts about you outnumber every grain.
If you're struggling with feeling disqualified, invisible, misunderstood, or unappreciated, click here to see a video that I hope will encourage and remind you that God wants to fill the deep dry well of longing for validation.