Author: Maryssa Rehagen “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” ~ Philippians 4:13 You’re five years old and playing with your Barbie dolls. Barbie and Ken are happy, look physically fantastic, have all the latest fashions, the coolest beach house and of course, the convertible (sounds like a pretty great life right??). She’s got everything going for her. What you will never know is how unrealistic this lifestyle is, unless of course someone tells you that this is all just make-believe. Life rarely works out like this, and if someone gets luck all their life, there’s usually something they hate about their life, just like everyone else. Turn the tables: Barbie has a shabby apartment, no car and a plastic baby, no Ken doll and very little for herself. What little girl would want to play with that scenario? It looks scary, lonely and downright fearful. But sadly, this is how life works for most single moms in today’s society. She’s left to figure out how to fend for herself, let alone a helpless baby who depends on her for everything from being fed, nurtured and cared for emotionally. As many of you know, whether you’re friends with me on Facebook or by word of mouth, I have a four month old son. I love my son to death, but no amount of advice or preparation was helpful when I was in the hospital getting ready to give birth. I was so excited, but I was so scared. I’ve received so much support the past year, but sometimes still feel all alone. My family members were all happily married and had established careers when they were expecting babies and none of my close friends have a baby along with no father figure for their child or support emotionally from someone for themselves. No one truly knows the emotional roller coaster that life takes you on after you have a baby. I fear the future, whether or not I will be able to finish school if something comes up with Lukas, how I will financially support us and how he will take the news later down the road that his “daddy and I didn’t get along and mommy left him to be a better mom to him.” I have turned to God more recently after leaving Him out of the picture for so long. I was angry, sad and upset that He would allow me all of these troubles to experience. The raw pain, tears that would flow like a waterfall and the stress that led to becoming anorexic for a short period of time. I’ve realized I felt all of this because of the lack of trust I gave to God. God allows us to go through suffering in order that we will turn to Him. Sometimes He throws trials our way that we can’t handle apart from His grace and help, and does this for the sole purpose that we would turn and rely on Him through all of our struggles. Suffering builds character and forces us to trust God in all of our circumstances.