Single Parent

He’s Been Through It All

He’s Been Through It All

I know what it’s like to be a mom.

When I was 17, I got pregnant. Right after graduation, I was married, and then about a year later I was divorced. I know what it’s like to be a single mom with a little one to care for; to struggle to balance work and college and mothering and the laundry and…and….

Then, right about the time I turned 21, the Lord graciously saved me.

After a few years in church, I married Phil, who became dad to my little guy. Soon, we had two kids of our own: Three kids, one husband, two dogs…and chickens.

As I look back on those days, I’ll admit that there were plenty of times when I felt completely overwhelmed and alone. I frequently felt like I was drowning.

I’m sure, had you asked me, I knew the Lord was with me, but I’m not sure that I knew how near he was, how much he understood, or how that understanding would have transformed my daily experiences of isolation, irritation, exhaustion, and hopelessness.

Jesus knows what living a boring daily grind is like. He also knows what it’s like to have tired feet, and to feel overwhelmed, to be exhausted, as though you never get a moment to yourself. And (single moms this is just for you!), he also knows what it is like to be the single head of a household.

What do you suppose his life of sawing wood, hammering nails, striving for holiness, loving his neighbor, longing for a bride, was like? It was just like yours. He isn’t ‘out of touch with our reality.’

Get that. He knows what it is to live the life you’re living.

Except, of course, he didn’t sin.

His obedience means first, that he was qualified to bear the punishment for our sin and secondly, that his perfect record of always having obeyed is yours and mine right now.

And that, dear sisters, means that every time you need help, every time you feel like you’re just not going to make it, every time that child needs something again, you’ve got a friend in really high places. He understands what you’re going through and he’s promised to be there with you, supplying all the grace you actually need for that day.

He gets it. He gets you.

Better yet…you get him.

The Truth I Found as a Suddenly Single Mom

The Truth I Found as a Suddenly Single Mom

Six years ago, I went to bed happily married and woke up a widow and single mom to seven.

In the dark hours of that Friday morning, I groggily woke to my husband’s breathing. I reached over with my eyes still closed to nudge him and wake him out of it. He didn’t respond and as I slowly became more aware of what was happening.

Dan was taken by ambulance to the ER and I ran upstairs to pray with my kids before heading to the hospital. Everything in me wanted to assure them it would be alright and Daddy would be okay.

But I couldn’t make that promise. And before the sun was fully up that morning, I walked back through the door from the hospital to tell them their dad had passed away.

Being a single mom was nowhere in the range of possible plans for me.

The stark reminders that I was now a single mom were everywhere. When I signed my kids up for camp or basketball or vacation Bible school, I put N/A in the space for spouse’s information. When my daughter graduated high school and my son was honored midfield for football, I stood with them alone.

But once I was stripped of those expectations, I could see what was really true. While my earthly identity as a wife has changed, my eternal identity as a child of God hasn’t.

Oh, how I miss the insight Dan always provided when we hit a parenting hurdle. But the source of all wisdom hasn’t changed. God promises that ‘if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.’

While Dan is no longer here to work and bring home a salary for our family, the source of all provision hasn’t changed. God promises to meet our needs.

While I no longer have Dan’s prudence and experience to help me make decisions, the source of true guidance hasn’t changed.

God promises abundant life and joy, and that promise holds whether I am married or single; in the throes of raising kids or preening an empty nest; working outside the home or at home full time.

While the circumstances may have shifted, the source of abundance and the reason for joy hasn’t.