The forgiveness did not stop with my mother. I also needed to extend it to my ex-husband. I had to start with myself by taking responsibility for the part I had in our divorce. After repenting and asking God for forgiveness of my sins in my marriage, I then went to my ex-husband and asked for the same forgiveness. The Lord told me that I was to treat him as if nothing bad had ever happened between us.

We get along beautifully together now. He is the coach for our son's basketball team and I am the team mom. I build my ex-husband up in any way that I can when I speak to my son or anyone else about him. My son and I also pray and speak blessings over his dad every night in prayer. This was truly one of the hardest things that I have ever done in my life, but the joy and peace that have come from this for my son and me have been priceless.

A Fresh Start
"and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday."

I found that as I re-directed my focus and poured out on others in similar situations instead of dwelling on my own sorrow, my heart was restored with a heightened sense of purpose and true calling. With the divorce statistics as alarming as they are, there are many single moms in varying stages of needs whether the needs are spiritual, emotional, financial or social. God's word says in Proverbs 27:17, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." God has graced woman with incredible nurturing strength to be shared with others.

He Lifted Me Out of the Slimy Pit
The truth of Gods word in the verse of Isaiah 58:9-10 was my answer to a very lonely, self-centered life as a single mom.

I went from living a life filled with despair, depression and hopelessness to a life filled with amazing joy, happiness and peace as a woman and as a single mother. My life now has purpose and meaning, focus and order, balance and harmony. My son is also relishing in the new joy his mother has found and in turn, has become a happier child himself. When we choose to put our trust and hope in Jesus Christ, God's words in Isaiah 40:31 come to life; "but those who put their trust in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." The greatest gift a single mother can give herself and her child is to become spiritually and emotionally healthy in the life that only Jesus Christ can offer us.

Lori Little, A Woman By Design ministry's founder, is the former Director of John C. Maxwell's THRiVE!, Becoming A Woman Of Influence. A major focus of Lori's ministry is the Hope and Help for the Single Mom initiative. Lori supports Hope and Help for Single Moms with speaking engagements, personal appearances, and with her Web site Lori is very pleased to be a new contributor to Crosswalk and will be publishing articles regularly in the Parenting and Family sections of the site. Also watch for Lori's book Hope and Help for the Single Mom, which is being published by Waterbrook Press, in the fall of 2005.