Is there Hope for a Single Mom?
- Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Are you a single mother filled with hope? Do you feel fulfilled? Are you confident and feel that your life has meaning and purpose?
If you were like me when I first became a single mom, you are probably thinking, Who is she kidding? I could never imagine feeling like that!
For the first two and a half years of my life as a single mom, I was completely overwhelmed and exhausted from trying to meet all the new responsibilities I had "inherited" after the divorce. When I looked toward my future, I could see nothing but darkness. Alone for the first time in ten years, I could see nothing good in my situation, and I couldn’t see that life would get better in any way any time soon.
Overnight I had gone from being a wife and stay-at-home mom to a single mother, full- time employee, and head-of-the-household. I was suddenly responsible for earning an income, parenting, paying the bills, cooking, cleaning, shopping, doing the yard work and keeping the house and car in good shape. I had always seen myself as a happy person, but the divorce changed that too. I was angry and bitter at my ex-husband for breaking up our family. I hated him for abandoning my son and me and for moving in with another woman. It broke my heart that our son had to live without a father in his daily life and that he had to "accept" a new woman in his dad’s life. I had very little emotional or spiritual support. When I was with another couple, I felt like the odd person out and I had a difficult time fitting in at church as a single mother. I became isolated from just about everyone because I had no time to spend with friends, yet I constantly felt guilty about not spending enough time with my child.
One night in October of 1998, I hit rock bottom. I was laying face down on the floor, crying out to God for help, and telling him that I could not do this by myself anymore. At that very moment when I called his name, the God of the universe paused just for me and said, "Here I am. I have been here all along with you; I was just waiting to hear from you". I couldn’t explain it, yet I felt God’s presence with me, and His arms of love enveloping me. Something inside of me whispered, "Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Be strong. You have a son that needs you and I have great plans for your life." I spent the rest of that night nestled in the arms of God, weeping. For the first time in a long time, I felt a great peace because I felt that God had assured me that everything was going to be okay.
That night God’s promise in Isaiah 58:9 became reality for me: "Then you will call and the Lord will answer, you will cry for help and he will say, ‘Here I am.’" When I called out to him for help, God assured me that just as we mothers cradle our children in our arms, stroke their hair and rock them, telling them that we are here when they are hurt, so he does for us. As I told him about all of the pain I was in, God showed me that just as a mother feels more pain for her children than they do when they are hurt and just as she wishes that she could bear their pain for them, so he feels for us. Then he told me that he had known all along that I was going to go through a divorce and its painful aftermath. He assured me that even as the nails were being driven into his hands and feet and as He breathed his last breath on the cross, he had known that I would call out to him that October night. Then he told me that he had died that day just for me, so that he could bear this pain for me. He wanted to offer me hope for something better than life on earth offered.
God’s Word flooded my spirit at that moment:
For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come to me and pray to me, I and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart. I will be found by you and bring you back from captivity. (Jeremiah 29:11)
When I heard those words, I knew that I could do this. I knew that with strength from God, I could move on and take care of what I needed to do for my son and myself. All I had to do was look to God; He already knew my future and what He wanted for my life. My life had already been mapped out. All I had to do was ask Him to lead me to the next step of what He wanted, which I was certain now was an amazing, glorious future.
What happened after that night? I am happy to tell you that I can now say with Paul, "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ" (Philippians 3:14). My life as a single mom has purpose and meaning, focus and order, balance and harmony. Ever since that night five years ago, I have been seeking God’s plan and will for my life instead of focusing on my current situation. This change of focus has transformed my perspective on life. I have learned that there is something more to life than our temporal situation. Oh, I still have the same responsibilities and I’m still a single mom, but I’m no longer burdened by all that I have to do and the situations I have to face. I now know that I have already been equipped to do what needs to be done. "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness" (2 Peter 1:3)
We Have an Enemy
My dear single mom, if you do not have hope for the future, if you don’t expect wonderful things for you and your children, you are being deceived. You have bought into the lie that you have nothing to live for. You have an enemy—Satan. God’s Word tells us: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12). Your enemy does not want you or your children to have hope and experience God’s goodness. He does not want you to think you can do all that you have to do; he wants you to live in despair, frustration, and confusion.
As a single mom, you are a prime target for Satan. You are alone, frightened, exhausted, and overwhelmed. You are now the head of your home with children, and that is not a role that comes naturally. It is not part of your make-up as women. You are trying to fight, but you don’t really know what up against. You think you are battling your circumstances, but in reality you are battling the enemy.
Next week - Part II: Meeting Your Champion
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.
21 Principles of a Healthy Single Mom offers meaningful messages, helpful advice and loving encouragement for every single mom. To inquire about and order the CD packages or the new DVD Bibly study, call 1-888-430-HOPE, or visit the website at: www.hope4singlemoms.com.
Dr. Charles Stanley says of the 21 Principles:
"If a single mom will follow these 21 Principles, there is no way for her to fail. She will watch herself grow in her own strength and abilities and become more confident as the leader of her home.
The 21 Principles of a Healthy Single Mom is a practical asset for single mothers to apply specific, workable, successful guidelines to her life."
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