Dena Johnson Martin Christian Blog and Commentary

Please Help Provide Clean Water to Persecuted Christians

National Single Parents Day

  • Crosswalk.com blogspot for Dena Johnson of Dena's Devos
  • Published Mar 21, 2022

Today, March 21, is National Single Parent Day.

For many years, I had no idea there was such a day. For many years, I wouldn't have cared that there was a Single Parent Day.

But, after eight years as a single mom, I would like to take a few minutes just to explain what being a single parent is.

Being a single parent means you carry the weight of all the decisions. And that is a heavy weight to bear at times. Yes, when things go well, you can congratulate yourself. However, when things don't go so well, you carry the blame. Sometimes the burden of responsibility is so overwhelming. Should I allow my kids to do xyz? Should I change jobs? Should I buy a car? Should I...? the decisions are never ending.

Being a single parent means you bear all the financial responsibility. This one is tough. Even though I remarried nearly five years ago, the years of tight finances still affect me. I fell so behind on saving for retirement. I feel so behind on building equity in our house. But even more than that, I think of all the things my kids missed out on because I just couldn't afford it. I was blessed with great jobs, and I never feared losing the roof over our heads or putting food on the table. But, no every single parent is blessed the way I was.

Being a single parent means you are exhausted. Always. It is a perpetual state. I know people who raised one child on their own, and they talk about how busy they were. Add a couple extra children and there is no end to the activities. When my oldest was playing basketball, we literally had activities every single night of the week. And that doesn't even include work, homework, church, other school activities, grocery shopping, cooking dinner, house-cleaning, lawn work, paying bills, and the multitude of other activities called life.

Being a single parent means loneliness. I don't think I would have survived without my kids and--quite frankly--the busyness of chasing them from dawn to dusk. I usually did pretty well until I climbed in bed at night, alone, with all the kids tucked safely into their own beds. That's when the loneliness hit. I will honestly say I do not know how single parents who have limited time with their kids survive. My kids were my lifeline. But even with them, I longed for the companionship of another.

Being a single parent means stepping out of you God-given role. I remember one night when my house alarm went off about 3:00 am. I was beyond terrified! And yet, I had no one to be my protector; I had to be the protector of my family. In my book, that should be the man's responsibility. As I lie in bed contemplating my options, I grabbed the only weapon I could find and slowly peeked around the corner to find my cat. She had learned how to open the door and let herself inside to avoid the cold. I've never been so happy to see that cat! But my point is, God created us with natural strengths and weaknesses. In an intact family, each spouse can fulfill the roles for which God created them. However, as a single parent, you are the go-to for all things.

I'm sure I could go on about some of the overwhelming aspects of single parenting, but can I also share some of the beauty? God has given us some amazing promises to hold on to in the midst of this season.

He hears. Do you remember the story of Hagar? Hagar was married to Abraham, but when she became pregnant she was sent away and effectively became a single mom. What did God say to her? I hear your cries, your pleas of desperation (Genesis 16:11). And if God hears us, we can be confident He will act in His time and in His way.

He cares. He tells us to cast all our cares on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). There is no end to the depth of His love for us!

His grace is sufficient. I know this season seems never-ending, but I promise His grace is more than enough (2 Corinthians 12:9). When we seem it is impossible to keep going, He gives us the grace and the strength to take another step.

He is strong. It goes right along with His sufficient grace. In our weakness--and I promise as a single parent we often feel weak--His strength is perfect (2 Corinthians 12:9). Who wouldn't want to have God show Himself strong on our behalf?

He is enough! Actually, He is more than enough! Have you ever thought about why God referred to Himself as the Great I Am? It's because no matter what we face, no matter what we need, no matter our circumstances, He is what we need. He is our provider. He is our protector. He is our friend. He is our strength. He is our daily provisions. And He is so much more than we could ever ask, hope or imagine!

He gives us our hearts' desires. When we choose to delight ourselves in Him, He promises to give us our hearts desires (Psalm 37:4). The key is that delighting in Him allows Him to change us, to change our desires, so what we desire aligns with His plans for our lives.

His redemption is perfect. Maybe you aren't where I am today, but can I tell you that when you cross into His promised land it is amazing? I'll be honest: our lives today look nothing like what I imagined. But, the portrait of redemption is so incredibly beautiful!

His timing is perfect. I know you may doubt it right now, but remember hindsight is 20/20. I often wondered why He was so slow in bringing about my redemption, but looking back I see why. He still had work to do--in me, in Roy, in life in general. He brought Roy along when He was fully ready to surrender to God. He brought Roy along when my kids desperately needed a father figure. He brought Roy along when I needed a friend more than ever. He brought Roy along at exactly the right time--His time.

Being a single parent is not an easy journey, but the blessings are infinite! If you are in the season of single parenting, first I give you all my love and respect! I know how hard it is so please know there are others who have gone before you and continue to walk beside you. Second, know all God wants of you is your whole heart. He doesn't want you carrying all the burdens because He wants to carry them for you. Come to Him, fully surrender, and watch as He does an amazing work in you so He can do an amazing work through you.

I celebrate you, my Single Parent Friends! You are doing an amazing job!