One of the greatest battles I struggled with as a single mom is fear. The fear of not being able to pay my bills or provide for my son caused many sleepless nights for me. Panic and anxiety attacks were present in my daily life. The mere thought of not having the money in my checkbook to buy enough groceries or put gas in my car would cause me to start gasping for air.
I also lived in fear of being alone the rest of my life or never being loved or married again. I feared the future and what it would bring me and my child. I feared my son being embarrassed of me for not providing the lifestyle we used to have. I feared that I was failing at being a good mother. I also feared what my ex-husband could possibly do to me or what the court system could do to me if I could not provide for my son the way I needed to. I feared loosing my mind from all of the challenges that I faced from becoming a single mom.
Dr. Neil Anderson states in his book, Freedom from Fear that “fear is a thief. It erodes our faith, plunders our hope, steals our freedom and takes away our joy of living the abundant life in Christ.” One of the enemy’s greatest schemes over a single mom is to divert her from the truth of God’s Word and to wear her down so far that she just gets tired of fighting and surrenders to her fears. Even though surrendering may seem like an easy way out, the results are devastating. We become prisoners of unbelief and live in a fortress of fear that holds us captives.
Some of our fears are legitimate – like the ones that put us or our children in physical danger or harm. Most of the fears we face as single moms, like the ones I dealt with, are not legitimate. They are lies because they are not based on God’s truth. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that God will leave me without enough food or shelter. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that I am unloved and rejected. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that single motherhood will cause me to lose my mind.
What the Bible does say about fear is in the context of God’s relationship to us. As Christ says in Mathew 6: 25-34 , we are not to hold onto worldly concerns such as what we will wear or where we will live, but we are to fear God; we are to be in awe of Him. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” God also says in Mark 5:36; “do not be afraid, just believe.”
With words like these, why do we single moms have so many fears anyway? For me, the answer was quite simple. I know my fears came from not understanding that I was a child of God and that my son and I were truly under God's protective care. I also did not understand that some fear can be healthy when it is directed to the Lord. I know I'm not alone. As single moms we worry so much because of our lack of trust in God and our unbelief or misunderstanding about who God really is. Our fears come from failing to live by faith -- by what the Word of God says is true regardless of our present circumstances.
For example, God says in 2 Tim. 1:7 that He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. How can a single mom, a child of God, feel like she is loosing her mind when she has the mind of Christ? We need to hold onto the truth, which is that we have a sound, sane mind because Christ lives in us and therefore we have the mind of Christ. We also need to acknowledge that in all things we live off of the power of God within us, not our own strength and resources.
Fear prevents us from living a responsible life. It compels us to do that which is irresponsible and compromises our Christian walk and witness to others – especially other single moms. The fear of God is the one fear that can dispel all other fears, because God rules supreme over every other object of fear, including Satan.
A healthy single mom learns to recognize her false fears and acknowledge them as a lie. She then chooses to live by what the word of God says is true, “Don’t be afraid, just believe.”
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. Watch for Lori's book Hope and Help for the Single Mom, by Waterbrook Press, in 2005.
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, 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."