I have a client who is a single mom and she is going through, well, hell. Recently, as I listened to her recite everything that has transpired since we last spoke, my heart just broke for her.
The life of a single mom can feel crushing at times. So many things to juggle, swallow and manage. In her case, things like a divorce she didn’t want, kids in almost every age group, being cut off financially after decades of marriage, mountains of paperwork/inquiries/depositions, college loan applications, selling her home, lawyer bills, medical bills, going back to work, counseling for the kids, friends who are distancing themselves from her ‘mess’ and the constant reminder that she was and is still being betrayed by the one who took a vow to love and protect her. All of this is on top of her regular mom duties! She feels like she is drowning and it’s no wonder. It all seems like too much for one woman to bear.
Listening to her made me feel all of the feelings I felt as a single mom with 10 of my kids still at home: the exhaustion, the inadequacy, the desperation, the lack, the fear, the despair. I instantly thought–
Oh, if I knew then what I know now!
Which led to this thought:
What if I tell the single moms who are in the trenches now what I needed to hear when I lived there?
In that spirit, here is my letter to you, Single Mom (or moms who feel alone for any reason).
Dear Single Mom,
First of all, you are GLORIOUS. The way you fight for your family with love and perseverance literally reflects the glory of God! Did you know that you reflect His love and light by your very existence? Oh, yes. You do. Like the God of Heaven, you are an advocate for the hurting, for the children He has trusted you with and for righteousness for your family.
You want what is right so badly! You want what your children deserve with all of your heart! And they deserve so much more! Why should they have to suffer for the mistakes of their parents, you wonder? God Himself feels your angst. And He sees your huge heart for your children. That is why He is near to them. Nearer than you could ever be! Trust Him, He protects them, watches over them and He will use it all for their good, Praying Mom. I promise.
I know you are exhausted at the end of every day. You cry yourself to sleep sometimes (all the time). You can’t possibly cover all of the bases by yourself. Things that you are normally right on top of are slipping through the cracks by the minute. You must know: THAT’S OKAY! It is so okay! This isn’t a normal life so you are not going to be the normal you. Let that be okay. And believe that you will be ‘back to you’ one day soon. Because you will! And if you trust, keep the faith and forgive, you will be an even better you! Your God is the God who makes all things new. (And your new life is going to AMAZE you!!)
I want you to know that your brokenness isn’t too much for Him. Neither is your family’s. No matter what anyone does to break you down, or bring destruction, God can build you back up. You are being shaken, that is for sure, but you are also being established. Established on a firm foundation and rooted in TRUTH. Some of the lies you lived with have been exposed and now you are living in the LIGHT! Rejoice in that because light is worth far more than financial security or false peace.
Single Mom, your courage in the face of adversity is AWE-INSPIRING. Do you know that? Few people could stand up under the pressure you are under. And you do it as if it is second nature. You have not backed down. You will not retreat. You will take your stand and find solutions. In fact, you have become the solution! And that is because God made women to be a solution in this world. And the Heart of God has joined in with your heart. How can that produce anything less than awe-inspiring results? You, my Dear, are a Champion. A Warrior. A Queen. A Hero. No matter how defeated you feel.
Above all, I want you to know that you are not alone. Although the betrayal stings, you are NEVER alone. You ALWAYS have a Comforter, a Counselor, a Source of Peace, a Husband, a Heavenly Father for your children, a Friend and a Savior. And you WILL look back and see His fingerprints all over this time in your life. Why? Because He is FAITHFUL and you are LOVED! You are His delight, and He delights to guide you out of this place and into a pleasant place. He WILL guide you there. He WILL show you how good He is, if you let Him.
In the meantime, be more kind to yourself than you would be to an injured person. Lower your expectations of yourself and others and RAISE your expectations of God. Choose to love and serve the One who is ALWAYS trustworthy because He will NEVER let you down! Know that even on your worst day, God is for you and He fights for you. Trust Him to bring the justice you cry out for. Only He is worthy of that trust- not a man, not an attorney, not a judge.
Know that Someone knows every single struggle, pain and tragedy you have endured. It is the Father. He knows…He knows how hard it is to be us. And He will bring good into your life like to one else possibly could. Why? His heart is for the afflicted. He runs to the rescue of the lost and abandoned. Your suffering moves Him to action!
I will leave you with this Promise for you and your children from Psalm 72:12-14.
“For he will rescue the needy when he cries for help,
The afflicted and abused also, and him who has no helper.
He will have compassion on the poor and needy,
And he will save the lives of the needy.
He will redeem their life from oppression and fraud and violence,
And their blood will be precious in His sight.”
So my dear, Single Mom, take heart… (and while you’re at it, get a massage).
With So Much Love,