My heart feels heavier than normal going into this holiday season. This fall marks 20 years since I unwillingly became a single mother. My husband left me when our youngest son was six weeks old. He needed to chase a dream, so I began to pick up the shattered pieces of mine. Thanksgiving was the first holiday I braved alone, so when the question is asked “What are you thankful for?” the silent place in my heart whispers, “I made it.” This year is no different. I see the single mothers around me, and my heart calls to you, “You’ll make it, too.”
If you are entering this holiday season as a new single mother, caught off guard by uncertainty in your life, I have a word for you. YOU CAN DO IT.
“But I don’t want to be alone,” you say. I know. Neither did I, but being alone for a time increased my capacity to surrender my heart to Jesus.
“I can’t parent children by myself,” you insist. I know. I couldn’t either, but I learned to listen to the Spirit of God to teach me how to shepherd their hearts and lead them well.
“I’m not equipped to provide,” you plead. I know. I wasn’t either, but I discovered that God was faithful to meet all my needs.
“It’s not supposed to be this way,” you lament. I know. It’s not, but I realized I couldn’t change his heart, so I asked Jesus to heal mine.
Friend, I’m aware of you in the grocery store, at church, and on social media. I notice that you take out your own trash, pump your own gas, and mow your own lawn. I recognize life isn’t always marvelous. I understand that tears come easy, and Hallmark movies are ridiculous. I realize you’d like to skip this first holiday season alone and pick up the day after Valentine’s Day. I remember those days.
Twenty years later, I’m looking back – down the windy, cruel road of suffering that ultimately led me to the heart of God. I have one hand cupped around my mouth and the other is motioning enthusiastically for you to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I’m calling out, “Keep going. You can do it. I know you can.”
There’s something else I know well. Only Jesus is the One to rescue you in crisis. Without Him, your heart risks dehydration from grief, loneliness, or bitterness. His living water will sustain you when circumstances feel hopeless. Single mom, drink from the well of His grace and acceptance. Let His showers of mercy restore your parched heart.
There’s a sisterhood of women raising children by themselves that dreamed of something different this holiday season. Trust me, your circumstance is not a surprise to God. He sees the ending you cannot see, and He is faithful to walk with you through this season. You’re not alone. You will make it.