Surrendering my Story: Being a Single Mama (Pt. 1)

Being single in this society is hard y’all. Being a MOM? Ha! SO absurdly challenging. Being a single mama…well, there really are no words to accurately capture that, but of course this is a blog, so I will try.

In the middle of it: HARD. Looking back: BEAUTIFUL. The HARD kind of Beautiful. That Beauty that’s all rolled up and disguised as the messy package of the daily battles of life. A knock down, drag out fight, in fact: for my soul and his. And for beauty.

God is Love and God is Enough, but this was the season where I learned that,

Every single day: we have to re-believe it…

“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

Life looked like this:

mj 8mos 2008 christmastbt1 2009e2009c 2009d2009a  2009b2010 christmas a  2010 christmas

But it ALSO felt like this: disorienting, exhausting, lonely, scary, confusing, overwhelming, uncertain, insecure, nose to the grind stone, no time to cry, not even any energy to cry, gut-wrenching, transformational circumstances…Or at least on my human days that’s what it felt like.

And I had plenty of people willing to say I was knocking it out of the park as a single mom. I could not have survived that season in my life without their support, but at the end of the day, when I laid my head on the pillow at night- exhausted- all of life was just all of my responsibility- and so was all of my baby boy’s.  Friends and family encouraged and cheered me on. And at times they meet needs and helped with care, but they weren’t ultimately responsible. No one was, except for me. And the perfectionist in me that was so afraid of failing, especially failing my child, found the responsibility to be a severely heavy load.

At the end of the day, it was only me and Jesus.

And when I lifted my head up the next morning- it was only me and Jesus.

Me, Jeusus, and this precious little human who looked to me and depended on me for every single thing he needed.

For seven years, I gave the weight of this to Jesus, day by day. And somehow, no matter how many times He would meet the needs that only He could have known, and give me the grace for the everyday moments that seemed impossible to survive, I still found myself surprised by His faithfulness; that He loved me like that?

I still wondered how I would keep going. And He still continued to carry me. He never once gave up on me or left me.

So I’m now I’m gonna go there. The place where no one in pain wants you to go…

To that infamous line from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

It was HARD. But Holy. Because it changed me.

Only now can I say: I reaped so much benefit from that pain.

I don’t say that flippantly. As I sit here and type, I am two miscarriages and a whole lot of physical and emotional pain into 2014, so I’m not living the cush life and just slapping the Band-Aid of “purpose” on your pain. I’m still walking with pain. Nevertheless, looking back at this particularly painful season of my life, it’s undeniable: I can see Beauty. Therefore, I can have Hope now too. That “this too” will one day be a season of the past and bring Beauty. Except now I’m learning to look for it when the pain is still present. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

But I digress…as a single mama, I had to trust Him to be enough in all of my lack.

For the wisdom to not completely mess up my child;

and for the grace to get us both up and out of the house  to work and daycare everyday, in one piece, and not too extremely late;

and for the grace in my schedule and with my job on days he was sick and all of the responsibility fell on me;

and for the provision on the days I had to work Saturdays (as a CPA by trade, we have a busy season and we work a lot of those);

and for the turbo boosters that I needed on the back of my car when I had to rush out of the office and maneuver through interstate gridlock for 25 miles to get to daycare daily before it closed to get my son (after I paid the $5 per minute late charge) and before they turned him in to the authorities for parental neglect! (Clearly I never over dramatize things, but in all seriousness, had I been late enough that was in fact within their policies.) Thankfully, it never came to that. But as any other mom can relate, in our minds, the worst possible scenario is always what is probably going to happen to us!

And I had to lean on Him for the partial sanity to keep doing it all over again and again, every single day.

And to not lose Hope in Him.

And to keep first things first.

Him and Me.

That was the answer to my little him and me.

Him and Me.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16

2010 christmas b

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One thought on “Surrendering my Story: Being a Single Mama (Pt. 1)

  1. I am so glad you were able to grow closer to God during your time as a single mom. I had pulled myself so far away from him during that time of my life. I had been so angry about how things were going in my life. I took on the whole “I must be completely independent” attitude about everything. After a couple of years of struggling through this season I broke down and realized I couldn’t do anything on my own. I have since grown greatly in my relationship with God and am no longer single. Thanks for sharing this story.

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