The Escape and Return to Single Motherhood

It feels like an eternity ago, but there was a time when I was a single mom of two.

The struggle, the anguish, the emotional heaviness of a world who turns a down eye to you and casts you as a too broken burden…

A world where you can’t appear weak or risk the vultures who prey and swoop in to destroy and devour you. A world where the word “Christian” doesn’t walk and talk like a Christian and the many church doors who preach are open to all, aren’t really open to you and your messy life. They have no place for you nor know what to do with you. 

A world where two jobs are most often mandatory, where employers take advantage of you because they’ve caught the scent of your vulnerability. Where a job loss will equal homelessness. Where past due notices pile up and voicemails are filled with threatening collectors.

It feels like an eternity ago, but there was a time when I was a single mom of two. The struggle, the anguish, the emotional heaviness of a world who turns a down eye to you and casts you as a too broken burden...

Where women who dreamed of being mothers only have about two hours each night to squeeze it all in. Lying awake at night realizing there wasn’t enough time today to really get to be a mom. Sleepless nights are the norm, racing thoughts, do-to lists and worries replace your dreams. A life with mental, emotional and physical exhaustion can often consume you to the point of breaking. Breaking down. Breaking. A breakdown…which now seems like a vacation from your reality.

A world where guilt and worry fills the cracks and crevices of your broken soul. Where tears are held until all are fast asleep. Where loneliness is so real and so heavy yet packed away to not be seen. Yet yearning to share this life with another, to share the day to day, the burdens, the mundane, the boring. Maybe even just a small break from time, circumstance, emotion, crazy and just life in general. To be able to take a deep breath, exhale and do it again without freefalling from the tightrope you’ve perched yourself on. A gifted juggler, who’s lost count of what’s up in the air but knows that one misstep and it’s over. 

 

It feels like an eternity ago, but there was a time when I was a single mom of two. The struggle, the anguish, the emotional heaviness of a world who turns a down eye to you and casts you as a too broken burden...

A world where control is a powerful tool you hold on tightly to…so tight your knuckles turn white. Where you’ve learned to trust no one. Lean on no one. You’re the star of the “SuperWoman – I Can Do It All” show. Everyone you come in contact with is tested. They don’t know it but there is always a test. There’s no grey just pass or fail. 

This was a world where I learned about God on my own. I didn’t have a church home who cared for and loved me, I didn’t have a spiritual family, I didn’t have a mentor or someone to teach me about His love, forgiveness, and grace on a more deeper level. Control, trust, guilt… all pushed God away from my center. It only allowed access to worry, despair, shame, and depression and gave it room and fuel to grow more powerful every day.

 

It feels like an eternity ago, but there was a time when I was a single mom of two. The struggle, the anguish, the emotional heaviness of a world who turns a down eye to you and casts you as a too broken burden...

Until I broke. And breaking released it all. Breaking was freeing. Breaking was allowing God to take my pieces and put me back together. And in that moment I found myself worshipping Him not even knowing what worship was or what it meant. And over the past few years, whenever I think back to this moment the song “This is Our God” comes to mind and I fall into praise and worship for Him allowing me to break into a million pieces that night. I am so thankful for my breaking.

Scars left but healed wounds. I call them reminders of God’s work in me and through me.

From a beautiful Savior, I am now a new creation. Experiencing freedom for the first time.

“Behold, I am making all things new.” Rev. 21:5

When you escape from this world, you don’t ever want to look back. Until God steps in and pushes you back into the world of single motherhood, only now in a different pair of shoes. It was then when I discovered my true purpose, path, and calling. The reason behind my pain, sadness, and despair. The reason for my difficult struggles. 

 

It feels like an eternity ago, but there was a time when I was a single mom of two. The struggle, the anguish, the emotional heaviness of a world who turns a down eye to you and casts you as a too broken burden...

I never thought this would be my life. This is most likely not the best calling for a true empath. It’s an emotional roller coaster and most often mentally exhausting. When they hurt, I hurt. I want to help carry their pain and their burdens. I never want them to ever walk alone. Or to struggle the way I once did. This is the hard part and yet through the past several years, God has shown me some incredible and remarkable things through these women. 

I’ve seen women in their darkest hours only to watch them turn to God and see their lives change in the most dramatic and awe-inspiring ways. Truly something only capable through a relationship with Christ. A miracle, if you will. And, through spiritual family and sisters in Christ whom they can lean on and trust.

It feels like an eternity ago, but there was a time when I was a single mom of two. The struggle, the anguish, the emotional heaviness of a world who turns a down eye to you and casts you as a too broken burden...

 

Over the past few weeks, I’ve watched single moms who received help at Thanksgiving in years past, now supply meals to other moms in need. Some of which are in the same financial position as last year. And another who asked to be connected to another single mom so she could bless her with two weeks of free daycare costs. Or other single moms who have reached out to provide Christmas for other single mom families who are struggling this year.

They’ve experienced the love of a God who will never leave them, who has saved and rescued them and they’ve had a taste of the delicious joy that comes from giving and serving others. I’m sitting here thinking about all of them and understanding that for me, these are long-awaited answered prayers. A vision from God long in the making and to be in the presence of these moments is such an awe-inspiring blessing. It is difficult to put into words the true awesomeness of it all. And for all this and more, this Thanksgiving I find myself consumed with gratitude for my relationship with Christ and so very thankful for my past and the path He has placed me on. 

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The Art of Being Broken 

Resources for Single Moms

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“This Is Our God” – Hillsong
Your grace is enough
More than I need
And Your word I will believe
I wait for You
Draw near again
And Your spirit make me new
And I will fall at Your feet
I will fall at Your feet
And I will worship You here

Your presence in me
Jesus light the way
By the power of Your word
I am restored
I am redeemed
By Your spirit I am free
And I will fall at Your feet
I will fall at Your feet
And I will worship You here

Freely You gave it all for us
Surrendered Your life upon that cross
Great is Your love
Poured out for all
This is our God

Lifted on high from death to life
Forever our God is glorified
Servant and King
Rescued the world
This is our God

And I will fall at Your feet
I will fall at Your feet
And I will worship You here

And I will fall at Your feet
I will fall at Your feet
And I will worship You here

Freely You gave it all for us
Surrendered Your life upon that cross
Great is Your love
Poured out for all
This is our God

Lifted on high from death to life
Forever our God is glorified
Servant and King
Rescued the world
This is our God

 

 

 

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14 comments

  1. I can’t process or put into words what I’m feeling right now after reading this. This is so spot on to my life. I’m full of emotion. You get it what it’s like to be a single mom. It’s so hard and I cry a lot but just like you I wait until my kids are asleep. Thank you for understanding and giving me hope. I’m going to start looking for a church with a single moms program today. I love this!

  2. After reading this, im left with an intensity to do more.i was a single mom years ago and have never wanted to dust off those feelings, until now. Thank you

  3. Shaylah, Your post brought me to tears. I just wanted to cry and let it all out but I had to contain myself because I was at work. Things your wrote are pages out of my book. Being a single mom is such a silent struggle that no one truly knows the struggles but other single moms. My heart breaks for my every day struggle as I carry my cross for my family, all while putting a smile on my face when all I want to do is cry. Thank you for sharing, and letting me know that others feel the same. I’m trying to find my purpose, to know exactly what it is that God wants from me. I do have a heart for single moms too. I just want to encourage them to hang on, that God will help us out of this storm, and sometimes a hurricane. I’m so thankful for my church family, and especially for you, and your testimony. Just knowing that God gave you a happy ending, is so sweet and hopeful for myself. Thank you.

  4. Your post made me emotional. Being a single mom is a journey that I would never wish anyone go through but yet it’s a window every woman must pass through. It isn’t easy at all. But no matter the circumstances, trusting in the Lord and not in our understanding is what matters.

  5. Being a single mom isn’t a bed of roses. It comes with pain and frustration. But I know that’s the refining process and with time we’ll come out shining. The Lord is our strength.

  6. Trust me, even being a man, I know to be a woman and also a mother is not something very easy. I have watched my wife many times and wish I could do something very special for her to appreciate her for being a mother.

  7. This is so emotional and inspiring at the same time. My advice to all women out there is that they shouldn’t give up on motherhood; it’s a sweet adventure that has the full backing of God. Keep being strong as we the young generation comes to take the batton.

  8. Women are meant to be treasured and adored because of the wonderful position God has placed them. Though it could be disheartening to see and hear how much women have been dispised and taken advantage of. However, God is coming through to put us back to our position — the mother of nations.

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