On Open Letter to the Single Mom

dear-solo-parent2

Dearest Solo,
Going solo is a roller coaster, isn’t it? You may find yourself crying behind the bathroom door, shut away so your children won’t see your tears. Sometimes, you sit through jam sessions with your married friends and rejoice you haven’t lost a wink of sleep because you don’t share a bed with a snoring, farting fellow human. Then, 20 minutes later you murmur desperate prayers to God above that he would bring a companion to hold your empty hand.
In the 5 years I’ve been out of my marriage, I’ve experienced seasons I feel put together and seasons I’m just a mess. Over time I have claimed four biblical principles that ease the motion sickness of flying solo:

Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6
I pray. A lot. Every day. Sometimes every hour. I pray first thing in the morning and they are the final words I say while I’m going to sleep. I have created a quiet, secluded prayer space where I pray and read the bible every day. During my daily time of prayer and bible reading, God has truly become my most steady companion, reminding me even as I parent my boys without a partner, I’m not going through life alone.

Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10: 24-25
God has placed me in an incredible community of other women who love God and love each other so well. I started a small group for other single moms, and have found a sense of greater purpose in this small community of women just like me. I always have a friend to call on. I find so much companionship in having people I can lean on, and have found healing in being a support for others when they are in a difficult season.

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.
– Romans 12: 6-8
I entered singlehood having no idea what I was great at, what I was created for or the ways God has gifted me. Through a number of different books, tools and exploration, God has been so faithful to reveal the beautiful and unique ways he created me. God has shown me such dreams and desires to reach for, and I have been steeped in a sense of daily purpose.

Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’ – Genesis 2:18
Reluctantly, I eventually stepped off the spinning ride of dating. Dating, like the whirling teacups at Disneyland – at once as thrilling as they are nauseating, has kept me going in circles and off the path to a better ride. It seems counter-intuitive to stop dating if what I desire is a companion, but I’ve been stuck going round and round trying to be someone I’m not, just to get approval and attention. I can’t begin to tell you the freedom I have experienced by trusting when the time is right, God will lead me to a helper fit for me.

Single mothering is filled with ups and downs; incorporating prayer, being surrounded by a support team, knowing my purpose and trusting God with my love life, the steep climbs and fast dips are more exhilarating and less scary. With God by our side, we never have to step into the solo line alone.

5 questions for you to consider:

1. Which one of these four biblical principles is most challenging? Why?
2.  In your work or free time, are you doing what you love, what you know God created you for?
3.  How has dating been a challenge? How has dating been a blessing?
4.  Read 1 Corinthians 7:7-9 about being single. Do Paul’s words give you relief or disappointment?
5.  What are 1 or 2 things you can do this week to implement one of these biblical principles?
Here are some examples:
– Purchase a Life Application Study Bible and print a bible reading plan from the internet. Make a commitment to read your bible and pray 10 minutes a day.
– Get involved in a small group at church, or start one of your own!
– Take a spiritual gifts assessment test, they are available online.
– Everyday this week, pray specifically for God’s will for you in your dating life.

 

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