Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Single Parents: There Is Life Beyond Your Loss

Photo courtesy of Thomas sauzedde via Flickr
Photo courtesy of Thomas sauzedde via Flickr

The year after my marriage fell apart was hands down the worst of my life. Most days were a blur as I stumbled through them trying to contain my emotions and take care of my children.

It was the pinnacle to a life full of loss that seemed unbelievable, and undeserved, and just … unfair. It left me shaken, literally, as I noticed that I could no longer hold my drawing tools steady for my job as a textile designer. I felt like a shell of the person I’d once been, and wondered if I even knew that girl anymore.

I took a year off from life — as much as I could. I still lived through it, but cut out anything “extra” from my days, knowing that this girl had some serious healing to do. Not only from her marriage, but from the loss of her family growing up, being disowned, a devastating job loss, and apparently every dream she’d ever held dear.

I clung to God’s hand as if it was the sole thing that could pull me through. And it was. Day by day, He seemed to gently nudge me from my bed, push me along my tasks, and catch me when I crumbled into a pile of tears. He was so close — so close — that I felt the covering over me. He was protecting His daughter when she could no longer stand up for herself, could no longer fight, could no longer move forward.

As the months went by, the burdens eased. I began to poke my head above the bedsheets and wonder if there might be life outside the four walls I’d been hiding within.

At some point, you will do the same.

After a season of loss or disappointment in your new or continued singleness, you’ll see it. That light just ahead. You’ll long to reach out to it; and when you do, you’ll realize that it is life.

And it’s yours for the taking.

You deserve as much happiness as anyone else. And should you want someone in your life again, you can have that. Someone to help you carry the burdens, to enjoy laughter instead of sorrow, joy instead of mourning.

Isaiah 61:1-4 promises:

1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
    he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
    and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the Lord‘s favor,
    and the day of vengeance of our God;
    to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
    to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
    the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
    the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
They shall build up the ancient ruins;
    they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
    the devastations of many generations.

There will come a time when you stop going through the motions of caring for your children while ignoring your own obvious needs. You will decide that you’re going to once again reach for something — not for your children, but for yourself.

For you. Just you.

And your loss will lift — ever so slightly.

And in that moment, God will rejoice, sweet friend. Because He longs to redeem the losses in your life. To hold your hand as you pull yourself up and move forward. As you look to Him for direction in the next step to take. Then have the courage to take it.

You can do it. Because He promises to restore what has been taken from you. If you’ll just take the first step toward allowing Him.

“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm—my great army that I sent among you.” Joel 2:25 (NIV)

Can we pray together over this?

Father God,

You alone know the struggles we face as single parents and the losses our hearts have suffered. We offer our hands up to You, knowing that You are there to take them and guide us gently back into the life you have planned for us. We open our hearts to You, longing for healing. And our minds, ready to be renewed. Cover us with Your love and protection as we begin to take the first steps toward restoring our lives and ourselves. Make Yourself known to us in real and tangible ways so that we become more aware each day of the fact that we are not alone on this path. We thank You, Lord, for healing, for new opportunities, and for Your gentleness of spirit that encourages us to move forward in our lives.

In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

About Laura Polk

Laura Polk is a writer, speaker and textile designer. Like most single moms, she never intended to parent alone. In fact, growing up in a family of divorce, Laura saw firsthand how it affects the children in the family. Because of this dual perspective, she has a real passion for single moms to choose a different path than what the world encourages them to take, so they can build a new version of their family.
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