Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Will Never Forget...

I still remember the raw emotions…hopelessness, worry, sadness, exhaustion, despair, and extreme loneliness. Each minute of the day felt like hours. All I wanted was to “survive” the day and get into my pajamas and go to bed. The problem was…when I awoke the next morning…I’d have to start all over again. It was a vicious cycle that seemed to have no end in sight. Life as a newly single mom was not only hard…it was painful.

I wish I could say something super spiritual…like I allowed God to direct my every step through those early days. But, that wouldn’t be true. As a Christian, I knew He was there, but the raw pain of the freshness of that time period would not allow me to rest in the assurances I knew to be in His Word. I have no doubt He carried me through those days, because I was too weak to “walk”. But, the only thing that literally kept me going most of the time was the fact that I had a 6-year-old little girl that needed me desperately. So, for her…I “survived” the darkness. For her…I continued going to church. For her…I continued to utter words that resembled something similar to prayers. Funny thing happened…the more I did for her, the more I needed Him. Parenting is hard, but single parenting…WOW! It’s tough, friends!

As God continued to grow me during those early days of being a single mom, I realized something. I had developed a sympathy – rather, an empathy – for other women and men journeying the path of single parenting too. I’m a bit ashamed to admit that, while married, single parents were a bit “out of sight, out of mind”. Sure, whenever someone would bring somebody to my attention, I might try to help out of my “leftovers”, but my burden for single moms and dads simply wasn’t there – until I became one.

It was then that I prayed that if the day ever came that I wasn’t a single mom, that God would never let me forget what it was like to be in that place. And…He hasn’t. My single parenting days ended two years ago, but my burden for single parents has never left. I feel their pain, their struggles, their worries, and definitely their loneliness as if it were a little piece of my own. While I don’t walk in their exact pair of shoes, I can say that I have definitely shopped at the same shoe store.

Would you do something for me please? Aside from prayer (the most important gift of love you can give), would you please tangibly love on your single parent friends and neighbors today? There are so many things you can do to express love, and you have no idea what that will do for them, but trust me…it might bring the only smile they are able to display that day. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

-Send them a card with a cheerful note of encouragement
-Mow their grass, rake leaves, do general yard work
-Offer to babysit the kids (at your house) so he/she can have a little quiet time
-Give restaurant, movie theater, Starbucks, gas gift cards
-Send her flowers to say you care
-Buy them a Christmas tree
-Offer to do the grocery shopping one week – AND fund the operation, if able
-If you have a beach house or vacation home, gift it to them for a week of vacation
-Invite him/her over for the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and/or Easter (especially if the kiddos are spending the holiday with the other parent that year)
-If you’re an auto mechanic or have auto mechanic friends, help out with car repairs and tune-ups
-Buy school supplies for the kids

Lastly, pray that God would burden your heart for single parents. It matters not what brought them to that place. We are not asked to judge…just to serve.


  1. Leah -
    This is painfully beautiful. You have answered God's call. I know first hand. Thank you for your continued encouragement and blessing me with your friendship.
    Love you.

  2. Leah, this is awesome. Poignant and practical; your most beautiful post yet. This is a message that bears speaking over and over again. Go, girl.