Those words have always come with a wave of negativity in the world.
You picture her living somewhere she doesn't want, eating a quick meal she cooked for her family after a long day at work, and working her second job while her little one sleeps at night. She’s tired, mistreated, misunderstood, and often cries herself to sleep at night. Her heart is bitter, lonely and her responsibilities pile much higher than the sink of dirty dishes.
It was the one thing she never wanted to be. It was the one thing she feared the most. She worked hard to prevent it, but it wasn’t something she could control.
Sweet friend…did you hear that? It’s not something she could control.
She’s lived in this state of mind for about two years. During that time, she tried to never use the phrase “single mom”. She refused to allow it to define her.
Yet, the reality is…she is a “single mom”.
She cares for a child by herself. It doesn’t matter that she didn't want this. It doesn’t matter that she begged him to stay. It doesn’t matter she prayed daily for God to restore her family.
The reality is…he isn’t there and she does this parenting alone.
She's a "single mom”.
Declaring this “status” makes it hard for her to breathe. The fear of the unknown, the lack of financial resources, the emotional trauma and the judging eyes all carry great heartache. For her, the greatest fear is the lack of acceptance. She fears that this will be the one thing that will keep her from being loved.
People often assume that single mothers brought their depravity upon themselves. She knows they do, because she's been one of those people. She's judged and pointed fingers. She's believed the lie that she could have been a better significant other. She's avoided friendships with single moms and offered suggestions to their issues and problems. She’s even held the same critical views of herself.
Oh, how she wishes she would have known the pain, the utter depravity that a mom feels that can’t be comforted with piles of bills, laundry, and busy schedules. Oh, how she wishes that she had just once stopped to think about how badly she needed a friend or how desperate she was for a hug. Oh, how she wishes that she had just stopped judging and tried to understand.
Honestly, there is no way to understand or fathom what a single mother experience will be like until you’ve been there.
As it turns out, being a single mom is not a label, it’s a situation.
Situations are what you make of them.
Single mothers, it’s time we stop believing the lie that what other people think matters.
NO ONE can define us, but our Heavenly Father.
Right now, we can choose to believe what God says about us. There is no mold or stereotype to threaten us. EVEN if our poor choices led us here, God’s love for you (and me) is unimaginable and incomprehensible. It’s never-ending, all-consuming, merciful, and powerful. He chose us and adopted us as His treasured daughters (Ephesians 1:4-8).
Perhaps you didn’t choose to be a single mom, but you can chose to bask in the love of our Savior, not allowing negativity to invade or paralyze you. We can claim the promise that God is in control and that His plan works all things for our good, even when others intend harm (Genesis 50:20).
We can choose to believe that even in this circumstance God is working, refining our own depravity into a crown of beauty.