Dear Single Mother,
I want you to know that I think about you often. I imagine how you feel on the lonely nights that seem to plague you. I remember the exhaustion that envelops you so much of the time you think one day it just might swallow you whole. I wonder how often you think no one will understand what this life feels like. Tears come even now as I think of you, because I’d love nothing more than to hug you and tell you I understand. Though we can’t be together in person, if you have time for a chat, I have a few questions I really would like to ask.
When it feels like you live a life you never signed up for, when you’re stuck on a merry-go-round you just want to get off, will you imagine the next turn could bring clarity and meaning beyond what you can presently anticipate?
Precious single mother…
When the discouragement and uncertainty that marks your days threatens to define you, will you believe that you were not created to be defined by the things of this world? You are far too beautiful and precious in His sight.
When you feel so sad, that the piece of earth you stand on seems strangely still while the world around you just keeps spinning, will you remember the Lord will fight for you, indeed you need only be still? When it feels like the whole world seems to be coupled up, will you look for the one who isn’t? Look for the one by herself who also may feel like the odd man out in a park or event full of moms and dads.
When it feels like no one would notice if you didn’t show up, might you imagine the grandmother who quietly admires your resolve or the mom who never fails to pray for you, though you may never know it. When you feel lost in your circumstances, will you remember that things can turn on a dime? Yes for the bad, but also for the good. He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.
I was a single mother too…
You see, I was you once. When I felt all these things and more, the only way to keep going was in the remembering that if I could lose all that I did—just like that—then that must be because I was never truly sustained by those things, anyway. After all, if like the flip of a switch, life could become everything I never wanted, then why couldn’t it someday become everything I ever needed?
The winds of change blew in my life when I least expected, and a new season has arrived. I couldn’t have predicted that though I struggled for years to imagine a brighter future, I now look back and wouldn’t change a thing. This is my story, and I am better because of it.
Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read this letter. I truly appreciate all that you do and you will always remain in my thoughts and prayers.
YOU are my inspiration.
*Update: I never could’ve imagined the response to this one letter I poured my heart into one night spent thinking about my years as a “sometimes single Mother. It was a lifestyle I never chose, and I know the same goes for many of you—whether sometimes single or always single. However, it is an option many of you did choose. So allow me to give you a heads-up? You may not identify or relate with this piece, and that’s OK. I have all the love and respect in the world for you, no matter your choices and no matter your journey. This was simply written for the women who do find themselves in a place similar to where I was, and I simply want these precious women to feel heard and understood. Because they are, and that is why I wrote directly to those women. May God bless each and every one of you!*