“Oh. My. Gosh. Where am I? How in the world did I get here? Does God even see me? Where is He? What is this mess all around me? I am so mad I cannot think straight. I am so sad I cannot even contain it. The future? How can I possibly navigate all of this…alone? This is never how I imagined my life would turn out…”
Have you uttered words like these before? Maybe recently? Maybe you remember these feelings soon after your separation or divorce. Maybe you were a part of one of those families, and when your family shattered, you felt the deep rejection of so many so-called “friends”. As if the heartbreaking loss of your spouse wasn’t enough. Maybe as you are reading this right now, you are sitting there, wondering how you are going to do this, as little faces look at you for all the answers. If only you had the answers…
Single moms like us face a brand new life. We face a lot of fear and overwhelm. We face a ton of unknowns every day. A life that we never asked for, but one that the good Lord allowed, for some reason, to touch us. How in the world do we catch our breath and smash the fear?
This is the first in a series of posts geared for new single moms called ‘Welcome to Single Mom Life’. Yes, welcome to your life as a single mom! Dear mom, we need each other, and through this series there is one thing I want you to remember.
You are never alone.
I have been right where you are, friend. I remember looking around me years ago too, wondering how all of this had happened. I remember being devastated to realize that things had not been as they had seemed for many years. I remember crying so hard I could barely function. I remember asking myself what I had done to deserve this. How in the world could I get up tomorrow, and the next day, and function as if it were just another day? Everything had forever changed, and I didn’t know how to pick up the pieces.
So, let’s lay aside all of that and focus forward. How do we navigate this new life?
Recognize that relationships are made up of two people
If you are anything like me, you try to take on the responsibility of many people around you in addition to yourself! You feel somehow responsible for other’s lives and their choices. This is not healthy (which we will get into in another series) and is something you need to step out of right now. You are only accountable for you, not your spouse, your children, your parents or friends. Recognize that the quality of a relationship is the result of what both people put into it, not just you. So take a deep breath, and recognize that both people have made choices, for good or for bad. Try as you might, you cannot control any relationship on your own. You only own your part of it. So as bad as it hurts, let go and allow the other person the space to make their own decisions.
Recognize what you have control over
Here’s the good news! You have complete and total control over yourself! You can decide right now what to think about! You can decide right now if someone else will control your mind, or if you will. You can decide right now the type of life you want to live, what you eat for your next meal, even what activities you and your kids will engage in! Even though you will never be able to control what others do to you or others you love, you always have control over your responses. Choose today how to respond, and respond well.
Here is a great bible verse to get your mind and your heart out of the gutter:
…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Develop a Life Plan
At one point in my single mom journey, I read a great book that really helped me to get my mind off of the past and instead focus on the present and future. The name of the book is ‘Living Forward’ by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy. The book helps you focus on different areas of your life, determine what you want in those areas of life and then develop a plan for getting there. The best way to move on from the past is to have a good plan for where you are headed. We all know people that are overly negative because they stay stuck in the past. Don’t be one of those people! Focus on the path ahead!
So, moms, catch your breath, let go of the hurt, pain and fear that wants to hold you captive! Do not allow the past to control today or tomorrow. We are on this earth for a purpose; do you know what your purpose is? One purpose is to be a great mom to these children you’ve been blessed with! Take these tips to heart and be the mom (and woman) you and your children deserve.
See you next time for the 2nd post in our series: “Welcome to Single Mom Life: Ready…”
Which of the 3 tips above do you struggle with the most?