Recently giving birth to my second child and returning home to our two year old, I was instantly in awe of the single mother. How does she do it? She possesses an insurmountable amount of courage, strength, resilience, patience, grit...and above all, love.
As I was thinking about this woman, I was sitting at the dinner table holding my newborn son, while my mom prepared a gourmet meal and my husband took care of our toddler. I found myself wondering how different this picture would be if I was on my own and my heart ached for the mothers who find themselves providing, caring, and loving children alone. God bless these ladies! No matter how they find themselves in the position of raising children on their own, I deeply admire these women for choosing to parent despite the less than ideal circumstance.
I have the blessing of being a stay-at-home mom to our two children and I'm given priceless time each day with our kids, but the single mother misses this as she must work to provide for her family (though that might be her choice anyway--and one I respect), then she's on her own to feed, bathe, entertain, teach, and put her children to bed. And none of that includes taking care of herself or her home. I cannot fathom the sheer exhaustion that must settle in at the end (and the beginning) of each day. Yet, she rises the next morning and takes on all this responsibility once more.
As a military wife, I understand what it's like to be on my own. My husband deployed to Afghanistan when our daughter was two months old, but I knew he would return and a reprieve from life as a "single mother" would likely come. I say "likely come" because I knew I could not guarantee my husband's safe return from war. Thank God, he survived the most dangerous post in Afghanistan and returned home to our family. With this experience in mind, I write for the the military wife and mother as well, since she is often left as the sole care giver amidst military trainings, schools, and deployments.
As I sit in overwhelming awe of this woman, I find myself in prayer:
Thank you, that in birthing our second child my heart is opened to the single mother. I praise You for giving her the strength she needs to raise her children, Your children. In this new year, I ask that You reveal Yourself fully to her, showing her Your unrelenting love and the hope that comes from believing in Your son. I ask that You provide her with an unshakeable support system. Guide those people to love her fully as she learns she can depend on them through all joys and trials. In her weary moments, please renew her spirit and remind the single mother of the blessings her children bring to her life. Give her the time, wisdom, and direction she needs to raise her children. Lord, remind her of Your plans to prosper her life, giving her hope and a future. You created her uniquely, with a specific purpose. Unveil that purpose and give her the courage to say "Yes!" to Your plan for her life. Show her that she can count on You though every challenge she faces this year and teach her to trust Your Word. Above all, I pray she sees her beauty and immeasurable worth as a mother. In Jesus' name, amen.