A single mother learns to see God in every good thing around her.
- Posted on Feb 22, 2016
I never thought I would be a single mother. I’d witnessed the many hardships my mother endured to raise me and my twin sister on her own. Seeing how demanding single motherhood could be, when it was my time to choose a spouse, I asked myself: is the person I’m going to marry capable of being a good father? Would he be there for our children?
I thought I married the man of my dreams, a man that would be an incredible father. The truth is, I endured three years of physical and emotional abuse. One weekend, he physically abused me while I was pregnant with our first child, and I had to leave. Hurt, embarrassed, confused and incredibly uncertain about my future, my entire life changed in just a few days. I had to start my life over again—pregnant and alone.
My pregnancy should have been full of happiness and joy, but it was tough and even unpleasant given my circumstances. Appointments with my OB, which should’ve focused on enjoying my child’s sonogram, were spent discussing how to manage neck and back pain from years of abuse, and planning maternity leave wisely, since I was now going to be the primary breadwinner.
Given the legal implications of my separation, instead of decorating a baby room, I also had to take on learning things like how to file subpoenas to keep a restraining order in place after it had been appealed. My life was complex and I felt lonely—in addition to losing my husband of 3 years, I felt alone, because no one was going through what I was going through. They couldn’t possibly understand my pain.
When my mom, sister and friends all tried to take me maternity shopping, I would end up crying and leaving the mall. It just wasn’t how I imagined this period of my life would be. The loneliness turned to anxiety which led me to also question God— Don’t you hear me crying? Why are things happening this way? Why can’t I escape these feelings? Will I feel alone forever?
Then, something remarkable happened.
My anxiety began to turn into hope and gratitude. Over time, my family, colleagues, doctors and friends helped me get excited over my baby’s arrival and my relationships rocketed to another level. I’d come to work and find that my boss had left magnets with inspirational quotes on them on my desk. I’d open my mail and get surprises from my best friend—thoughtful books and baby items—and I started to see joy. And when I walked through the maternity ward in my final trimester, watching other pregnant happy women holding hands with their significant others, my mom was by my side, holding mine, and I felt incredibly loved.
In all the hurt, sadness and disappointment, God still had a plan for me that was good. After the devastating loss of my marriage, I became closer than ever with my friends and family. I’ve grown so much in my career and I’ve been empowered to take on new challenges and become even more of the woman God created me to be.
My life didn’t turn out the way I desired or dreamed, but the truth is, I’m not alone and I’ve never truly been alone. Through every heartache, God surrounded me and filled me up with love. That same love I now pour out onto my beautiful daughter, the greatest gift I’ve ever been entrusted with, and the greatest reminder that God not only hears your prayers, but is also always there.
The feeling of being alone can arise from time to time, but now I know that loneliness is just a phantom of my expectations—desired outcomes set to timelines I created myself. But God doesn’t work on my timeline. Now, when I’m feeling lonely, I ask God to show Himself to me, in every blessing, in every kindness, in every bit of warmth and love around me. I lean on my faith that God’s plan for me is active and working. Even when I can’t see it or feel it, I rest on the faith that God is always by my side.