Dear Single Parents/Guardians and Their Loved Ones

Credit: JC

Being a single parent/guardian is not easy. For starters, you are the spiritual leader of the home. You are the sole provider for the children God blessed you with. There is a lot of pressure to keep food on the table, clothing on their backs, and a roof over their heads. You cannot just “take a break” when you need one. The more children you have, the less time you have to yourself – including trying to shower or get any sleep.

Please do not misunderstand me, I am incredibly grateful to God for my children. Throughout the years of abuse endured at the hands of their father, my kids were the only things to keep me going. And even more so since we left their father.

My kids are each funny, full of laughter and have different perspectives. One of my children has multiple cognitive disabilities. She has taught me more than I could ever teach her. The way she looks at life and how she processes information is incredible to me. I consider each of my children a gift and her “disabilities” are also gifts to our family.

While you might feel alone raising kids, I have learned that I am not alone. Jesus is with me (Deuteronomy 31:6). He is the One who holds me at night when I am scared. He is the One to whom I bring problems and fears. Daily, I pray earnestly for His wisdom to help me raise the kids in a manner that glorifies Him. Through the storms of life – illness, tragedy or job loss – we simply must trust in Him.

If you are a single parent/guardian, know that you are not alone. God is right there with you, co-parenting. You may not always feel that way, but He is. God loaned us His kids, we are the stewards of His children. He loves them more than we do. We must trust in His love and provision for the kids and for us. If you are raising kids alone because of the choices of others, forgive those people. Forgiveness does not mean you agree with what they did, but instead you are freeing yourself from their control over you (Colossians 3:13).

We moved out of the house to escape an incredibly toxic environment. We no longer have interactions with their father except when he reaches out demanding money. We are surrounded by thoughtful neighbors, and God has certainly blessed us! If you are not a single parent/guardian, please consider making dinner for a household that is. Or in these times of COVID, a gift card for pizza or other food delivery would be incredibly appreciated. In our new place, we have a neighbor who cooks for us. I am grateful to him for giving me a “night off,” so to speak, where I do not have to cook. We have another neighbor that has given the kids gift cards for pizza delivery.

If you know someone who is a single parent/guardian, please pray about how to help. Maybe place a gift card (for pizza delivery or for a grocery store) anonymously in their mailbox. Or perhaps cooking them dinner if everyone feels comfortable during COVID. Babysitting is a bit tougher depending on how well they know you and COVID, etc. Offer to pick something up for them if you are running to the grocery store. I can tell you that I have another neighbor that does that for me, and he is a God-send.

I come from a long line of single moms. We are stubborn and independent, which is what has protected our children through the generations. If that is you, please consider this. Some of the people that help me are saved and some are not. Perhaps me accepting their help will pave the way to have a conversation about Jesus. God sends people to help His children. While it may be hard to accept help, pray about it and see if God wants to use you to speak into that person’s life.

God bless.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Galatians 6:9 NIV

Nobody Knew, Yet Everybody Knew: An Abuse Survivor’s Story (Part 6)

This is Part 6 of a series on surviving abuse.

[Read Part 1 | Read Part 2 | Read Part 3 | Read Part 4 | Read Part 5]

If you are being abused, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline on their site or by phone at 1−800−799−7233.

I had to learn forgiveness. I needed to forgive my abuser, the same one who abused my kids.

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.”
Matthew 6:14 NLT

It took time to forgive. I learned that praying for someone daily is a great start on the road to forgiving that person. I started to pray daily that is how I would behave towards my abuser.

“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
Ephesians 4:32 NLT

Please take note that forgiving someone does not mean that you agree with or condone their behavior. Forgiveness is for you, not the one you are forgiving. When you harbor unforgiveness towards someone, you are giving that person control over you. You are better than that.

When I saw how hard it would be to forgive the abuser for what he did to my kids, I knew only the power of prayer, a strong support system, and spending more time with Jesus would enable the forgiveness to flow. There were days I absolutely did not want to pray for my abuser, but I did it anyway. After about a year, I finally let it all go. I let go of the hurt, the resentment, and whatever else I felt. It was very freeing to say to God, “He is yours, deal with him as you see fit.”

I know God does not condone abuse; we are created in His image. I also know He does not take kindly to people who abuse kids.

“And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.”
Mark 9:42 KJV

I now faithfully pray for my abuser multiple times a day, and I mean those prayers with all my heart. My prayer has been and continues to be, “Let today be the day that (spouse) walks closer to You than ever before.”

I realized recently that specific prayer is something I want, too. Each day, I want to be closer to Jesus than the day before. Therein lies the key – pray a prayer for your abuser that you would pray for yourself, too.

And the other key is that a relationship with Jesus is all that matters. There is nothing else in this entire world or lifetime that will be more important than a relationship with Jesus. If you know Jesus as your Lord, strengthen your relationship everyday. The closer you are to Him, the closer you are to having the wisdom, strength and discernment you need to live in a way that pleases God. Every day, I pray that God will help me to be Christlike to my abuser.

I am learning that being Christlike does not equate to weakness. My therapist says to be “aggressively Christlike.” I am very much still a work in progress in this arena. I treat my abuser as Christlike as possible because I have three kids watching me. They know Momma loves Jesus. I must set an example for them.

Throughout my divorce and the time leading up to it, my spouse did and said many things to try to hurt me or the kids. And as he ramped up his ugliness, I ramped up the Light.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”
John 1:5 NLT

This verse came to life before my eyes. I was praying and fasting and studying the Word so much that my abuser could not stand to be in the same room with me for more than 90 seconds. The light makes the dark flee. This was a huge unexpected bonus for me.

Jesus is the only One that can help my abuser. It is freeing to let him go. Put that energy towards deepening your relationship with Jesus and showing the fruit of the Spirit to everyone around you.

As a single Mom, my identity has completely shifted. I have to look my kids in the face everyday knowing that they witnessed how I treated their earthly father: The words I said and did not say, the actions I responded to and did not respond to. I worked daily at being Christlike, and I continue to work daily at it.

The abuser is still in my life, although in a much more limited way. Due to prayers and the strength from God to be as Christlike as possible, I walked away knowing that I did everything I could to treat my abuser as a child of God, as a person made in the image of God.

You must stay strong in the Spirit, do it for Jesus, and do it for your kids. Do it for yourself.

I refused to stoop to his level and engage in mind games. Because of my relationship with Jesus, I had and have daily peace. Recently, I asked my abuser how I could pray for him. He asked for “peaceful sleep.”

While I am sorry he is having trouble sleeping, I sleep just fine.

[Read the Epilogue.]

Credit: JC

Nobody Knew, Yet Everybody Knew: An Abuse Survivor’s Story (Part 5)

This is Part 5 of a series on surviving abuse.

[Read Part 1 | Read Part 2 | Read Part 3 | Read Part 4]

If you are being abused, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline on their site or by phone at 1−800−799−7233.

I prayed for my abusive spouse for over a decade, but things became slowly worse until they imploded at the end. Not everyone will agree with my decision, and that is fine because I know I bathed my decision in prayer and fasting.

I believe that God blessed me with the children I have to protect them with my life, even if that means stepping between them and their earthly father. I finally left and took the kids with me.

Leaving took planning and a ton of prayer and so much help from my support system. I am grateful to God for His protection and provision. Now, as a single mom, I pray every day that He will show me how to lead these kids in a way that brings glory to His name. I pray for their relationships with their earthly father to one day be healed, as I focus them on their Heavenly Father.

For me, when I made the decision to leave, I needed to be ready to lose everything, and maybe even my kids. Our legal system is a mess and does not protect the ones needing protection. Hindsight is 20/20 – it would have made my life easier later to call the cops when my spouse did what he did. But, you know what, it would have made my life worse at that time had I called the cops when he did what he did. I chose not to call the police and yes, that made it more difficult from a legal perspective on the back end. But when you are afraid of what will be done to you and your kids, the police are not always the first call you make. When the abuser is in control of everything – bank accounts, cell phones, cars, etc – it is not that easy to “just leave.”

Credit: JC

I have learned there is life after abuse:

  • Tell your story.
  • Find a way to help those still in abusive situations – donate time, money, a car, professional services, etc.
  • Pray.
  • Remember, God is love. He will be your Protector, your guide, and hold you when you’re alone or scared.
  • Focus on your relationship with Him; this needs to be your priority.
  • Don’t give up on love.
  • Don’t give up on trust.
  • Find someone who loves Jesus more than you (some of the advice I gave my kids came from learning things the hard way with their earthly father).
  • Find someone who does not care whether your bank accounts are “joint,” which may become a foul word to you.

In addition to being an abuser, my spouse was a narcissist with an incredible talent to hide who he really was to everyone not living with him. In next week’s installment, I discuss why I needed to forgive him.

[Read Part 6]


“We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.”
1 John 4:16 NLT