Friday, November 16, 2018

A Letter to my Fellow Single Moms



I have never dreamed of becoming a single mom. Yet in the blink of an eye, I became one. In June 2011, I became a widow and a single mom of three young children. Terrified, angry, disappointed, broken and hopeless, I was. For all my life, I have dreamed to raise a healthy, happy and whole family, so when the reality hit, I had to make a choice to stand up for the children and days to come.

Being a single mom is a different journey. As children don’t come with manuals, so does being a parent or even more a single parent. Below are four things I have learned throughout my seven years of being a single mom, they may not be manuals but I hope they can help you gain a little confident to walk in your journey.

1. Your children are important and so are you.
Take a good care of yourself. Make a priority to start everyday with a prayer and devotion as you need to be fueled by God and His love over and over again. It is important for you to continually remembering the truth that you are never walk alone, that you are never forsaken or forgotten. Make time to be honest with God and with yourself. Acknowledge emotions and deal with every single one of them. Find your own way to process your grief, disappointment, anger, fear and make a decision to let go and let God to help you overcome your feelings.

Make time to refresh your soul, take some alone time to reflect on what God has done, catch a good 30-minutes-hot-shower, take those offers from friends and families to babysit the kids, take a walk, exercise, spend a good hour reading in a coffee shop, put on some make up, watch a movie, dress up, and make time for friendships.

Take a good care of yourself so that you can take a good care of your children.

 


2. Your children are growing and so are you.
Give Grace (lots of it). You must come to a place of awareness that single motherhood may not be your first choice but God has given you the grace to grow in your role as a single parent therefore when mistakes and failures happen, receive God’s grace and extend grace.

In the early days of being a single mom, when the kids were acting out and I lost control of my emotion, I would run to the dark and start playing the blame game. If only he didn’t die, if only the kids had a dad, if only I had all the time in the world to raise my kids closely. I would blame myself for being so angry, I would blame the kids for acting out, I would blame the people around me who seemed to be not caring enough, I would blame God. I forgot all about Grace. I forgot that I was still growing in my new role. I forgot that God has poured out His more than enough Grace. I forgot that my kids needed Grace. I forgot that everyone around me needed Grace.

Growing up means trying out new things. Growing up means making mistakes. Growing up means being aware that failures are parts of lives. Growing up means forgiving oneself and others.

Grow in Grace for your children to grow in Grace 



3. Your children are trying to figure things out and so are you.
Take one step at a time. Take this life lightly. Remind yourself continually that God’s got your life and you don’t need to know everything in advance. Life will easily overwhelm you but you have to make a choice to trust God wholeheartedly. Fear and worry of the future can easily creep into our hearts. Negative thoughts can grow from one to a million within seconds as soon when we entertain fear in our heads.

As a firstborn, I used to be an idealist-perfectionist-control freak individual (sounds pretty scary, huh?!?) but being a widow and single mom has taught me the most valuable lesson that is to let go of control and trust God. After all, He is the beginning and the end, He knows every detail of my life, so why bother to outsmart God? It was a long process of learning to trust God completely but no turning back for me.

One of the best reminders I received when first started the journey “take one step at a time at all times”, still is the best way to live.



4. Your children are never meant to walk alone and so are you.
Find your village, love that village, build a home in the midst of the village, and you will never feel lonely anymore. When we are hurt, it is very easy to feel alone and separate ourselves from others. Throwing ourselves a lonely pity party would feel more comfortable than anything else. But the truth is when we start to be aware that people around us are placed by God for a purpose, we must be willing to start opening ourselves to them.

Receiving from others was one of my greatest challenges in the early days of being a single mom. I always felt that including others in the journey of parenting means I have failed to be a mother. Until I came to the point of realizing how selfish and arrogant I was to keep rejecting others who were willing to sacrifice for me. As I started to open up myself, single parenthood became less scary and more meaningful. The journey has become merrier with the whole village. Again, no turning back for me.




Friends, regardless how long you have been in the journey of single-motherhood, I just want to remind you that you are doing fine. You have what it takes to be a mother for your children. Stay grateful. Stay beautiful. Trust God because God’s got this.

All your children will have God for their teacher 
What a mentor for your children! 
Isaiah 54:13


With love,
Felecia


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