They say there’s nothing more powerful than a mama bear.
I beg to differ.
In my years as a single mom, I’ve met many others just like me. Women who have gone through great loss, enormous pain, and likely humiliation as they’ve stepped into the role of single mother. I’ve watched with awe as over and over again these women picked themselves up, lifted their chins, and pushed forward through terrible circumstances that would pull most people under. I’ve never met a single one who crawled under the covers, excused themselves from life, and pretended as if the world didn’t matter. Because they have their own baby bears to take care of.
But, it’s a tough road. An overwhelming road.
When I first started down it myself, I bore down thinking if I just made it to the next situation; everything was going to be OK. If I could just get through my divorce. If I could just stop the constant harassment. If I could just get the police to understand I was being stalked. If I could finally get child support.
In each situation, I was looking forward to the day it would calm down and get back to normal. You know . . . the calm after the storm. Because clearly, I was in the most terrifying storm of my life.
But, it occurred to me one day that the calm I’d been waiting for wasn’t coming. That the three prior years that I’d pushed through the days and weeks and months with my eye set to the moment that it would calm down, was just a way to avoid the truth. “It’ll calm down soon,” became my mantra.
Until finally I realized—like a slap in the face—that it wouldn’t.
Because this is my new life. This is my new reality. My new normal. It’s hard. And chaotic. And exhausting. And I know it’s yours too.
But, don’t be mistaken. Our new normal is not one of defeat. We have been thrown into the fray as warriors in battle.
Unlike soldiers who enter into a battle trained and ready, we didn’t sign up for this. We’ve been positioned to become warriors for our children, even as our own lives have fallen apart by the wayside. And while soldiers are put in the position of potentially seeing danger at some point, warriors are thrust into the midst of it with no preparation whatsoever. Warriors fight because it’s personal. Because they grieve for the people they are defending. Even when they know that it will be a long suffering battle.
The moment we become single mothers, our battle begins.
Fighting for things we never thought we’d have to before:
- Our good name
- Our kid’s safety and security
- Our position in society as a family
- Our right to live an honest life that glorifies God
- Our right to start over when we discover that what we began with was a lie
Are you still waiting for things to return to normal? Or are you ready to accept your call to be the warrior in your children’s lives? Fighting the battle for a beautiful childhood regardless of what’s happened. Fighting to provide the best possible life you can for them financially. Fighting to provide everything they need emotionally even as others in their lives push against you in a battle to hurt you through them.
You can do this. Because you are not alone.
Not only because so many other Christian moms fight this same battle daily, but because you have a champion that goes before you in battle like no other.
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
And, He too, is a warrior:
“The Lord is a warrior, Yahweh is his name!” (Exodus 15:3)
And, no matter what it looks like to you, or how many others seem to be against you, He promises:
When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you! (Deuteronomy 20:1)
So, take up your weapons and fight, sweet friend. Your new normal is noble. Your new normal is a calling like no other. Forget the past and focus on the battle you’ve been given. You are not alone in it. God is using you to protect and defend the most precious things He’s given to you. Be courageous. Be wise. Be encouraged. Because He fights ahead of you, with you, and for all of you.
Laura Polk is a single mom, author, writer, speaker, and friend. She has written for magazines, such as Focus on the Family, Christian Parenting Today, and Crosswalk. She is author of the upcoming release The Single Mom Challenge. She is a graduate of She Speaks and Christian Communicators. For more information, visit www.laurapolk.com.
The Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. To date, we have worked with more than 1,500 churches & community groups to start or improve a single mom’s support group in cities throughout the U.S. and beyond. We have a large array of books, curriculum, training materials, and online instructional videos to support ministry leaders who lead single moms. Our single mom programs focus on empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, financially, and parentally through a number of projects including: Single Mom University, Single Moms Across America, the National TLSM Single Moms Conference, and a variety of programs throughout the U.S. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com