God has brought you through the fire. You’ve come out on the other side and you are so excited about where you’ve been, all you’ve learned, and how your relationship with God has grown. As time passes, you feel more and more that God has called you to serve other single moms who may be new to their journey or simply feel forgotten or unseen. The excitement swells, as you envision the hundreds of single moms you can help in your community. You set up a meeting with your pastoral team and can hardly sleep the night before from all the anticipation.
The meeting doesn’t go quite like you planned. They don’t say “yes” immediately. In fact, they say, “no”. Maybe they cite budget concerns or the lack of need in your church or time restraints. Or maybe you don’t get a “no” at all, but simply a “wait”. Nothing can be more frustrating! I mean, you feel you’ve heard from God. You already know how hard it is to navigate as a single mom. You’ve been there, done that, and have a passion for it. And now….you have to wait?! It can seem like a death sentence!
The exact same thing happened to me a decade ago. At the time, I was frustrated. I didn’t get a “no”. I got a “wait”, but it just as well had been a no, because the wait seemed like forever. But do you know what the great thing is today? I learned much during that waiting period that equipped me for The Life of a Single Mom Ministries and for such a time as this — teaching you how to be patient in the wait!
Remember the following:
- God will do what He says. If God spoke to you about leading other single mothers, then he will open that door, in his perfect timing. No one, and I do mean, NO ONE, can thwart the plan of God. Be encouraged by that truth. Know that in the right timing a single mom’s program will start in your community, whether you are leading it or not, whether it starts in your timing or not, and whether it starts at your church, or not, which leads me to my next point.
- You may not be the one who should lead the single moms’ ministry. This one is hard to say and maybe even harder for you to hear. Maybe God has laid this on your heart, but he’s wanting you to start it with someone else who can lead it. Maybe you aren’t ready to lead. Maybe there are some things you are learning. Or maybe he is raising up a new leader who will be just the right person. Maybe your pastor’s “no” was more about your journey than “no” to single moms. It doesn’t mean that one day you may not be ready to lead.
- Not right not does not mean no. Sometimes, when we get a delay or a request to wait, we are impatient — very impatient. Who am I kidding?! Oftentimes, most of the time, we are impatient. Be patient while you wait. See what there is to learn. Research best practices for single mom’s ministries. Grow. Pray. That way, when the pastor says, “yes”, you’ll be ready.
- Do not be disrespectful of your leadership. Maybe someone didn’t approve a single mom’s support group right now. And maybe there really is a huge need in your church and community. Perhaps you are really upset about it. Do not gossip, back-bite, or in any way talk negatively about your church leadership. It doesn’t honor them, and frankly, it exhibits spiritual immaturity. Resolve to pray for them instead.
Jennifer Maggio is founder and Chief Executive Officer a The Life of a Single Mom Ministries, a national nonprofit that has served more than 1,500 church in finding effective ways to reach single mothers. She is author to 4 single parenting books, founder of SingleMomUniversity.com, and a regular mom of three who has a passion to see no single mom walk alone. For more info, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.