When I first became a single mom, it was the whispers that got to me the most.
In a small town, it was literally impossible to go anywhere without being surrounded by people who’d just heard of what had happened in my marriage. People I’d known my entire life avoided me as if it was contagious. I was lonelier than I’d ever imagined I’d be. And it wasn’t long before I began to search for companionship.
Shortly after, I realized what a dangerous trap that can be.
Usually a confident person, I began to feel very insecure with myself. Wondering how I had ended up alone at the age of 42. Wondering why no one stood behind me anymore. Wondering where God was in it all.
And as I stood alone, I began to recognize something in myself that was rising up with a vengeance: the desire to meet someone. It felt good at first. Like it was the next logical step. In fact, everywhere I turned people were suggesting that I move on—find someone else—as if it were the answer to all of life’s problems.
And as I dipped my toe back in the waters, I caught myself doing something I swore I’d never do: talking myself into liking people that I knew were wrong for me simply because I was tired of being alone.
Maybe you’ve reached a point where you’ve talked yourself into believing that having someone—anyone—in your life is better than having no one. Maybe you’ve closed your eyes to what is in front of you because the illusion of having someone who cares is better than the thought of being alone. Maybe you’ve even attempted to give your heart away to those who are wrong for you, who don’t blend well with your family dynamic, or your children. Who, in other situations, you likely would never consider as a potential partner.
We need to stop, sweet friends. Because the whispers we are listening to are lies. And the enemy is the liar behind them.
- The liar whispers that we are not enough alone. That our single parent family can’t be effective.
- The liar tells us that if we wait too long (because his timeline is always right here, right now) that we’ll miss our opportunity. We are, he reminds us, aging more every day.
- The liar tells us that we must choose anyone who will have us, because our children are baggage to pull behind us rather than the beautiful gift they serve in our lives.
- The liar tells us we are damaged, broken, second-hand goods that will be lucky to find anyone who can bear to have us.
Because the liar knows the truth: The time we spend alone is an opportunity for God to draw near.
For many of us, in fact, it may be the first time in our mom-lives that we’ve had moments of silence in which to hear Him—and it’s terrifying. The liar is doing everything in his power to convince us that we must distract ourselves with another relationship because he knows that if we embrace our loneliness and turn to God for companionship and healing, God is given the opportunity to do something amazing. To work in our spirit. To work on our character. To show us that His promises are true. To build a closer relationship with us than we ever imagined.
During your season of single motherhood, I encourage you to challenge what the liar would have you believe. To choose a different path than the one the world calls you to. To look instead to the One who knows your heart like no other. The One who sees this time in your life as an opportunity—not a trial to simply push past.
The One who longs to be the one you fall in love with first.
Set your ears to His voice. And ignore all the whispers.
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 Ministries is a global nonprofit committed to seeing no single mom walk alone. Having served more than 46,000 single mothers and 1,500 churches, the goal of the organization is establish support groups for single mothers in cities around the world, while also empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially, and parentally. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.