Most of us are stuck.
Stuck at home. Some unable to work. Only leaving for essential business such as groceries and doctors.
We are stuck in our homes with children. Spouses. Pets.
We are stuck juggling multiple roles. Employee (if we are lucky enough to still have a job). Chef. Maid. Teacher. We are wearing many hats, many we never wanted or expected to wear.
But, many of us are finding joy and refreshment in the slowed down pace, in the opportunity to reconnect with our spouses and children in ways we haven’t been able to connect in many years. We are home together, sharing the burden of the housework and the child-rearing activities. We are leisurely getting home improvement projects done, many that have been put off for way too long.
And time with God. I know I personally have enjoyed listening to sermons. Walking and praying. Lifting my spirits with praise music.
Despite my fears at the beginning of this shut-down, I am finding great joy.
Have you checked on any of your single mom friends? Have you asked them how they are doing?
I have had multiple conversations with single moms this week.
They are NOT doing ok.
Many have lost some—if not all—of their income. I can rest because my husband still has enough income to keep us afloat if I lose all or some of my income.
Their pace has not slowed down. Instead, they are suddenly wearing more hats than they already wore as a single mom. In addition to their already hectic pace, they are now trying to learn how to be homeschool moms.
They aren’t reconnecting with family. Nope. They are in a place with absolutely no adult interaction. Even work, where they normally get the opportunity to connect with other adults, has been taken away. If they are working, they are trying to work from home while homeschooling and providing day care for their kids.
They are not being refreshed in their relationship with God. They are just trying to muddle through the day, to get to bed where they can collapse in exhaustion and tears.
Their minds are on the what ifs. What if I lose my income? What if I can’t feed my kids? What if I lose my house or my car? What if God never brings me a husband and I have to do this all by myself for the rest of my life?
The isolation magnifies the loneliness and pain. Yes, they are trying to keep their minds focused on God, to remember He is faithful forever and always. But, let’s be honest. We are human. Just like the Israelites, we can see the Red Sea part and walk across on dry land…and in the next breath find ourselves grumbling and complaining about our situation.
To the single mom, here’s what I want to say…
God sees you. He hears your pleas. He is holding your tears in His hand. He promises to walk with you through this season, to see you to the other side. He promises good things are coming and one day you will see how He was with you every step of the way.
God doesn’t want more time, more prayers. He wants your heart. He wants the opportunity to hold every piece of your heart in His hands as He carefully puts the broken pieces back together. He wants your mind as you allow Him to wash over it with His perfect peace that surpasses all understanding. He wants your hands and your feet as you go through your day, rushing from task to task, just praying you are enough. He wants every square inch of you because He made you perfectly.
God wants you to remember that His strength is made perfect in your weakness, that His grace is sufficient for you (2 Corinthians 12:9). He wants you to know that He truly does give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4) in His perfect timing, when He has sufficiently prepared you for the work He has for you. He wants you to surrender, to give Him the space to do His work in His way. He wants you to trust Him in the chaos and know that He will renew your strength in His time (Isaiah 40:31). He wants you to know this season WILL end and you will one day look back with 20/20 vision and see what He is doing during this time.
God wants you to know He loves you with an everlasting love, a love that stretches across the cross at Calvary.
To those who know a single mom…
Check on her. You have no idea what a single phone call or card can do to lift the spirits. You have no idea how much they long to have someone who cares enough just to give a quick text that says, “I’m thinking about you today.” You have no idea how simple it would be to make a single mom’s day. It may be that you are the only adult interaction she’s had this week, and a simple word of encouragement would go a long way to just letting her know she is not forgotten.
Meet her physical needs. What do you have to offer a single mom? Can you spare $60 to pay someone to go in and clean her house? Can you give a restaurant gift card (or even better, deliver a take-out meal) so she has one less demand on her hands? Can you buy her a kid-friendly movie that will entertain the kids for a couple of hours so she can soak in the tub (maybe add some bubble bath and a great book)? How about an Amazon card? Or groceries? Can you get an extra bag of kid-friendly groceries when you pick up your own? Can you mow her lawn? Think about all the tasks you and your spouse have to do and think about her doing it all on her own.
Listen. A listening, non-judgmental ear might be the best gift you can give a single mom. Just listen. Let her vent. Let her talk about her fears and struggles. Let her share about her doubts about God’s love in this season. Let her talk about whatever it is she needs to get off her chest.
Pray. Don’t just say you are going to pray. Truly pray. Ask her what she needs you to pray for. If she doesn’t know, just pray for her emotional well-being. Pray for strength to carry out the tasks before her today. Pray that she can find time and space to seek His face, to find the renewal and refreshing she needs. Pray that her physical needs are met (and meet them if you are able or reach out to local churches to find ways her needs can be met).
Being a single mom is an exhausting experience. Being a single mom during this season of quarantine takes it to a whole new level.
Be the hands and feet of Christ to the single moms in your life.
After writing this post, God laid it on my heart to do more, to truly be the hands and feet of Christ to these single moms who are hurting. I have received several donations that will allow me to bless 4 single moms with $100 gift cards–and a new clothes dryer for another. However, I still have nearly 50 nominations for other single moms who are in need. Would you like to help? You can make donations on my blog http://www.denajohnson.com by clicking the Donate button or by using my email firstname.lastname@example.org with PayPal. Please note in the comments Quarantine Blessings.