We’re kicking off March with Mentor Mondays! Today, our guest post comes from my mentor/friend Sandy from our old church in Pennsylvania. Her wisdom and encouragement in our ladies’ Bible study were an incredible blessing to me, and today she has a message of encouragement for all of us!
I was reading in James 1 and saw verse 27 which said, “religion that God our Father accepts is pure and faultless in this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” and realized that many moms become functional widows (thus their children become functional orphans/fatherless) through diverse circumstances. Perhaps you’re one of them. Some women have husbands who are long-haul truck drivers, graduate students, medical personnel, commercial fishermen, traveling businessmen, or military members. These men can be gone from home for long periods of time…anything from a weekend to a year or more. That leaves their wives as single moms for that season. How do these women cope? Who is “looking after them…”?
My own experience has been as an Army wife years ago. Not only was my husband gone for various long periods of time, but was also often putting his life on the line while he was wherever the Army sent him. Whether it is for weeks or months at a time, the challenge for this type of “single mom” is the same. How will I manage?? My heart goes out to women who are full time single moms; but, that is for a different blog post.
The first deployment my husband had after we had children was to be for a yearlong assignment in Southeast Asia. (it ended up being only 7 months as the government there fell to foreign enemies and my husband was evacuated at that time) As he readied himself the morning of his departure I vividly remember feeling panicky at the thought of trying to be mom and dad to our children who were then 5, 3, &1. As I pondered these thoughts I cried out to God in prayer proclaiming my fears and anxiety. I asked Him for strength to be able to do what military wives, mothers, girlfriends, sisters have done for generations. Slowly, I was overwhelmed with a sense of peace that I couldn’t begin to comprehend. God had heard my prayer and was answering by giving me His Peace. The months that my husband was gone were a literal zoo at our house to be sure; but, I had the assurance of God’s Word that His Peace would sustain me. Philippians 4:13 was my touchstone: “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” As well, Philippians 4:6-7 challenged me: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I would encourage “Single Moms for a Season” to:
- Spend some time each day in God’s Word (even if it’s only 2 minutes J )
- Pray for Help…strength and endurance…I learned that God listens and answers.
- Pray also that God will order your day each day.
- Enlist help from friends, family, mentors. The temptation is to try to be self-sufficient
- As for what you need to get you through.
- Keep in close communication with your husband…so much easier to do these days than when the only communication was by snail mail and it took a week each way to get them.
Do you know someone who is a “Single Mom for a Season”? Be willing to lend a hand in practical ways. God blesses us and them when we do so.
- Take their children for a few hours…or a day or more.
- Take a meal to them or, better yet, invite them all to your house for a meal.
- Clean a bathroom or kitchen for them (don’t ask, just go prepared to do it).
- Offer to pick up supplies at the grocery store.
- Encourage them verbally and spiritually.
- Shovel a snowy walk or mow a lawn….Put up their Christmas Tree or take it down.
- Think of creative ways to be a help to them.
These are examples of “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure & faultless…”