Hope for the Single and Lonely Parent
by Jannette Fuller
A The Kids & Me Contributor
When I was a single parent, fear overwhelmed me. I had governmental assistance, but it wasn’t enough to pay the rent. It wasn’t enough to buy groceries for a family of five, either. But I did work full-time at a hotel. I cleaned rooms, did laundry, and set up the breakfast bar. Which covered the rest of our living expenses. We barely got by. As for moral support, it was harder to deal with. I didn’t have trusted family members to go to, but I was friends with a Christian couple. They did what they could, and I thanked God for them. Yet it didn’t keep the anxiety and loneliness away. But God was with me and my children during that difficult time. He also led us out of those hardships with hope, and into a new life with relief and gratitude.
Eventually, I got remarried and had another child. My family of five became a family of seven. Throughout the years, we’ve experienced an abundance of love, joy, and blessings. But endured many trials in our marriage and family as well. We struggled with parenting differences, not being evenly yoked in certain areas, financial struggles…and dealing with the issues our children struggled with. There were a few times when divorce threatened to become a reality—again. But it didn’t happen because of God’s faithfulness and mercy. After eighteen years, we’re still married and our family has grown (with in-laws and grandchildren, that is).
This post isn’t meant to focus on my past or current life. It’s about relating to others (maybe with you) who are single parents. I understand the struggles you may have because I had them too. Or this post can be for those who are married but feel like they’re single. This can happen when one spouse is more invested in parenting than the other. And so forth. No matter the circumstance of your situation—separation, divorce, or widowhood. Or not getting married in the first place—living life this way is very hard. And I’m sorry. But don’t lose hope because you’re not alone. God loves you—He is your Protector, Provider (Father and Husband) and so much more! I pray for this ministry daily, which means I’m praying for you.
Scriptures that continue to encourage me. I hope they do so for you too:
Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. (Psalm 68:5 ESV)
God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. (Psalm 68:6 NIV)
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
(Romans 8:15 ESV)
For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth He is called.
For the LORD has called you like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit, like a wife of youth when she is cast off, says your God.
For a brief moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you.
(Isaiah 54:5–7 ESV)