The family unit is everything. It is the heartbeat of our nation. The beauty of our communities and the backbone of our American culture. It is this very vital and precious piece of our country that remains broken at its core. Seeking to heal from an oozing wound that is in desperate need of attention.
According to the 2012 United States Census, approximately forty percent of the children in our nation are being raised by a single parent. That is so very close to 1 in 2 children that are not living with both a mother and a father.
This statistic breaks my heart, perhaps because I know the reality of it. I know the pain that is so very real and alive in the homes and hearts of these “statistics.” Pain that is masked by the busy burden of keeping up and maintaining the daily routine.
Pain that is covered up because there just isn’t enough time to deal with it.
When it became my turn to do my part in raising the next generation, I did it single-handedly. Between anger and un-forgiveness. Broken and limping along as I tried to keep it all together so I could provide a dose of normalcy for my little one. And yet, as hard as I worked to get us through college, provide the latest fashions, and put a meal on the table there were still plenty of holes in our little family’s sinking ship.
And my daughter? She feels the missing links of the pieces of that sinking ship, especially at sixteen as she begins to process the pieces from her maturing perspective.
I’m sure, regardless of the season of single parenting you are in, your child(ren) do too.
I know, as her mom, I can’t erase the pain her father and I have created from our selfish choices. Looking back, I would change a thousand days and cut from my mouth a thousand more words. Fortunately for me, I have discovered thoughts like these don’t only hold me back but her as well.
So it seems my only option is fighting through the turbulence of awareness and awakening of wounds. Trusting on the other side of this battle is healing, love, and a strong woman. My daughter.
And so how is this done you might ask?
How are we as single moms to navigate through the mending of our wounded hearts? What do the days and years between broken and transformed look like?
Besides the fact that we, as single parents and our children, are so unique and different from one anther there is one common thread of injury we share.
Broken spirits covered up in time.
And yet it is this time that begins the process of healing.
Through the days of getting up and out of the house, through the holidays and summers, in the midst of the mess we have choices. New choices every day.
Now, sixteen years later, I see time as one of the biggest gifts God has given me. In all the hurt, regret, sadness and pain time has been a good friend to me.
Time to grow and heal myself. In maturity and wisdom. In such a way that I can sit with my girl and hold her as she cries tears of anger and profound hurt that is almost all directed toward me.
Tears, my friend that come from such a deep place that we could never reach as their momma. No matter how hard we try.
It is during this time and through these years that I made a choice to cry out to and desperately plead for my God to reach deep into the depths of both our beings and take out of our hearts the brokenness so that he may mend it into a repaired vessel.
Brighter than I could ever imagine.
See it is not just getting by I seek for my family. I do not want mere survival for my girl or myself or my blended family. I want us to function and live in a place above the struggles of our past.
So my single mom friend, if you have days where you just don’t know how you are going to do it. Days where the mess seems bigger than you can manage, remember the best gift you have in this season…is another day.
Food for Thought…
How have you helped your littles begin the healing process and recovery from the loss of their family? What about you? Do you feel you are at a place of restoration? Or are you still seeking a shift in your own emotions? I found it more difficult to help my daughter process her own pain when I was still limping and licking my own wounds. I encourage you to continue stepping out and seeking the healing you need so you can be the support and encouragement for your babies. They need the best you that they can have. Your family deserves this more than anything else you can offer them.
I love you, my friend. Keep moving forward and never give up!