Encouragement From a Single Mother
Written by Felicia McKnight
So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water; and putting it on her shoulder, he gave it and the boy to Hagar, and sent her away. Then she departed and wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba. 15 And the water in the skin was used up, and she placed the boy under one of the shrubs. 16 Then she went and sat down across from him at a distance of about a bowshot; for she said to herself, “Let me not see the death of the boy.” So she sat opposite him, and lifted her voice and wept.
Being a mother is one of the toughest jobs in the world, but being a “single” mom brings on a whole new meaning to motherhood. As I read the story of Hagar I thought about my own journey as a single mother and one of my biggest fears has always been provision.
In the story of Hagar, Abraham sent Hagar and their son Ishmael on their way to survive on their own with a child support payment in the form of bread and a skin of water. Eventually those resources ran out and Hagar went off alone and wept, because like many of us single mom’s we hurt when we can’t provide for our kids as we want. When they need something like clothes, shoes, or want to be in an activity that you can’t afford on your own income it hurts not to be able to provide and it’s unfortunate when you can’t rely on the other parent to do their part. There is a sense of helplessness when you want to have the best for your child, but there is only so much your budget will allow. There’s a sense of helplessness when they need something for school or an activity, but you just can’t afford it. There’s a sense of helplessness when the $5 for the field trip and the cost to send a lunch is your last until pay day. There’s a sense of helplessness to a mother when we can’t give our children what they need and that little extra that they want. This is the position Hagar found herself in. She was limited on resources and grieved not knowing how she would provide for her child.
Mothers go through difficult times and we are careful not to allow our children to see the tears we shed in those helpless moments. We are our kids hero’s. In their little hearts and minds we are super hero’s to them. We always save the day. If only they could see behind the supermom cape they would know we have to rely on another power source to give us strength each day. Like Superman (or superwoman) we have to go into that little telephone booth called the prayer closet and cry out to God from time to time. In verse 15 Hagar went off into a distance and wept. She cried out to God.
The beauty of this story is that God heard Hagar’s tears and He hears your tears too single mother. The right thing is that the other parent should have been there to help raise and provide for their son, but that’s not always the case. Unfortunately men and women have their own selfish reasons for not wanting to be a part of their children’s lives. As mother’s we love unconditionally. Even if we lost our job or source of income we will still do what we have to do to ensure our children are taken care of. Even if that means going off to a solitary place to cry out to God and trusting in Him.
“Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink.” (Genesis 21:19)
Just like God heard Hagar he hears the heart of every single mother who has to bare the weight of parenting on her own. Whether it’s through divorce, death, or having a baby out of wedlock God still hears you and He provides. After Hagar opened her eyes there was a well of water to nourish her son. God answered her prayer and sent the provision Hagar needed for her family.
I took my troubles to the LORD; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer. (Psalm 120:1 NLT)
What God desires for us is not to keep our eyes on the problem or the lack, but to keep our eyes focused on Him. He is Jehovah Jireh! The finances may not come from where you think they should come from, but God will provide. He is the ultimate source and who we should always depend on for assistance.
I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth! (Psalm 121:1-2 NLT)
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 NLT)
I’ve seen this in my own life as I’ve raised my daughter for 16 years now. God has never let us go without. There have been numerous times where I wasn’t able to make a way on my own. I have been in tears and the prayer closet holding disconnection notices with 24 hours to figure it out that no one knew about. I’ve faced car repossession. All I can say is “But God!” God always showed up and my daughter and I have never lacked any thing. When it looked impossible, God showed up! When I couldn’t afford for her to do various activities God always put us on the heart of someone to bless us. Over the years God has sent a village that has played a vital role in my child’s life. I praise God for that village and for sending them.
Once I was young, and now I am old.
Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned
or their children begging for bread. (Psalm 37:25 NLT)
I wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers. I send encouragement to the single mother and to any mother who finds herself in a season of struggle and lack right now. Be encouraged in knowing that you are not alone and that God is with you to give you the wisdom, guidance, and provision you need to successfully raise up a child or children. Continue to always keep your eyes on the hills from where your help comes from (Psalm 121:1). Know that our Heavenly Father sees you, your child and your family’s needs. He is never a moment late and will always send you a helping hand. May God continually bless you. Be encouraged!
Heavenly Father, thank you for entrusting us to be parents to the children you have blessed us with. When we find our family in a season of lack and struggle help us to keep our eyes on you for our help and provision. Bless every mother represented here today. Give her the wisdom to train up her children in a way you desire us. Be our strength in our times of weakness. Father send provision when we stand in need. Lord, as mother’s we always want what’s best for our kids and we desire for them to have more growing up than we did. We pray that you will bless our children’s lives. Guide them to be the men and women of God you predestined them to be. We pray they will not allow obstacles to get in their way when they want to pursue their goals. Lord, meet every need for our children whether they are babies on up to adults. Bless them and send forth provision in all of our lives. Help us to always trust in You to walk by faith and not by sight knowing You will provide as you have promised in Your word. In Jesus Name. Amen