Photo by Oleg Baliuk

I remembered the first Valentine’s Day without being with my son’s father. I made sure I packed my day with lots of things-to-do so I didn’t have to feel the pain of being a single mother with no valentine on one of my favorite holidays. This past valentine marked the eighth year that I’ve been single on that day and at times, it has been very difficult. As I log into Social Media and look through my news feed, I see several posts from family and friends sharing all the sweet things their significant others have done for them. From beautiful flower arrangements sent to their workplace, to pictures of them getting dressed up and ready for a nice Valentine’s Day dinner. All this can be a little overwhelming.

Sometimes I just sit down quietly and think why do I feel so unloved as a single mom and wonder Does God Really Love Single Parents?

This month, I’ve been dealing with a spiritual attack that has made me feel even more overwhelmed, defeated and hurt because I do not see my son as often as I would like. It’s even harder when it feels like the other parent is making every attempt to interfere with the relationship. When I look at my current situation, I see financial struggle, hurt, and defeat. When it comes to co-parenting with my ex, trying to raise our son, and trying to teach him how to live as a Christian, I constantly feel like I’m in a battle.

Recently, I became so overwhelmed that the only thing I found comforting was staying in my bed and disconnecting from everyone. I just felt helpless and hopeless, but what happened next was an amazing reminder that God’s presence is always there and He knows just what His children need.

One night, I began to pray to God and ask Him to help me understand His word. I needed to know what He wanted me to see and know in this season and I knew that He could give me the answer. With tears streamed down my face, I began flipping through the bible. As I turned the pages I stopped at Genesis 21, the story of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar.

Now, Sarah was an older woman that wanted to have a child for her husband, Abraham. Unfortunately, Sarah was unable to have children and although she had been promised children by God, she didn’t want to wait for this promise to be fulfilled. So she sent her servant, Hagar to sleep with her husband, so she could have a child for them. Shortly after Hagar gave birth to her son, Ishmael, Sarah had a child of her own with Abraham, just as God had promised.

One day, Sarah became completely tired of having to coexist with Hagar and Ishmael and requested that her husband send them away. The next morning, Abraham prepared food and a container of water, attached it to Hagar’s shoulder and sent her away with their son Ishmael.

So here we encounter one of the first single mothers in the bible. Alone, abandoned and overwhelmed, Hagar wandered aimlessly in the wilderness of Beersheba. Soon, all the water that Abraham had packed was gone. Hagar, knowing that they would die without water, placed her son under a shade of bushes and went to sit by herself about 100 yards away then burst into tears.

I believe Hagar was overwhelmed with the thought of not having anyone to help her, not having anywhere to go, and not knowing how she was going to provide a basic necessity, water, for her son to live. That is when an angel of God came and spoke to her saying, “Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.” Then, God opened Hagar’s eyes and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave her son a drink.

How amazing is that? God saw this single parent at her weakest and lowest point and stepped in when she cried out. This is a true testimony of God’s amazing love and a reminder that we are NOT raising our children alone and that their is no situation or circumstance that God can not intervene. God sees and knows everything that we are going through. He is there for us, even in the most despairing time. The story of Hagar is a symbol of Hope for all single parents. Whether it’s a parent on their last dime worried about how they will have food for their children tomorrow? Or the parent that is completely overwhelmed, feeling defeated, abandoned and alone. God hears our cries.

God provided a well of water to Hagar and her son in the middle of the wilderness. God told her to, “not be afraid” because he will take care of her and her son. This IS God’s love for us. He is there taking care of us and our children in every situation and at all times. In Genesis 21:20 the Bible states, “And God was with the boy as he grew up in the wilderness.” Do you see God’s promise there? He’s with our children through the wilderness and each day of their lives. You and your children are so deeply loved by God, that He will provide, protect and bring peace and love into your family. You are not alone. Let God be your provider, protector, and your peace when it comes to your life and raising your children as a single parent. God loves you.   

At this point, I’m a veteran at being single on Valentine’s Day. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have a Father who cares for me deeply and loves me like no other person can. God is my strength, my protector, my provider and my peace and He has blessed me with a wonderful gift that I get to call, my son! So happy Valentine’s to US, because EVERY day is Valentines with God!