Monday, May 2, 2016

A Letter to the Mama Raising her Children Alone

There are so many single moms in this day and time who are torn between their jobs, which are not optional, and their children. It's a hard road to walk especially, without additional support. Nancy is going to share with you her journey and the accomplishments that God enabled her to do in her life through that journey. I hope her message reminds you that God sees you, loves you and has a plan for you. - 
Rejoicing in the Present

Most of us don't have a choice when it comes to being a single mom.

Being a single mother is at the same time rewarding and challenging. Whether you have struggled through the pain of divorce, as I have, suffered, a loss through death, or chose life and your child was born out of wedlock, our Lord remains faithful to you. 

Some married women are, in effect, single mothers for periods of time, like my daughter whose husband was deployed around the world, sometimes at war and out of touch for 6 months at a time. Many have husbands who are long-haul truckers or doctors working 12 to 18 hours a day. Unfortunately, some husbands are shiftless, some may have long-term chronic illness....Additionally, many of these women have no consistent support from members of their extended family.

Just last year in our Sunday School class's study of Genesis, we all became (re)acquainted with the Bible's first single mom. Through no fault of her own, Hagar, the Egyptian slave who become handmaiden to Sarah, gave birth to Abraham's son Ishmael. (Gen 21:9-14). All too soon, Sarah, having given birth to her own long-awaited son, insisted Hagar and Ishmael be cast out, leaving them wandering alone in the desert Beersheba, with only a limited amount of water and some bread. But even then, God showed Himself to be "Father to the fatherless" (Ps 68:5). In Gen 21:18 God told Hagar,"Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand for I will make him a great nation."

When I was a single mom, our Father God was with me always, even when I was too busy or stressed to notice. 

When I needed a car He sent a Christian co-worker, affectionately called Uncle Roy by all who knew him, who offered to let me make payments on a car he was selling. 

When my fridge died, my boss sent a handyman to repair it and donated $50.00 to replace the lost food. 

When 2 jobs weren't enough the Lord gave me a third job; I was able to take dinner home from the restaurant so I didn't have to cook when I was dead on my feet after a grueling day. 

I can remember, during the late 70's odd/even minimum $5.00 gas pump days, pulling up to the pump with 50 pennies and asking "could I have enough gas to get to work?" But God provided. 

Years later, even when my child's father refused insurance coverage for her surgery, I was able to pay the bill.
Do you remember the meaning of Ishmael's name? It means "God hears". It was Ishmael who cried out, but the angel of the Lord asked Ishmael's mother, "what ails you, Hagar?" (Gen 21:17) When my son struggled as a teenager he called for help and God helped me be there for him.
When I became a domestic violence and rape crisis volunteer, and later a board member, I was able to teach my children that they could be anything they wanted to be and do anything they wanted to do, if the Lord willed. This was especially true for my daughter. I took her to rallies and Supreme Court hearings....she did homework as I wrote for the agency newsletter which went to women in prison. In turn I watched her become a fine young woman any mother would be proud of--

I cried for days when she left for Navy boot camp. But the Lord calmed my fears as He calmed Hagar's. My child became a nurse, a cryptologic administrator, went to college while working for the Navy for 20 years. She gave back to her community even as a single mom to her young first child whenever her husband was deployed away from home. She was a fine Christian warrior and even wore a birka during her tenure in the Middle East- so hopefully, your daughter and our grand-daughters, sisters, nieces, mothers and aunts may never have to.

As God opened Hagar's eyes and provided water that Hagar had not seen in Genesis 21:19, God provided for me even when I did not see. 

I could raise up my children, as Hagar lifted up hers. ...and I did. 

I am happy to say that both of my children grew up to be happily married with wonderful children of their own. Despite all, my daughter retired after 20 years in the Navy and God blessed her and her husband with 2 more boys. My son has 2 children and, like his mom, is creative, working in construction and breeding boxers and coaching school sports.

As the Lord's prayer tells us in Matthew 5: 6-13, God is OUR FATHER- mine AND yours. I know now, as I am officially a senior citizen, that life would have been so much easier had I kept my eyes open knowing that He would "never leave me or forsake" me, instead of wearing blinders and forging stubbornly ahead on my own. The truth I see now is that I was never alone. All 3 of us had "Our Father". I should have trusted Him more to be a "Father to the fatherless" (Psalm 68:5). As Hagar grew into a strong woman, so did God enable me. Happy Mother's Day! - Nancy Marino


  1. Nancy you are an inspiration! God Bless and Happy Mother's Day to you also!

  2. Happy Mother's Day to you and your beautiful daughters also Diane.