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United We Stand in Joy, Sorrow and Single Parenting, Dr. Tim Kimmel, Family Matters Blog, Sue Birdseye

Since becoming a single parent I’ve found more strength and blessing in the Body of Christ than I could have ever imagined.  From the bewildering day my husband announced he was leaving, friends have stood by my side as I fought for my family and eventually accepted divorce.  To today when my friends still bless me with encouraging words and kindnesses done simply to love on me.

Walking the path of divorce is arduous and awful, but my family in Christ brought me strength, hope and humor through all the challenges and sadness.  I believe my children would agree that we were completely surrounded by love and care. God sent His people to love us tangibly and continually.  What a testimony to my children of the faithfulness and loving-kindness of our Lord! The best thing our friends did for us was to pray.  They prayed us through so much.  They also truly became the hands of Christ as they made meals, watched children, helped with housework, and held us in our heartbreak.

Although there will always be residual grief, we’re experiencing sweet healing.  And our friends are enjoying it with us.

I’m also finally in a place of not needing quite so much help and being able to offer a bit myself.  I can sometimes babysit…I mean seriously I have 5 kids so one or ten more doesn’t make much difference.  And I could even help someone with housework and organizing, although if you looked at my house you might not accept the help!

God has graciously taught me a few things as I’ve walked this difficult path:

Know that God doesn’t want you to do this alone.  Trust that He will indeed take care of you and your children.  He will provide all that you need.  He will comfort you and bless you even in the midst of your sorrow.  And He will use the Body of Christ to do it.  He desires us to share our sorrows and joys. (Romans 12:15)

Allow your friends to be blessed by easing your burden.  As single parents it’s important that we accept help and encouragement offered from our family in Christ.  It’s also essential that we ask for support when we need it.  Don’t be ashamed of needing relief, we all do at some point.  There will be a day when you can comfort with the comfort you have received.  (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

When you can, enjoy the honor of serving others in all the ways you know from experience will truly bless.  We are uniquely qualified to reach out to others going through difficulties.  We can share our hope, our faith and our lives.

I’m so thankful God blessed me through my friends and family.  I’m blessed that my children were able to see God take care of us through all those lovely people.  I’m so looking forward to seeing how God allows me to encourage other who are going through difficult times.

Father, thank you so much for loving us and providing for us through the Body of Christ.  Lord, thank you that you enable us to comfort with the comfort we have been given.  Thank you Lord that you are so very faithful.

Sue Birdseye

Sue Birdseye is the proud mama of 5 children – college to kindergarten! She is walking the unexpected road of single mom with a lot of love, a touch of humor and a serious lack of sleep. She hopes to encourage other moms by sharing her story and her faith. Sue is a regular contributor to Mom Life Today, Fredericksburg Parent and her own personal website SueBirdseye.com. She has also written for Flourish Magazine and Thriving Family Magazine. Her first book, When Happily Ever After Shatters, will be out in March 2013.

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