It’s important to tell our stories.
There have been times during my last years as a single mother that I’ve wondered if I should speak out at all. If I had the right to do so. Or if it would hurt someone I didn’t intend to. Sometimes I wondered if it would be better to wait until I was through the deep water to encourage people from the other side. Or if I should bother to say anything at all to a society who seems to have their minds made up about who single moms are as a whole.
But in the beginning, when I couldn’t breathe from the grief that pulled me under, there was nothing out there for me. No wise words. No encouragement. Nothing from a Christian perspective that spoke the truth of what I was going through.
There was plenty from the world’s point of view telling me that it was “my time” to have fun, that my kids were resilient and would be fine, that I should “sow my oats”, and even use a few men along the way out of spite. It made me angry, and deeply sad that this is what women were being told. Women who desperately needed a friend.
I felt a calling to write about it. To speak about it. To tell the truth no matter how ugly, because there were others just like me who were drowning in grief and needed just the tiniest thing to hold onto to keep them afloat.
And so I did. And as I suspected, it’s not been without repercussions. But, along with those has also come deep gratitude from other Christian single moms who have reached out to me and thanked me for being their voice. Along with it has come a determination to encourage those whom everyone seems to shy away from. Along with it have come some beautiful friendships that I cherish deeply.
This past week I read a book that made me want to reach out to the author in the same way others have reached out to me. I wanted to thank her for being my voice. Sometimes the book you need isn’t the one you expected.
I found that to be true when my friend, Melinda Means, gave me a copy of her latest book, “Invisible Wounds: Hope While You’re Hurting”. I read it mostly because she’s my friend and I knew parts of her story but wanted to know more. I had no idea that it would also be partly my story or that it would encourage me at a point in this journey where I feel lost in my faith and left by God and so many others.
There were so many parts of it that spoke to me that I literally had to create a notes page on my phone where I could write down the thoughts that flooded my mind. By reading her story, she began to make me see that not only am I not in this alone, but that now—right now in the midst of my pain—is the time to talk about it.
I hope you’ll read it too. So much so that I’m giving away a copy of it today on my Facebook page, The Christian Single Mom. If you leave a comment here or on that post, you’ll be in the running to receive a copy. I truly, truly, wish I could give each and every one of you a copy because I think you may find healing in the stories she tells of seven other women, their struggles, their hidden wounds, and how they found healing.
Trust me; you’ll connect with at least one—if not all—of them.
And I hope you’ll be encouraged to tell your story as well. To come out of hiding as soon as you’re able and to reach a hand back toward the next single mom in line. We all need each other to make it through this, to celebrate our families together, and to grow stronger as we heal through the encouragement and friendship that comes with community.
If you haven’t checked out our new online community for Christian single moms, I pray that you will. It’s new and a little clunky as I try to figure it all out, but I can tell God is moving there. It’s going to be something amazing.
Stop by Melinda’s blog to learn more about her journey, or grab your copy of this wonderfully encouraging book here. And don’t forget to stop by my fb page today for your chance to win a copy of your own.