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He'll Carry You
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Cooked potatoes
Photo: Patti Gray
I will always remember my first week as a single mom. My own mother had given me the money to rent an apartment and escape with my two small children from an abusive husband. We had just settled in to the peace and tranquility of our own space, humble as it was. For, there was no furniture save a battered sofa and an old kitchen table from Goodwill. Our beds consisted of rolls of egg crate foam. We had a little food and we were happy.

Toward the end of our first week, there was a knock at the door. The kids raced to open it just in time to see some older girls, sisters, duck behind some bushes out of site. On the doorstep were many crisp brown bags filled to the brim with groceries.

We carried them into the kitchen and excitedly unpacked them. The bags contained everything one could possibly need in the way of food. Bread, peanut butter, jam, fruit, flour, oil, vegetables, tortillas, beans, pasta, red sauce, cheese, milk, juice, cookies, crackers and so much more…

We were overwhelmed with joy and gratitude that God had seen our need and had sent someone to meet it.

Truly Sacrificial

We later learned that the family who had blessed us so extravagantly was not wealthy. The husband held a full time job while his wife worked two full time shifts in order to make ends meet for their four children. Their gift to us was truly sacrificial.

In the Scriptures, a theme is woven throughout of the type of sacrifice that is pleasing to God. Time and again, we read that offerings and lip service don’t make the grade. What brings pleasure to the Almighty is justice and mercy shown to the widow, the fatherless and the stranger.

During my years of struggle as a single mom, I have come to believe that a single parent truly is a widow, or widower. Likewise, the children are often fatherless, or sometimes motherless. For, while some non-custodial parents do pay child support, other single parent families are often bereft of both financial and emotional support. That was certainly true in our case.

As I wearily fell into bed at midnight, or later, night after night, in those early years, I realized there were three things I never had enough of: time, money and energy. On my plate each day was a generous portion of child rearing, housework, yard work, vehicle maintenance, cooking, laundry, shopping and paying bills. The work of a single parent is both overwhelming and unending. I’m firmly convinced only the grace of God sustained me through those years.

If you are a single parent, know that God’s heart holds a special place for you and your children. The Almighty sees your struggle and sympathizes with your pain. God will hold you up when you are too exhausted to go on. And, when you look at the bills and wonder how they will ever get paid, know that the Lord already has a plan in place to pay them.

Throw yourself at God’s feet in utter dependence and the Creator will lift you up and carry you each and every day.

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By Kathy A Lewis. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.


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