Safety Pinned Heart

Last Updated on August 30, 2013

There are so many things that break my heart now.  So many things I can’t avoid that I really want to.  Things I would never imagine would cause me sadness.

Recently my youngest children and I attended a block party that a local Christian radio station put on. It was so crowded and hot and, ugh, the lines were ridiculous.  We were there with friends and, really it was fun.

I guess what I mean is although I enjoyed it on the outside, my heart was breaking on the inside.  There were all these families – mommies and daddies and babies and toddlers and children…well, you get the idea.  I know there are way too many of us – single moms – out there.  I know that I’m not alone, but sometimes it feels like I’m the ONLY single mom within miles.

There have been times – mostly in the first year or so of my single momness – when I felt empowered by each experience where I was able to fulfill the roles of both mom and dad.  Now I don’t find any victory or joy in it at all.   Now I just think about what’s missing rather than what I can fill.  I can fill the role of dad to some degree – I can lift children, wrestle with children, toss children in the pool, teach my children to ride their bikes, cook on the grill, do home repairs, carry heavy things, etc. etc. etc.  But I can’t stand next to myself at family functions.  I can’t talk to myself about the amazing things my kids are doing – well, I can but it looks a little odd.  I can’t split up with myself to stand in two different lines at a fair.  I can’t encourage my son when he does pull ups at the Marine Corp booth while I’m waiting in line for the moon bounce.

I so appreciate that the Lord provides wonderful friends who can stand in for an absent Daddy.  But, dang it, I don’t want a stand-in.  I want my children to enjoy the life I always thought they’d have – a mommy and daddy who stand together and love them together and raise them together.  I never imagined that that wouldn’t be the case.   I never imagined being alone.

So here I sit typing about my broken heart.  There are things almost every day that remind me of this blasted broken heart.  I know that someday it won’t hurt as much – although I think it will always hurt for what my children have lost.  Oh that I could give it to them.  I wish I could change these circumstances, but I can’t.  This is where God has us.

I’m thankful that I have a Father who promises to be my children’s father and my husband.  I am thankful for friends who are willing to step into this crazy world I live in.  Like the Psalmists often say – my paraphrase – life is tough…yet I will praise Him!

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  1. Laura Jackson says:

    Hi, Sue — appreciate your words. Keep writing! I’m a divorced single mom of a soon-to-be 9th grade daughter. I too have learned to let God be the Husband of this household. (Isaiah 54:5) I am continuing to learn to take things one day at a time and talk to Him about all the heartbreak and things I feel. Even if something doesn’t change overnight I appreciate that He hears me.

    1. Laura,

      Your words were such an encouragement to me. What a blessing to know that God not only hears our prayers, but faithfully and lovingly walks us through our heartbreak. I’m in awe of His goodness! Truly.

      In His care,

  2. Sue,
    Thanks for sharing in such candid words. I felt your pain. I continue to pray for you.

  3. It’s probably odd for me to comment on my own post, but I wanted to share how God has blessed me. Although this is something I had written a while ago, I know that many of us are struggling with sorrow. While reading it, I was reminded of how many times I have felt deep sorrow over my family’s situation, but even more beautifully reminded of how faithful God is to meet me in my deepest needs. I have been blessed to find my strength, my peace and even a fair amount of contentment in the care of my Savior – Still working on the contentment thing :)! I pray that each of you, no matter where you are or what you are struggling with, will find that Jesus is indeed enough. Blessings!

  4. Sue…I can only imagine the number of single moms you encourage as you bravely share your life…and the number of married moms who gain insight into their neighbors, co-workers and family members and are prompted to reach out. Thank you. Big Hug.

  5. My sister is a single mom of a 12 year old, and I can now understand the sorrow she braves to put up that smile on her face everyday. Thank you for your remarkably honest words, you’ve really opened my eyes. God Bless.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I am a divorced single Mom to an 18 year-old. It was truly an amazing challenge getting her through life and school and ready to go off to college this fall. I have felt the sadness you speak of – the sadness for me and for my child that she will never know the joys of two parents to support her and care for her. I did the best I could but I know it fell short at times. There were so many times when I wish I could have just taken a break and let someone else deal with an issue or some of the drama that comes with teens. I have to have faith that while I wasn’t (and am not) a perfect Mom, I did the best I could and hope it was good enough.

  7. I somehow happened to came across this article and I’m so glad I did. I couldn’t agree more with everything you said. I’m a single mom of a 21 year old and 4 year old. When I’m out with my younger son at the park or different activities, play groups, etc, I can’t help feel heartbroken sometimes. It’s always mom, dad and kids, mom dad kids then there’s me and my son. And I know there are lots of single moms out there but it feels like I’m the only one in the tri-state area! And I try to focus on all the blessings instead of what we don’t have but it’s hard and very sad sometimes. But as you said I will continue to praise Him. Thanks for your encouraging words.

    1. Thank you so very much for sharing. It is a blessing to know others understand. God is so gracious to give us each other!

      God bless you and your children,

  8. Your article really hit hard for some reason today. I have been part of the single mom club for a little over two years. I am the very proud momma of a ten and five year old. Their dad and I live in the same small town. He is engaged again so when my tinies are with him they make a complete family at functions, fairs, and ball games. Everytime I see this it rips me up inside a little more. Not because I want to be part of that but because I want my own that. Everyday, waking up day after day, knowing that today I don’t get to just be mommy, I have to be mommy and daddy is probably the hardest realizations I have ever had to face. However, I hold tight to Jer. 29:11. That is my verse. It gives me hope and patience. I am waiting for the man God has made for me, waiting for the real dad of my children not just the DNA donor. Although to be fair he is a good father now, just not then. This verse lets me know that God has me and will keep me. Your words and the words followed by other single moms, women we don’t know and will more than likely never meet help to remind me that while for the moment we may feel lonely. We are never truly alone. Thank you.

    1. Casey,

      God is so faithful to meet us in our sorrow and need – you are so very right that we are never truly alone.
      I know that being both mommy and daddy struggle…it’s brutal. I cling to the fact that God will enable us to all that He has called us to do — sometimes it ain’t pretty though!
      I pray that God will give you His peace as you wait for Him to reveal His good and perfect will for you!

      In His Care,

  9. Hi Sue,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I feel like you’re reading my mind and writing my feelings. Your article reminded me that I am not the only one going through the same situation. And somehow knowing that makes the sorrow a little less painful. Thank you. God Bless!

    1. Juliet,

      I wish we could sit down to a cup of tea or coffee (whatever your preference) and chat. There is such sweetness in sharing our struggles and sorrows and blessings with one another. I’m thankful that God is so kind to bless me with the knowledge of another fellow sojourner on the same difficult journey. He will never leave us nor forsake us — and He will bless us through this season! His is good!

      God bless,

  10. Sooooo Yea, I just had a breakdown two days in a row and I just said I am so heartbroken, weary and crushed. I even yelled at God, like He didnt already know my thoughts. I am a single mother of 4 girls, an 18 yr old who just completed her first year of college and is now pregnant, an 12 yr old, a 8 yr old and a 4 yr old. I am so grateful the Lord lead me to this blog. Thank you for your words and for being so transparent. I have had many of the same thoughts at times then I remember what the Lord has done for us. Please continue to write as it is very encouraging. Words cannot express how much this has helped me.

    1. Noemi,

      You dear sweet sister! How I wish I could give you a hug and we could bow our heads together and pray and then chat over coffee!! I’m praying for you now – praying for comfort, peace and wisdom. I’m praying that you will find time to rest, time to fellowship, and time to praise.

      And thank you so very very much for encouraging and blessing me!

  11. I can’t even put into words how this makes me feel.It’s like someone else knows the hate/love fight i have with myself and my life every day. I do feel like I am the only single mom who goes through the sorrows and joys of singlemomhood. But I often need to stop and remind myself that I’m not alone and it IS ok to feel how I feel and that it IS normal to feel lonely as a single mom. Thank you so much for putting my feelings into words.

  12. I’m a single mom to a 5 month. I’m currently going through a divorce with my ex and been a single parent throughout my whole pregnancy until now. Going alone to play groups, mommies groups, and etc is so difficult. EVERYONE is married and talk how wonderful their partners are and blah blah. I want to punch some of them but I know that’s ungodly of me to think. I have been to single parent support groups but it hasn’t help. I’m still struggling to see the joy in being a single parent because I don’t see it as well as trying to see the good that God has for making my nightmare come into reality. Never wanted to be a single parent nor a divorce woman. Trying to keep the faith is sooo hard for me.