In the years since I began Single Mom Smiling, one thing has become very clear.
Something has to change.
It’s strange when tragedy strikes, how your door (and your heart) opens for others to share their personal pain. It wasn’t long after my husband left that the first stranger literally showed up on my doorstep.
“My husband is having an affair,”
She was devoid of emotion but shaking.
I didn’t know what to say, but I understood that shaking. My own world was falling apart; I invited her in.
And so it continued. With other women. In church. In town. Online.
We are sisters in a world outsiders don’t understand
– a world outsiders don’t see
– a world outsiders don’t even know exists.
We are members of a secret club,
a club none of us ever wanted to be a part of
– we bear internal injuries but we stand tall.
Few know about those tears. Few see our triumphs because few really see our struggles.
Oh, there are those who have some idea, our best friends, our mothers, church leaders, friends in law enforcement but for the most part, outsiders still believe…
The courts deal in justice
That we just “get over it.”
That things all work out in the end.
But these are lies society tells itself to hide the scarring and excuse the apathy.
Society that wants to believe that “Sometimes people just change. No big deal,” and that “Sometimes divorce really is the only option.” and the worst lie of all…
IT COULD NEVER HAPPEN TO ME.
When it definitely could happen to you.
The women’s stories have solidified things in my mind:
Something has to change
Marriage is not just between a man and a woman. It is a tripod, built on the foundation of the Trinity – 1 Father-1 Son-1 Holy Spirit reflected in 1 Man-1 Woman-1 God.
We must stop fooling ourselves. We must stop thinking we can invite the government into our marriage, into our faith, through marriage contracts, divorce courts, tax benefits, countless other seemingly beneficial programs. When we do allow government into these realms, we throw off the balance of the tripod.
There are people who know this better than anyone.
Those are the women who have shown up on my doorstep, the women who have held my ear and my heart wherever they have appeared.
The women have written to Single Mom Smiling.
Some of these women have stories I will hold in confidence forever.
But some of the brave have drawn a line in the sand and are ready to stop hiding.
They want the lies and the apathy to end.
They want to get their stories out. They want a voice.
These women have given me permission to share their stories.
Tomorrow, I will post a letter written by one such woman, Tara.
Tara is a single mom of three boys whose husband turned abusive well into their marriage – few people marry an abuser.
While Tara has full custody, her financial burdens are overwhelming, and the fear she has for the future of her children is tangible. When you are a single mother fearing that your children will turn out like their abusive father is fear enough, adding seemingly insurmountable financial burdens causes unimaginable devastation and desperation.
Tara’s story comes in the form of a letter she wrote requesting her income tax money be returned to her.
While many wait for that tax refund to pay for the cruise they’ve been wanting, to finance the new car they’ve been eyeing, or to update their living room furniture, single moms like Tara pray for that money to feed their children.
Saturday, I will post Tara’s story.
Please join the discussion. How do we change, not just for Tara and her three sons, but for all the broken families, for ourselves, for we never suffer alone.
As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. (1Cor 12:12)
To read stories of other women who have shared on Single Mom Smiling, please click here.
*Names and places and other identifying information may have been changed to protect identities, but other information is, although not verified, believed true. Anyone submitting false information will be removed and blocked.