Eighteen years ago, I gazed into the eyes of my unbelievably beautiful first-born. I sat in that hospital room alone. It was the first of many nights, many years, that I would spend parenting my son alone. It wasn’t long before I found myself curled in a ball in the middle of my cold, bathroom floor, crying hysterically. I was convinced that no one could possibly understand the depths of my pain. When would this misery end? I was broken. I was exhausted. I had no money, few friends, and no hope. How was I going to raise a child alone for 18 years? How could I make it financially? Would my circumstances ever change?
That is my story – the story of a lonely teen mom, living on government assistance, running from God, and feeling I couldn’t push through. The next several years brought a winding road of highs and lows, victories and defeats. But I did push through. I made it through those early years of parenting alone, even when I wondered if I should’ve given my children up for adoption, even when I was way too hard on myself to not always making the best decision. I made it through.
Although I hadn’t been in years, I became involved in my local church, rededicated my life to the Lord, and slowly began the journey of digging myself out of a financial and emotional hole. At first, I felt very uncomfortable. By this time, I had had two children outside of marriage. I was embarrassed. I felt there was no one like me. But my heart slowly found rest in a local church. I leaned on the Lord, when everyone else had failed me. And I never forgot what it was like to be that lonely, overwhelmed single mom. That little baby I held oh so long ago is now eighteen, thriving, and the joy of my life.
My new book, Peace and the Single Mom: 50 Moments of Calm in the Chaos, exists to walk another single mother through the certain loneliness she has felt, but also to guide her to God’s faithfulness, to wholeness, to humor, and ultimately, to peace. It was written as my “thank you” for all God has done in my own life. It was written as my encouragement to that mom who feels no one understands.
Single moms don’t need just another sermon preached at them. They don’t need another book that makes them feel they are light years away from being a good Proverbs 31 woman! They want to hear about God’s grace, His faithfulness, His unconditional love. They want to learn to laugh again. My hope is that Peace and the Single Mom does just that! Picture Peace and the Single Mom as your girl-time with me, as we sit in your living room, sipping coffee, with our feet on the furniture.
Jennifer Maggio is an award-winning author and speaker whose personal journey through homelessness, severe abuse, and single parenting leaves audiences riveted. She is founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries and Overwhelmed: The Single Moms Magazine. For more info, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.