The Single Mom Struggle

Girl praying

Sunday SMORE Support

Calder Baptist – August 8, 2010

These are my thoughts today. I am simply sharing, as I teach, how I see it. As James states (below) I may not have it all correct. I welcome your feedback.

“Don’t be in a rush to become a teacher, my friends. Teaching is highly responsible work. Teachers are held to the strictest standards. And none of us is perfectly qualified. We get it wrong nearly every time we open our mouths. If you could find someone whose speech was perfectly true, you’d have a perfect person, in perfect control of life.” James 3:1-2 Msg


How do you know if you are hearing from God? Are you waiting expectantly for God to do something? Do your prayers seem to hit the ceiling and bounce back?

The single mom prays and prays. Life goes on, as they say. So what is a single mom to do? What is she to do with her difficult problems? How is she to care for her children? How is she to pay the bills, keep a job, and get to church with her children? If she needs to gain job skills or higher education how can she possibly make this happen?

Some Christians are confused by “magical thinking” that is reinforced, unfortunately, (my opinion) from some pulpits. I was once told that because of a verse in the Bible (John 14:14) I could pray that my husband return and our marriage be reconciled and it would be so. We still live on planet earth. The earthly laws God established still apply. That affects our bodies, our relationships, and our work—the realities of our physical lives.

Let’s do a reality check. (& remember God is the Real Deal)

Christians are not immune from life’s struggles. We are not given a pass from hardships. We learn principles in our science classes, laws of nature they are called. God created nature, by the way. One law of nature is gravity. God doesn’t intervene to stop objects from falling. He doesn’t even do so if a baby falls from a window several stories up. People have asked “Where was God?” on the day the terrorists attacked the Twin Towers. He was in the hearts of the men going up the stairs. Holy Spirit lives within us. It is a spiritual law.


When Jesus left this earth he made it clear he was sending the Holy Spirit.

John 16:7 (King James Version)

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

They Waited

Acts 2: 1-4

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Take one simple step at a time.

But first, we must—in truth—trust and receive the Holy Spirit.  How?

Be prepared for the unexpected. – The people wanted an earthly king to over throw the Romans. They had trouble understanding many of Jesus’ parables and explanations. Jesus, for them, was flesh and blood. Surely he would establish an earthly kingdom.

God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

– John 4:24 (New King James Version) 

Expect to be surprised. Be positive. Spend dedicated time communing with God-in spirit. Ask aloud that you be filled with the Holy Spirit. Pray aloud.

Be willing to wait.  – It was about fifty days from Christ’s death to the Day of Pentecost which comes from Greek for fifty and day of feasts. During the sixteen years I was single, head-of-household I had no idea that I would one day remarry. I did not know what tomorrow would bring. Waiting with little wealth is often worrisome. Faith requires we learn to wait well.

Be in “One accord.” – Accord means agreement, harmony, and unity.  Is their harmony in your heart? Do you entertain conflicting thoughts? Do you blame yourself even though you know you are forgiven? Do you struggle with why God hasn’t changed things for you even when some scriptures seem to say he will? Are you in ‘one accord’ and in harmony with God? In other words are you willing to accept His will for you?

 Step out & Keep your eyes on Jesus

Joshua 9:12 “Think of it—the Master of the entire earth is crossing the Jordan as you watch.”

 God has demonstrated that he responds when we (his children) trust that he will be there for us. In the following passage the people were told to keep their eyes on the Chest of the Covenant.

And that’s what happened. The people left their tents to cross the Jordan, led by the priests carrying the Chest of the Covenant. When the priests got to the Jordan and their feet touched the water at the edge (the Jordan overflows its banks throughout the harvest), the flow of water stopped. It piled up in a heap—a long way off—at Adam, which is near Zarethan. The river went dry all the way down to the Arabah Sea (the Salt Sea). And the people crossed, facing Jericho.      – Joshua 3:14-16

Whatever is your focus comes into your spirit. It is said, “The eyes are the windows of the soul.” The people kept their eyes on the Chest (God to them) and crossed over. Do you get the symbolism?


Words have real power. Consider words you still recall that continue to hurt you. Or perhaps compliments that remain and give you a sense of worth. We remember words and our actions are motivated by them. Our habits are established because of them. Can’t you still hear your mother’s voice when you stand in front of the refrigerator, “Close the refrigerator door? You’ll let all the cold air out?” Or maybe it’s another phrase like, “Close the door. You’re letting the flies in the house.” Now today do you not recall those words?

The real power of words is impressed on us in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Your thoughts precede your words. Proverbs 23:7 states, “As a he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Keep watch over your thoughts. . . and your words.

End your day with prayer. (Taken from Survival Guide for the Soul Part II)

Give thanks to God for sustaining you through the day.

Journal—write down your blessings and experiences of the day.

Forgive yourself and others.

Release the events of the day and know that all is in divine order.



You’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.”  – Philippians 4:8


 This publication is protected under U.S. Copyright laws [© Gail Cawley Showalter, 2010] However, it is also a ministry to those who need it. While you may pass along this article freely, please check before reprinting anything in another publication. In most cases, all she requires is proper credit.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Nothing in this or other emails or materials from Gail Cawley Showalter should be considered as psychological or legal advice. Gail is not a psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, or lawyer. These suggestions are simply suggestions and not guaranteed solutions to your particular problems. Gail offers this information because she was a single mom for sixteen  years and holds masters degrees in education, including special education. She taught on all grade levels including college. She offers support, encouragement, and suggestions to help you succeed as a single parent. 


  1. Your poem is a perfect exampple of why all women should be confident enough to handle single motherhood if the need arises. All single mothers should make themselves financially stable. Many single mothers who have children may believe that they are no longer able to attend a college to get a degree because of their new financial burdens, but there are many colleges who have grants that just for single mothers.

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