We are blessed to have Pam Kanaly guest post for us today. She has wise words for single parents on how to handle the roller coaster of emotions and get back on track.
Lori & Becky
Let’s face it: being a single parent is exhausting! Amen?
I recall as a former single mom leaving the counselor’s office not knowing up from down. “Well, Pam,” he instructed, “you have unresolved emotions.” I thought, What in the world are those? No wonder I didn’t know. Who had time to examine hidden feelings with two toddlers insisting, “Mommy, Mommy, gimme a gink of juice!”
And so began my journey over the last two and a half decades examining this question, “What is emotional wholeness and how does a single parent get there?”
Friend, we all have emotions, but how can we manage them so they don’t manage us? We parent all day long, so why can’t we “parent” our emotions?
When I was a single mom I heard this saying, “You can’t be right until you are real.”
In other words, if I wanted to be right (on the inside), I had to be real with what was going on in my heart. Often we don’t take the time to deal with our pain. Instead we nurse, ignore, or stuff it under the carpet until later. But “later” positions us to parent out of a short fuse, one that’s easily ignited by unpredictable moods rather than the dependability of God’s Spirit.
So where does one begin in the healing process? I had to be honest. Pam, why can’t you let go, accept what is and trust God with the results? What’s limiting your relationship with God? These landed on my list:
Anger and bitterness – “God, I didn’t deserve this.”
Fear of the unknown – “God, what if things get worse? What if nothing ever changes?”
Loneliness –“God, I’m dreading the holiday.”
And though I didn’t personally experience these, millions of single parents do:
Guilt – “God, I feel so responsible. My kids didn’t deserve this.”
Low self-worth – “God, I’m defective.”
Shame – “God, how did I get here?”
Friend, these hurt. They destroy. I’m passionate about single parents discovering the liberation of Jesus Christ and His ability to free His followers from every entrapment. I’ve heard thousands of hardship stories from single moms in my twenty-five years of ministry, and I’ve never witnessed a scenario where Christ was not able to make all things new, turning tests into testimonies, messes into missions, and disorders into displays of the Father’s grace.
God’s plan for us is good, and He is not finished unfolding our stories. In fact, His Word promises, “He began a good work in you and He is faithful to complete it.” (Philippians 1:6). God desires to transform every debilitating emotion into something useful for us, His Kingdom, and even our children! It comes into view when we surrender to Jesus.
Emotional stability is not found in ourselves, another husband, or our children, but only in a relationship with Christ.
Friend, God is not finished with you yet. Hallelujah!
What felt like DEVASTATION to me years ago served as fertile soil for my ministry today. Who me? The broken-hearted single mom whose single-parent journey began with a two and a three year old on a runaway rollercoaster?
How about your singleness? Are you trapped in the loop-de-loop of “will I ever move beyond ‘this’”?
Take heart, my friend. You will. God’s leading you on a wondrous uphill adventure.
He began a good work in you and He is faithful to complete it.
Pam Kanaly, international advocate for single mothers, author and national speaker, serves as the founder of the only statewide single mothers’ conference in America, Survive ‘N’ Thrive. Pam’s newest book, The Single Mom and Her Rollercoaster Emotions, leads mothers to emotional wholeness through Christ. Having appeared on The 700 Club, God Answers Prayer, and her own national talk-show, Pam rejuvenates her audiences in their walk of faith. She’s the co-founder of Arise Ministries, a national organization for single mothers. Pam’s most fondly known as “Grammy Pammy” to seven grandchildren, “Honey” to her second husband Rich, and “Mom” to Jason and Sara. www.ariseministries.net and Pam Kanaly – Facebook