Courtney is a loving mom to her 7 and 5 year old girls, works in the schools helping children with special needs, and has a big heart for ministry.
Her single parent journey began in 2013 when her husband was arrested. “During that time, I knew I was going to be acting as a single mom and was trying to prepare to provide for my family in a way I never had to do before,” she says. “I moved in with my parents for a year while we waited for (my husband) to go through the court process.”
Courtney’s youngest daughter was born a couple of months after her husband got in trouble with the law.” She surprised us with the gift of down syndrome.” Courtney says there are added responsibilities that go along with caring for a child with special needs, “But, having her in our lives is so special and benefits us well beyond all the hard work!”
After her husband was incarcerated, Courtney says, “I went back to college and worked a part-time job trying to save money to move into my own place with my daughters. About six months after he went to prison, my parents recommended that I needed help to raise my girls, and they were willing to be guardians of my girls. I agreed and signed papers to make them guardians of my children.”
“I was devastated and very angry,” she says. “I chose to live with friends of mine for several months while I hired an attorney and started working on getting my girls back.” Courtney says this was a very dark time for her. “In Feb 2016, I moved into a women transitional living shelter and slide into a really deep depression. I was attending Celebrate Recovery at the time and had support people there who loved me where I was at and encouraged me with little things I could do with my girls,” she says. “Celebrate Recovery became a community of support for me and gave me opportunities to grow in my understanding of recovery as well as take on leadership roles to help other women just like me.”
She says this was a turning point for her in her life. “I started putting my life back together. I got a full-time job, my own apartment, and bought my first car.” She says, “Over time I gained more visits with my children and started gaining favor with the court. In 2017, I made the decision to divorce my husband after acknowledging the abuse experienced, and truly became a single parent." She says, "I had to create my own parenting style and really think and pray about what kind of parent my children needed me to be.” Courtney says she is still working to regain full custody of her daughters.
Courtney’s biggest challenge as a single parent is time management. She says, “Figuring out how to take care of the house and balance my job, getting the girls to activities and appointments, and having time for me is incredibly difficult.” She says, “I wonder how I can get everyone where they need to go including myself, and get groceries, and get gas in the car, or even clean my bedroom.”
Her biggest joy is, “when my girls run up to give me hugs when I pick them up from school. When we snuggle on the couch and watch a movie. When they want to crawl into bed with me after having a bad dream. Despite the work it is to be a mom, my girls are definitely my greatest joy.”
The best advice she would give another single parent is, “No matter what phase of life you are experiencing, your life will change for the better sometime. It won’t always be this way. God will bring better times when you least expect it, and sometimes how you least expect it.”
When she thinks of Single Parent Provision, she thinks of, "a resource to help single moms and dads navigate life without a partner. They created a safe place for me to feel understood by other women who have experienced some of the same hurts I was experiencing.”
Today, Courtney can celebrate the difficulties along with the joys. Courtney is a faithful believer in God and is so grateful for His redemption in her life.
Thank you for sharing your story and your life with us, Courtney! You are loved!
Published October 2019 (revised April 2020)