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Meet Jennifer

Jennifer has a unique way of looking at life. “Who is going to want to read a book that doesn’t have a good conflict and a big problem to be solved?” she says. “Even though we are in the midst of a conflict, God has a beautiful story waiting to be written. Our problems may be huge, but that can make our story all the better.”

Jennifer is a sixth-grade teacher and a single mom to two boys, ages 13 and 9. They were living in Texas when Jennifer divorced six years ago. “I knew I needed my family to be around, so we moved back to Iowa where my parents are. They are our biggest supports and have been there this whole process. They are such a blessing to me and my boys.”

Her twelve-year marriage was rocky. “I knew it was abusive but I didn’t know how to handle that. I didn’t know how to talk about my situation. I kept feeling like I could handle it myself,” she says. “I stayed in it, because it was both up and down. I had hope one moment and then it was crushed. I ended up staying longer than I should have, but I wouldn’t have had my boys if that weren’t the case.”

She continues, “Looking back, I think God has taught me a lot through that and given me the strength to speak out about abusive situations. I’m really trying to use what I know now to help others in similar situations,” she says. “I’ve also been involved to get legislation passed to help other victims.”

Her biggest challenge in single parenting is trusting God with her family’s future. “I want to make sure I’m doing the right things to help my boys become good, responsible adults who know Him as well. I want my children to have the kind of relationship with God to carry them through the good and bad times,” she says. “It’s a daily trust thing. Some days I’m better at giving God the control and trust and others I’m not.”

Her biggest joy is seeing who her kids are becoming and watching their growing relationship with God. She says, “I just like doing life together. It’s the silly jokes, the belly laughing at something ridiculous, and just enjoying life with them.”  

Jennifer’s advice to other single parents is, “Don’t be afraid to reach out for help and connect with other single parents. There is just something about knowing that other people are going through the same things you are.” She says, “Having that connection to realize I’m definitely not the only one experiencing this. I can feel so isolated, but now I know there is a community I can turn to who understand. It’s just such a wonderful feeling.”

“When I think of SPP, I think of place to belong. A place that makes you feel valued and worthy. They help single parents feel loved and valued, and show God’s love to them. That is something so special.”

Jennifer also writes as the voice for single moms for a popular Mom's Blog. “I want to encourage anyone who is a single parent and struggling with feeling not supported or feeling like the conflict will never end. We do go through these hard times but, biblically, God talks about how hard things help build character and how we can use that struggle to help others. I find such hope in that.”

Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing your story and encouraging us!

Published April 2019

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