Meet Jamey

“I grew up with a nuclear family. We went to church regularly. We were an affluent family with a nice home, but behind closed doors there wasn’t any peace. My father was abusive…and I grew up in chaos.” Jamey left for a Christian college after high school where a friend invited her to a Bible study. She recalls not really wanting to join, as she had grown up in the church and didn’t think she would want to study the Bible after studying for classes all day long. It took some time, but “I eventually worked on my relationship with God, and He became the Father that I had always wanted.”

While she was in college studying to be a youth director, Jamey met someone who was also studying to be in ministry. Even though she says she saw troubling signs at the beginning of their relationship, she believed things would work out. “I saw signs of anger issues in him, but I thought it wasn’t anything I couldn’t tolerate. I watched my mom push through, so I thought I could handle it because it didn’t seem nearly as bad as it was for my mom. But it was.”

After getting married and having three kids together, their marriage came to a point where Jamey knew something had to change. “The cops were called multiple times to our house, and I was advised to seek help. It was difficult because I had been the face of ‘help’ in ministry, and I didn’t know how it would be to become the one needing the help. But I let my guard down and confided in one of the church leaders who took me to a crisis intervention center. Eventually, I filed for divorce.”

Becoming a single parent was difficult for Jamey at first. Besides feeling unsafe being alone with three kids, she had to figure out how to financially make ends meet and find the support her family needed. “We were not designed to do it all as a single parent. And it was much more difficult when the kids were little. When finances were hard or I had different issues as a homeowner, I would think about how much easier it would be if I had someone else there. It was draining in those early years needing to go to the food pantry and trying to find assistance where I could. At that time, I would pray all the time that I would meet someone. But I have come to realize God had been teaching me to rely on Him, and I was capable of being a strong, independent person.”

Jamey knew she needed to find support. One of the first avenues she found it was through her long-time babysitter. “She came over any time I needed her. If I needed to go grocery shopping, she would watch the kids. She even mowed my lawn with no expectations of pay. She helped me in so many ways and she did it for free. The divorce process takes a long time to recover from – it’s like having a medical crisis. You are totally unprepared for it and it’s expensive. I think that is an important thing for non-single parents to understand. Single parents, especially at first, need help but they often need it to be free.”

Jamey also found support through her church community and the two small groups she became a part of. One was a multigenerational fellowship that broke off from a divorce care class and one was a Single Parent Provision Single Moms Group. “I was walking through Taste of Hope at Hope Lutheran Church and stumbled across Teahl [Executive Director of SPP]. She invited me to join a Group. Honestly, at first, I came very close to quitting because I didn’t make connections right away. But I really liked attending the Single Moms Christmas Dinner and that would draw me back into the Group again. SPP was very helpful in keeping me involved and active in the Group. And our Single Moms Group leader always made the effort to keep me included.” After attending the Group for a while longer, Jamey found a close group of friends who now do life together. “You know, we become more than just a Wednesday night experience. We are genuinely here for each other. I would encourage people to go to Groups. It truly is a gift, and I love being a part of it. And just keep going even if you don’t feel like you are connected right away. Be a friend and you will end up making a friend when you do.”

As Jamey’s children have grown, she has many hopes for their futures. “I want to raise three adults who love the Lord and who can achieve the dreams God has put in their hearts and what He has designed them to do. I want to launch them well.” She encourages single parents to lean into God. “It doesn’t always seem like He will be able to become flesh and blood and solve everything. But He will show up and He will help you in very practical ways. I don’t always see what He is trying to show me, but He provides even when I don’t anticipate what is coming. I know He has my best interests in mind and I know I can trust Him.”

Thank you for sharing more of your journey with us, Jamey! Your story and vulnerability is an inspiration to others.

Published June 2023

The views conveyed in each of the Featured Family and Reflection Stories found on our website or any other media from Single Parent Provision (SPP) are based solely on information given to SPP by the parent sharing as they perceive it to be true. SPP is not responsible for any errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or opinions expressed by the parent in sharing their story.

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