Julie always had a plan for her life. Growing up in a home with parents who have been married for 52 years and where church was a weekly occurrence, she always saw herself getting married young, having a couple of kids, and carrying on the traditions she experienced in her youth. So, when she found herself moving out of her home with her 2-year-old son, she encountered a grief she never imagined facing.
It was the Christmas season when Julie and her son became a single-parent family. That first year she thought a lot about the traditions she had as a child and would now not be able to recreate. She was faced with a deep grief at what she thought he would miss out on. But Julie came to realize that she could make new traditions with her son, and though they may look different than what she imagined, they would still be good. Talking with other single parents about their traditions and how they do things helped her realize she is not alone in this journey.
A huge challenge in the beginning of Julie’s single parent journey was the constant worrying when her son wasn’t with her. “I had no control over what was happening. But I would think about the verse, ‘worry about nothing, pray about everything’ and now I can turn that worry into a prayer. All the bad things can come into your head about what could happen, but you have to turn it all over to God because He is in control.”
Julie urges other single parents to find a healthy place where they fit in. She found herself feeling a bit like an outcast in situations that were once familiar when she first became a single parent. “This is where Single Parent Provision has helped me. I joined a Group and even though we are all in different stages of life, we are all single parents, and that one thing brings us together. We don’t have to explain ourselves, and we don’t have to hide or make light of the struggles and challenges we face because they are real.”
To those who are not single parents, Julie encourages them to reach out to the single parents they know and see what they may be able to do to help. “Even those who seem like they have it all together have days where they don’t. A simple smile or a phone call can make a big difference. Give love to those single parents and understand that you may not realize what they are going through unless you have walked that path.”
Being a mom is Julie’s greatest joy. She was raised on a pumpkin farm, so taking her son out and getting him immersed in all the fun fall activities is a priority for her. She doesn’t want to get too caught up in the mundane of life just to look back one day and not know where the time has gone. “I often try to hurry him through different parts of life, but I have learned to make myself stop and see the adventure through his eyes. I think we can see more of God’s creation and beauty when we look at it through our children’s eyes.”
Julie, thank you for the encouragement and hope you bring to so many. You are SO loved!
Published January 2021