Meet Kari

“My divorce journey has been a growing season I wasn’t expecting to have, but God has used it for good. I believe I have become a better person and a better mom because of it.” Kari became a single mom nearly eight years ago when her son was 7 years old, and her daughter was a baby. “It took me awhile to get my feet under me. It was a grieving process. There wasn’t a death, but there was a lot of loss involved – not just possessions but my time with the kids and the life that I thought I had and wanted. I had always attached my identity to the roles I served: being a wife, a mom, a neighbor… Losing those roles and what I thought was my identity added to my struggle.”

Although Kari felt the loss of the life she knew, she sees how God was able to get her attention through this part of her journey. “It was painful, but God was there to comfort me. I used to think everything was just fine because I was comfortable. But I was only focused on what was good, not on what was eternal or what really mattered.”

Kari wanted to start her single parent journey on the right foot but wasn’t sure how to do that. “Intellectually, I knew there was hope but I had a hard time seeing that for myself. I didn’t know a single divorced person before I went through mine and I wasn’t aware of Single Parent Provision at the time, so I called up my church and asked them to connect me with godly women who had been through a divorce and could walk through it with me.” Through meeting with these women, and eventually joining a small group, Kari was able to find the support and encouragement she needed. “These groups provided a place of belonging for me. I could go to them and not just share my needs but also practice getting my needs met. Asking for and receiving help was a challenge for me because I didn’t want to be a burden to other people. But in reality, them being able to help, serve, and care for others is a part of their journey just as much as asking for help is a part of mine.”

Whether through her awareness of the simple, everyday moments of her kid’s laughter and growth, the enjoyment of travel and being outdoors, or even through recently earning her master’s degree, Kari has found joy in many places. “There are challenges even now in doing everything on my own. It’s easy to become overwhelmed, tired, and feel that stress of it never being enough, but you have to learn to not get stuck there. You have to learn to have eternal eyes to see what really matters. You can’t get stuck in guilt or shame or the ‘shoulds’. I am learning how to cultivate a grateful heart. Instead of focusing on the negative, I ask myself what in that situation am I grateful for and focus on that.”

Kari hopes as her journey continues to unfold her relationship with God continues to grow and she sees more of her gifts being strengthened and utilized. “I hope the same things for my kids. I hope that I have equipped them to navigate this world and be authentically them. I hope this is something I have been able to show them from my divorce journey – how to navigate hard things. I didn’t have a lot of gridwork on how to do that, but I hope they have taken something away from my experience.”

Through the lessons learned in her own journey, Kari would encourage those who are not single parents to get to know a single parent. “Reach out, check on them, and invite them over for holidays or barbeques. For me, it’s a huge comfort to have adults in my life that love God and love my kids. If you don’t know any single parents, pray God will reveal one to you.” And to those who are single parents, “Don’t give up. God is with you. There is hope and joy and purpose in your entire story, even if it can’t be seen right now. Your past does not define you. Get in God’s Word and read it every single day, even if it doesn’t make sense. And find a community to be a part of.”

Today, we are happy to have Kari as a leader of one of our Single Moms Groups, as she mirrors our heart’s desire for all single parents to find their place in community. “I feel like groups really are the church because it is where you see the growth and connections happen. Having a place where single parents feel like they belong is super cool. The women in our Group reach out to each other and pray for one another. Some felt like they were walking alone but now there is this community around them for encouragement and support.”

Thank you, Kari, for sharing more of your heart and your journey with us!

Published January 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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