“I never want to go through that again and can see how I am different. My faith is real. When I have been desperate, worried and afraid, I see how God has met me there.”
Kasey has three active, growing, and “goofy” boys in 1st grade, 6th grade, and a High School Freshmen. All were born with complicated medical issues that have resulted in many surgeries, a variety of treatments and therapies, and countless appointments. Even when the boys are doing well, there are always appointments on the calendar.
Kasey thoughtfully reflected that prior to having her children, her marriage wasn’t healthy. Statistically, the divorce rate increases to 85% for families who have children with special needs. She began counseling soon after her oldest was born, and ultimately, after a separation of over five years, they began the divorce process.
“Part of the pain of divorce is not just losing him and his family, but also friends and church family,” Kasey observes. As she began to build her new life, Kasey noticed how God had given her other ways of support long before the divorce happened including what she gained through counseling, a church leader who listened and was equipped to help her, a Bible Study class, Divorce Care classes, a new church family, a Life Group, and a Single Moms Group.
One of the many ways Kasey noticed how God showed up for her was how He provided for her and the boys. As they were establishing their new home, people would ask her what items she needed. She was intentional to ask for items that were really needed and not what she wanted. Yet, when people would bring her boxes and bags of needed items they would remark, “Kasey, I noticed ‘this’ wasn’t on your list, so I picked it up for you.” Sure enough, it would be something that she had wanted.
Kasey first became acquainted with Single Parent Provision through conversation with a neighbor. While having coffee together, her neighbor was sharing about her experience as a volunteer with Single Parent Provision. Mid-conversation she stopped, thoughtfully looked at Kasey then said, “Wait! You’re a single mom, why don’t you come?!” Kasey ended up bringing her boys to Break Time. Soon thereafter, she began occasionally attending a Single Moms Group and attended her first Single Moms Christmas Dinner “which is amazing - let’s be real.”
Raised by a single parent, Kasey credits her mom for handling “everything with grace,” so she is grateful for having a good example, especially as she carefully answers the hard “why” questions. Combating loneliness can also be difficult, especially for an extrovert by nature. Although she is “blessed with children who talk a lot”, this is very different from having another adult around. Kasey credits the good friendships she has made in her Life Group at church and in the Single Moms Group that she attends to be there for her while the boys are with their dad. This same "village" is also ready to help on the days she feels like she is juggling it all. She has learned that this is where her reliance on Jesus is magnified. As her counselor once told her, “Some balls are rubber and some are glass, so it’s ok to let some fall and pick those up later.” She also makes it a practice to ask, “Lord, what do I need to focus on today?”
Like many, it was never her plan to be divorced. Kasey admits that she worries about the impact the separation and divorce may have on her boys. Her desire is for them to grow-up healthy, have hearts that long to follow God, and to see them grow in their love for God even though she feels she is unable to pour into them the way she wants.
To those who aren’t walking the single parent journey, Kasey advises against making quick assumptions or judgements without knowing the story. Every story is different. Additionally, Kasey encourages others not to be afraid to invite the single mom and her kids over while the whole family is home (not just when the husband is gone for the weekend).
Because of her journey, Kasey has become tender to others who are where she has been. When asked how she would encourage others walking a similar journey, she was quick to emphasize the importance of finding other people who “get it” and not being afraid to ask for help. Kasey has found that when she asks for help, it opens doors to develop relationships. Making it a point to be around others who reflect God and getting into the Bible regularly helps keep her perspective healthy, even when the world around her doesn’t make sense.
“Strength really is trying to be honest about my need to rely on Him.” - Kasey
Published November 2023