To all of my beautiful single parents out there — you are doing an amazing job; we are doing an amazing job. In preparing this article, there was no better way to start than with words of encouragement, because single parenting is never easy. Whether this journey was chosen or tossed upon us like a storm in the night, we are here. At first, unsure of how we could survive this storm, then, in our weakness, finding the Lord’s strength to begin thriving through the storm, no longer just surviving.

The reality is that, regardless of our environment, our purpose never ceases to exist. You still have a purpose, regardless of what actions were taken against you or around you. Though we may be weary, we are purposed. For me, becoming a single mom was unexpected, and my thoughts were no longer about how I could succeed in my career as an entrepreneur and community leader but now how I would have to get into a 9-5 and lose precious time with my 6-month-old son. For a moment, I had given up on my passions, let go of any idea of succeeding in my calling, and fully clothed myself as a single struggling woman.

As time went on, I drew closer to the Lord. I became vulnerable with Him, re-strengthened by Him, provided for through Him, found grace in Him, received life daily from Him. The scripture given to me was Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” After years of studying the Bible and breezing past this scripture, it was in this season that I paused and fully let these words bathe me. Pause. Breathe. Take these words in slowly; I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. He lets us know that we can do all things—without limits, without settling, without compromise, with or without a partner—not some things but all things. The passions that were placed into your heart were with a purpose to be completed by you. The Lord has gone before you, and He knew this day would come way before you could even fathom the idea.  Yet and still, He has a purpose for You.

This word is for you, for me, for us. If at one point you allowed yourself to believe your purpose had come to an end because your planned life had taken a detour…stop. According to the Single Mother’s Guide research, “In the United States, in 2014, 83% (9,929,000) of single parenting was headed by mothers whereas 17% (1,945,000) were headed by fathers.” Imagine if all of these single parents gave up on the passions instilled in them from God. Books would not have been written, ministries would not have been launched, businesses would not have been opened, non-profits would not have been created. The word says we can do ALL things; it doesn’t just stop at parenting. All things mean all things.

In Genesis 21:18, God speaks to Hagar, a single mother, and tells her, “Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.” Therefore, you, single mother and single father, rest as you move towards your purpose, knowing these promises are called for your child as well. Embrace the storm, those difficult days of single parenting – the long nights where your child falls asleep in the car ride home after you’ve spent hours pitching ideas to a marketing firm, the early mornings where you’re feeling exhausted but look down to see your child awake with a huge smile ready to be picked up and loved, those evenings you spend loving your child to sleep only to get on the computer and finish your proposals for another long night. Though some days you will feel as if you’re not strong enough, you were strengthened for these moments. The journey is not easy, but it is yours to take alongside the Lord.

“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.“ (Romans 8:28)

Whether you’re a single parent or not, we all hit challenging times. What verses, songs and rituals help you remember to focus on who is walking with you? Share them below and encourage each other!