If there was any title that I wanted less than widow, it was single mom. In the 30+ years that I dreamed about being a mom, I never dreamed that I would be the solo parent raising three young children alone. The journey of single motherhood is filled with challenges and blessings. And it is a journey that has taught me invaluable lessons about love, sacrifice, and resilience.
I grew up hearing every Sunday in church the value of growing up in a two-parent household and the importance of kids having both a mother and a father. When my kids lost their dad at 3 & 5 years old, there were so many voices (including my own) telling me that if I tried to parent them alone, that I was going to fail them. One of the things that has given me hope more than anything during this journey is leaning into Scripture for reassurance and comfort.
Romans 12:1-2a says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
At the heart of this passage lies a profound message about selflessness and transformation. As a single mom, I have discovered that offering myself as a love offering means embodying a selfless spirit (even when I don’t want to). It’s about knowing that my role goes beyond being a mother, but also to being a role model, an example of strength, and a source of unconditional love for my kids.
As parents, we offer ourselves a living sacrifice daily through sacrificial love. Every night of no sleep, every missed opportunity, every moment prioritizing their needs above our own is sacrificial love, just like scripture calls for. Through this, I have learned that true love sometimes requires us to give up a part of ourselves for the well-being and happiness of someone else.
As parents, we offer ourselves as a living sacrifice every single day through sacrificial love for our kids. Every night of no sleep, every missed opportunity, every moment prioritizing their needs above our own—all of this is sacrificial love just like scripture calls for. Through this, I have learned that true love sometimes requires us to give up a part of ourselves for the well-being and happiness of someone else.
I would be lying if I said that this knowledge makes me feel equipped to parent alone.
The second part of that scripture is what is important when I think that sacrificing my kids is not enough because the scripture tells me that transforming my mind is critical to my success, not only as a single mom but as a Christian.
When we face challenges, we can allow ourselves to succumb to negativity, exhaustion, and self-doubt. Or we can retrain and renew our minds to shift our perspective to one that seeks to allow those obstacles to grow us and encourage us to lean on God’s strength. I recognize that I fail daily at this, but continue to pray every day to wake up and try again tomorrow.
Offering ourselves as a love offering extends beyond our relationship with our children. It pertains to the way we interact with the world around us. Living out these scriptures in our everyday lives shows others compassion, resilience, and unwavering faith. And I pray that my children see that making selfless choices really does lead to purpose and fulfillment.
We all have a choice to make, not just single moms. We can choose to allow our lives to embody sacrificial love for others. We can renew our minds to look at obstacles as an opportunity to trust God more and love bigger. And we can remember that true love is found in giving, transforming, and leading by example. And while it may be years before we see the results of that sacrificial love, I can guarantee it will transform the lives of those around us, not just our children.
About the Author:
Tricia Thirey is an educator who lives in the Fort Worth area. As a former military wife turned widow, she is thankful for all that the Lord has taught her about choosing joy in difficult seasons. She is currently transitioning her three kids from homeschooling to private school and trying to see where God is leading her next on her journey toward flourishing! She has learned the hard way how brave it is to keep moving forward in the midst of great loss and enjoys hearing all the Lord is teaching her.
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