• Julie Nicole

To All the Single Moms...You Are Heroes

She is beautiful. She is strong. She has broad shoulders because she single handedly carries the load of two. Her hours are endless and she oftentimes spends many hours going without thanks and unnoticed.

When she's tired she prays for strength because she knows if she falls those who depend on her will fall too. There's no strong arms to pick her up so she has to pick herself up when she is down. There's no one there to hold her when she lies her head down at night, so she holds herself like she's done so many other sleepless nights.

She may silently cry herself to sleep from the pressure and the weariness, but she gets up in the morning to start a new day and send the kids on their way. She's their encourager, their supporter, their protector and provider....and sometimes she just wishes there was someone there to do the same for her.

But just when she thinks she can't do it anymore, that she's going to break from the pressure, she puts on her invisible cape and she finds the strength to keep going. She is the single mother, and she is the rock of so many lives. She is a hero....and a super one at that.

It's not mother's day, but I didn't want to wait until mother's day rolled around next year to commend all the single mothers out there for holding it down. Where would we be without you? When so many fathers have abandoned their role in the lives of their children, these women have stepped to the plate, dug down deep in their souls and played the role of two.

I commend you. You are appreciated.

I was sitting in my car outside my daughter's school waiting to pick her up when I struck up a conversation with the lady in the car beside me. She mentioned she was waiting for her granddaughter. Her name was Helen and she was a beautiful soul.

She was raising her son's three children. I don't know where the mother was, nor do I know why the father wasn't raising his kids, only that she mentioned he had been in out of some trouble and now she was raising three of her grandchildren after she had already raised her own.

She had beat cancer three times, had lost her best friend to an untimely death, as well as lost her sister. But, even after all this loss, hardship and undue burdens she had a smile on her face.

"I'm blessed!" she said. "I'm blessed!"

"My sister got cancer and when she lost her son to an asthma attack she just lost the will to live," Helen said.

"But I'm blessed," she kept saying with a smile.

I was having a bit of a rough day and was feeling a bit down, but when I saw Helen's smile and tenacity something in me began to rise up.

Look at this woman. Look at her strength. Look at her resiliency. Get up Julie. Keep going. Don't quit. You're blessed.

I could tell by the woman's smile and the determination in her voice that she wasn't faking it, but as a single mom raising three kids on my own I also know raising kids by yourself isn't easy, and here was this grandmother doing it all over again....and she's probably doing it without much help or thanks.

As she was talking I began thinking about all the single mothers and grandmothers all across the country whose strength, sacrifice and love go unnoticed.

Well, I decided it wasn't going to go unnoticed this day.

"I just want to commend you for all of your sacrifice you've given for raising your grandkids. God has a special reward for people like you when you get to heaven. What you're doing may not seem that important to people down here, but I promise you, up there, you're somebody real special....and God is going to honor you," I said. "But, I believe He's got something special to reward you down here too, before you get up there. So, if it's okay with you I'm going to pray for you right now."

"Of course," she said reaching her hand out of her car towards mine. Her brown hand grasped my white hand and I began to pray.

"Lord, I ask that you send somebody to protect and provide and sacrifice for Helen the way she has protected, provided and sacrificed for these children and others. Give her some time for herself. Give her rest and release the burden that is on her shoulders. Send her somebody that will love her and want to do nice things for her. I don't know if she wants a husband, but if she does, send her one that does kind giving her cards, and flowers, and he comes home and says, 'I seen this purse or pair of shoes I thought you would like'....send her someone who gets joy out of making her happy.

And let these children excel and let them be known around the world for the great things they have accomplished and when they do let them give honor to this woman. Lord, let your blessings rain down on Helen to let her know that you love her and are proud of her, and her labor and sacrifice have not been in vain and have not gone unnoticed."

"Thank you!" she said with her eyes tearing up. "I feel so much better." She then looked at my daughter who was now sitting in the passenger seat. "You have an amazing mother, you know that? She just blessed me!"

Our hands finally released one another and I handed her my card. "Call me when you get that blessing we prayed for, because I believe you're going to get it, and when you do I want to celebrate and smile with you," I said.

Helen said I blessed her, but her spirit blessed me. It's amazing how that works. When we take our eyes off of our own struggle and spend time trying to lessen someone else's burden we in turn get blessed and gain strength. Both people end up with what they need.

And that's something we as women need to do more of - building one another up. We have a hard enough job as it is, just as women alone, with or without children, that we should never spend our energy tearing one another down.

So, for those of you reading this today I'd like you to do 3 things:

1) Pray that God sends an extravagant blessing into Helen's life and we get to hear about it. (I promise to share the story with you.)

2) Send a word of encouragement or do something nice for a single mom, or grandmom.

3) Remind yourself that as a woman your feminity is beautiful, unmatched, powerful, life-giving and should be cherished. Know your worth and only surround yourself with people who see it and value it.

Now, go be beautiful woman and send this to all the wonderful single moms you know!

Oh Woman

Oh woman…I see that tear from your eye…

Oh woman…I see this weight got you tired,

Stressors pulling from your life,

At every corner there is strife,

Your heart bleeding from that knife,

Got you squeezing your heart tight,

Them tears falling late at night,

But you be smiling in the light,

Oh woman…I see that tear from your eye…

One hundred things on your mind,

But you turn survive into thrive,

With no one there by your side,

You tuck them kids in at night,

A referee breaking up fights,

Seeing time pass you by,

Wasted years from those lies,

Oh woman…I see that tear from your eye…

World got you caught, like Catcher in the Rye,

A lion’s head that hangs, on the wall like a prize,

Sex and love is your chains, but to your demise,

Conditions your submission, then you watch him fly,

Gave your love like an ocean, but that stream it ran dry,

But since love is your potion, you kept fixing for that high,

And like a kite taking flight, you pushed your love to the sky,

But like two rockets set in motion, two worlds did collide,

Oh woman…I see that tear from your eye…

Oh woman…is this, why you cry?

- Julie Busby

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