I have copied an excerpt (most of this) from an email that I received from The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. I have personalized time in ministry to local single moms and have included Extending Grace’s contact information. I wanted to share it with our readers and encourage you to share it with your ministry leaders as well!
The Truth About Lysa Terkeurst, Ministry, and Single Moms by Jennifer Maggio
Like many of you, I read Lysa Terkeurst’s blog regarding the recent loss of her 25-year marriage. Through tears, I read the devastation and pain in Lysa’s words, as she had tried hard to salvage the marriage, suffered through the pain of infidelity, and walked the hard walk of addiction with her husband. I knew what courage it had taken to share that story with the world and how hard that letter must have been to write. I wanted to hold her hand, hug her, and let her know she wasn’t alone. I wanted to write some earth-moving comment on her social media page that would speak to right where she was and take the pain from her. There was no such comment. Words alone cannot possibly rectify the situation. Words alone cannot bring healing to the broken places of her story. Her journey will likely be a long and hard one. But the truth is her journey, behind closed doors, has already been a long and hard one. Lysa is walking a road that millions of women in this country are walking.
Having been in single mom’s ministry, here in the Portland area, for almost a decade, unfortunately, I can tell you that Lysa’s story is not unique. We have reached out to women whose lives have been turned upside down by the devastation of divorce – women who are drowning in sorrow and shame and financial disparity and disappointment and grief, women who never expected to be where they are, women who were abandoned by a spouse they loved, women who walked the walk of infidelity. This isn’t new news, sadly. We know that the evil one is roaming this earth seeking relationships that he can kill, searching for dreams that he may steal, and destroying thousands of lives along the way.
Did you know that there are 15 million single mothers in the United States, raising approximately 25 million children?
Did you know that they often fall prey to staggering statistics and a sense of exhaustion and overwhelm that only a single mother could know?
Did you know that an estimated 2 out of 3 single mothers aren’t going to church anywhere?
But perhaps more sad than all of that is the fact that many churches, in fact most churches, do not have a formal single mom’s ministry and outreach program. Single motherhood is the modern-day widow and orphan. Single mothers are the mission field, both locally and abroad.
What can we, the church—the collective body of Christ, do to minister to the needs of those, like Lysa, who are hurting in our communities? How can we practically serve and offer hope and give solace, as they parent their children alone? What impact can we have?
EXTENDING GRACE CAN HELP!
If you are reading this and you attend a church that does not have a single mom’s ministry that meets on a regular basis, start there. Begin the dialogue with a pastoral team member who can begin a program. Single mom’s outreaches begin the evangelism process. Single mom’s ministries begin the discipleship process. We must have both to change lives. I’m thankful for the many, many, many single moms whose lives are touched because churches across the nation see the need to minister to single mothers. I’m thankful for the current and former single moms…and the friends and family members of single moms….who are stepping up to begin this dialogue with their church leaders about how to be the hands and feet of Jesus. If you would like some local guidance, ideas, brainstorming or more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org! I’d love to sit down with you and share what works/what doesn’t work and get some great ideas from you as well. Looking forward to hearing from you soon!