Well, single mom, it’s that time of year…CHRISTMAS. Everywhere you look you see festive lights twinkling in the night, Salvation Army volunteers ringing their bells, and TV commercials vying for your credit card number. It’s all supposed to be “merry and bright,” but if the truth be known, some of my most hurtful former days revolve around the holiday hoopla. If you’re like me, there are some Christmas memories you’d like to forget. Do you have any of those?

I remember my second Christmas as a single mom. Jason and Sara were five and three. My heart was bleeding because I didn’t want a divorce. My father was in a care facility, and my mother was with the children and me. She was trying her best to keep it all “cheerful” for us, and while the video was recording me beside the tree with the kids, Jason inquired, “Mommy, why isn’t daddy with us? Do you think he’ll buy you a Christmas present?” BOOM! Yep, I have it on tape to this day.

What do we do with painful memories? I’ve lived long enough to gain God’s perspective on those moments. Although it’s true many of us need trained counselors and godly friends along the way to help us navigate through devastating times, it’s also true that the longer we walk with Christ and seek to KNOW him and CLING to him, the easier it is to reflect on hurtful experiences and see God’s healing hand through it all. As I recount my divorce journey and all the consequences that came from it, I see God’s goodness in how he somehow worked it all together for a higher profit. 

I found this verse a week ago. Oh, how I love it—the perfect catalyst for this blog: 

“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands” (Psalm 143:5).

Single mom, please listen to me. If this is a difficult season for you, know this: It will not always be this way. For those seeking JESUS CHRIST, his work is progressive. Your current sorrows will one day—as you reflect—serve as a barometer of just how faithful God was in revealing to you who he is:

the Healer

the Comforter

the Provider

the Companion

the Joy-giver

the Sustainer

the ONE who grants peace

the ONE who gives an honorable self-worth

the ONE who bestows forgiveness to both others and you

the ONE who unfolds a new life plan

the One who finds you irresistibly beautiful 

the ONE who promises to never forsake you

the ONE who draws near to your prayers concerning your kids

and even the ONE who takes the sting out of hurtful video moments beside the tree

Christmas. It’s not about the festive lights, Salvation Army volunteers, or buying gifts. It’s about the Savior of the world—IMMANUEL, God with us—who waits for an invitation to gloriously sit on the throne of your heart this Christmas.

Pam Kanaly

About Pam Kanaly

Aloha! I’m Pam Kanaly, President and co-founder of Arise Ministries. But actually, I think Arise found me wanting to bless single moms years ago. Ministry was never on my mind as a kid. All I wanted to be was a hula dancer. So Mother enrolled me in the tiny tots’ class. Guess God knew I’d have two grandbabies born in Hawaii. I love the great outdoors. You might even find me spending time with my husband grizzly bear watching or camping. In fact, it was on a turkey hunt that God gave me the name Arise Ministries in 2002. I suppose it’s a good thing that I majored in Grammar in college since I love to write words of encouragement to single moms.