When tragedy do not triumph: Single Parenting Chronicles

Keep moving with lifeAs a little girl giving my “what I want to be when I grow speech” did not include being a single mom. Matter of fact, when I got into my upper teenage years, I rejected the idea of raising a child by myself like my mom did. I was determined to rise above statistics and I was rising until January 2009, my fear came true without any warnings. I. WAS. A. SINGLE. MOM! Not just a single mom, a young single mom. You’re probably wondering how, so let’s back up. On July 25, 2007 at 8:15 pm, my spouse (It was a common law union, however, I do not believe in common law spouses anymore) and I were blessed with a healthy baby boy weighing 5 pounds and 3 ounces. Everything was good until my son’s father was tragically killed in New Orleans. My life changed quickly as I took off one hat and put on several more hats of responsibilities. I was a single mom! How could it be?! Why me?! Does God hate me?! Is it payback for having a baby out of wedlock?! Someone help! Those were some of the thoughts I was having on top of thoughts of committing suicide.

I lost my best friend, my lover, my child’s father and honestly I thought I lost the world.  I felt like a new kid in a new school except this was a little more serious, I had to move over to the single mom’s club that I didn’t want to be in. Even though I was one, I didn’t let that break me. God was on my side and He made sure I knew that. He was there at every step of the way. Even in those dark moments that I wanted to give up and commit suicide, He was there to nurse me back to life, to bandage every wound that my heart bared. God started showing me ways on how to parent my son. He put resources in my life that would help me get to the next step. As I grew spiritually in my walk with the Lord, I also grew as strong as a mother. I remembered a couple of months after the death of my son’s father sitting in my living at the age of 23 thinking to myself that I need to do something with my life. I had no job, quit college in 2006, no money, no help, a single young black mom and was in a city by myself. With every circumstance of defeat facing me, I saw what I wanted to become but the reality was I didn’t have anything and I was living in the hood of Greenspoint with no degree, no job, no money, no plans or goals.

I was 22 at the time when I made the decision to start where I was applied to college. I started attending University of Phoenix online and I studied there for a year pursuing a degree in communication then transferred to the University of Houston- Downtown and started pursuing a degree in criminal justice and a minor in Psychology. That road was a long and challenging road, but I graduated with my Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice at the age of 27. I was overwhelmed with joy because the degree wasn’t just a degree but an accomplishment that took many tears, bruises, and sacrifices to obtain. I endured so much and was so scared after the tragic death of my son’s father, but that scared 22-year-old black girl grew up and faced her giants. She made it, I made it! I’m still a single mom and I will be 29 in July, but I’m stronger than I ever been. I’m courageous because the King lives inside me and strengthens me. I love God because He never stopped loving me, or never thought about giving up on me when I wanted to give up on myself.

We all have our shortcomings, but I want to say this to you; every heartache and heartbreak you have endured does not go unnoticed. You probably heard it so many times like me where it starts to sound like a cliché but God sees it all and even though sometimes it seems He is far away, know that He is closer than the breath He gave you. Those lonely nights that seem like it will be like that forever will pass away as you draw closer to God. Those tears that you cry and you think they are being wasted are being collected by God Himself.  If you are a single parent and you feel like you’re going to break, no you’re not, ask God for help. I remember after the death of my son’s father that my family and friends moved on with their life which was not a bad thing, but here I was still trying to figure out why he’s gone. Maybe you’re there now and it seems like when everyone emotionally moved on after the funeral that you’re still there reminiscing on their life while on earth and you still remember their birthdays, anniversaries, etc. as they pass by. God sees your hurt and He’s drawing near to you. I pray He opens your eyes to see it.  When the world grow silent and you become numb to life, God is fully awake and is working to make His presence known to you. If I can say one thing to you right now, I would tell you to hold on and try one more time to take another step. Looking back to that dark time, I felt like my life was over. From January 2009 up until September 12th 2009, I partied, got drunk numerous of times, smoked, had sex, cursed up a storm, wore itty bitty clothes, was destructive; I just did what I wanted to do as if my life was already dead. But God helped me through the mess and mistakes and He’s available to help you too. Sis/Bro, whatever you are going through right now, God is a life changer and He has greater plans for you and me. I didn’t see it in 2009 but oh hello 2015, you look way better than before. I’m praying for you and if you need further prayer, please email me at arabia.whitfield@yahoo.com. God bless you!

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