Originally published Wednesday, 19 May 2021.
Over twenty years ago, I found myself curled in a ball in the middle of my cold bathroom floor, crying hysterically. I was convinced that no one could possibly understand the depths of my pain. When would this misery end? I was broken. I had no money, few friends, and no hope. How was I going to raise these children alone for 18 years? How could I make it financially? Would my circumstances ever change? How could I ever get over all the abuse from my past?
There were a million questions, and I had no answers. That is my story – the story of a lonely single mom living on government assistance, running from God, and feeling like I could not push through. The next several years, I traveled a winding road of highs and lows, victories, and defeats. But I did push through. I made it through those early years of parenting alone. Although I had not attended church in years, I decided to get involved in my local church, rededicated my life to the Lord, and slowly began the journey of digging myself out of a financial and emotional hole. My heart found rest. During those desolate times, I learned to lean on the Lord when everyone else had failed me. I learned to dream again. I learned that God had planted things inside me that only I could do, that my past did not have to dictate my future. I have never forgotten what it was like to be that lonely, overwhelmed single mom.
Moms and dads, the best thing you can do for your children is to dream again!
Employers, the best thing you can do for your staff is to dream again!
Daughters, the best thing you can do for your future husband is learning to dream again!
When you were a kid, do you remember dreaming of becoming the next world-champion figure skater, the next President of the United States, or the high school coach? When did we lose our ability to dream? I understand it is difficult to get excited about dreams when you are barely keeping your head above water. When the kiddos are small, we do our very best to encourage them to dream and to hope. So, why, then, do we allow our own dreams to die?
We can dream! Maybe it has been years since you have thought about those things God placed in your heart, oh so long ago. Maybe you feel you are too far off course, or the dream is too far gone. Maybe you are too scared to even utter aloud the hopes you have for your future. Learn to dream. Learn to ask God for big ideas and vision! There are things He wants you to do in this life, so go back to Him and ask Him.
Jennifer Maggio is a national voice for single mothers and hurting women. Her personal story has been featured in hundreds of media venues, including The New York Times, Daystar Television, The 700 Club, and many others. She is CEO/Founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries, a national nonprofit that works with churches to develop single mom’s programs and currently serves more than 1,500 churches.
The Life of a Single Mom has served 406,000 single mothers over the last decade and counting. Maggio is an author of several books, including The Church and the Single Mom. For more information, visit www.jennifermaggio.com.