Imagine the agony a single parent goes through when they are required by a court order to send their child for an extended visit with the other parent. Yes, it’s necessary and it’s fair, but it can be painful.
One single mum described her feelings this way: ‘I feel an incredible sense of loss. The loneliness immediately starts to set in, I worry constantly about their safety, but I resist the urge to call every hour to see how they’re doing. And when they do call me to tell me how much fun they’re having, I grieve over the fact that they’re having a life completely separate from my own. My only consolation is knowing that they’re coming home soon. But I’m haunted by the fear that they won’t want to come home to me.’
For the single parent who identifies with this hurting mother, there’s a way to get through the painful period of waiting. Instead of seeing this time alone as a period of isolation and deprivation, view it as an opportunity to recharge your batteries and reinvigorate your spirit. Spend time with friends. Read your Bible and pray. Return to a hobby you’ve set aside. Fill your hours with things that are impossible amid the responsibility of childcare, recognising that your children will benefit when you do. They’ll return to a re-energised you, instead of one coming off a time of depression. God says, ‘My grace is all you need.’ (2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT) Today draw on His grace.