Charlene Williams talks about adapting to change well. We discuss how change or transition as a single parent can be hard on our kids, and how sometimes we struggle with change when it’s an answer to prayer. Below are highlights from our conversation. The complete interview can be found on Grace for Single Parents Podcast, episode 65.
When Your Struggles Become Your Ministry
Charlene of Father to the Fatherless talks about how her ministry was born from her struggles of being a single parent.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. Psalm 68:5
We talk about the way society views single parents both inside and outside of the church.
There are things (as single parents) you need to discuss and needs that need to be met. I noticed in church, there’ll be a mother’s group or women’s ministry, but single mothers? You straddle these two paths.
If you are a single mom, do you not deserve to have a community that understands you, supports you and shares the load?
Adapting to Change as a Single Parent
How we adapt to change is different as a single parent. We have different changes that married moms have that we need to address. Such as divorce, separation, co-parenting, children being introduced to a parent’s partner.
Adapting to change as a single parent “can be really hard. Because we don’t have as much freedom, change can be quite dramatic in regards to your family dynamic because it’s just you and your child or children. So you haven’t got that flexibility when it comes to change.”
Charlene talks about a recent season of change in her life and the difficulties, even though it was something she prayed would happen.
We talk about finding time during seasons of change to spend with God. Part of Charlene’s “quiet time” is to start the day with God.
- A devotional reading for the Bible in a year
- Worship and prayer in the car driving to work
- Writing down 5 things she’s grateful for each day.
We both use One Line A Day: A Five-Year Memory Book to record what happened each day. Charlene just started this year, and I’m in my 5th year. We talk about looking over the years what we were doing and how God answered prayer.
“When you are so overwhelmed with things happening and change, you just need to find that one thing you’re really grateful for.”
“When I think about transition and change, like with age and wisdom, you become a little bit more assertive and you know what you want and if it works for your family and you get better at saying yes or no.”
We talk about being so busy and overwhelmed and the effects on our kids, particularly when we’re the only parent in the home. And how our children appreciate just having us home as they get older – whether they recognize it or not.
The balance we have to make between earning more money as a single-parent household vs. taking a cut in pay to be home for our kids, if possible.
Last words from Charlene:
“Seek God, spend quality time with God just to hear his voice and for reassurance, because it can be really tough when you haven’t got another adult at home to bounce off, but God’s there for you and put yourself and your family first.”
I have a tendency at times to try to prove I’ve got it together as a single parent and I’m really conscious about the stigma. but you don’t want to overcompensate to the detriment of your health and wellbeing.
“In a few months’ time, you’ll look back and think, “oh my gosh. And that was really challenging” and there’ll be a new lesson. This is just a season.”
Where to Find Charlene:
She hopes to get her website launched sometime this year.