Click For Hope

single mom

I will be the father of your children

Clickforhope, Single Parents, Single MomJasmine LopezComment
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Please share your story:

As a single parent it has definitely been a rough patch, from waking up super early, to being the last one to go to sleep. Mommy duties never end. When I became a single mother, I was so afraid. All I could think about was how would I survive with my 2 daughters. I was an emotional wreck as I was a victim of verbal abuse. I felt as if I was never going to get out of that relationship. I stayed with him because I was afraid of being a single parent. I could only imagine the challenges that were going to come my way the moment I would decide to let go. When I finally decided to let go, I faced lots of struggle. I now knew that all the responsibility was going to be on my shoulders. I now had to be a single parent to 2 daughters. I have to teach them good and bad. I fell into an anxious season. I felt as if I was losing my breath, as if I couldn't handle the weight of being a single mom. The Lord rescued me one night, comforted me, and said "I will be the father of your children." I felt a peace and even though sometimes the struggles are there, the Lord always reminds me of how blessed I am to see my children grow. To see them wake up next to me, to see the smile on their faces when I'm down, brings me so much joy. There are days where I would cry at night because of the pressure of having to raise 2 daughters. Not having that support of a father for my daughters would break me. My day consists of a chaotic morning waking them up, to dropping them off, to picking them up from after school and daycare. There are days where I have late dinners, at around 9:00 pm, because my children come before me. You learn to manage your time and day efficiently. And on my days off, they are my world, I spend lots of quality time with them. I pray every night over them, so that the Lord can guide me to be a parent who raises them well.

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How has your story shaped who you are today?:

It has definitely made me stronger as a person. I am more independent and it has allowed me to see things differently. I am stronger in my faith because of this circumstance. I feel like I can conquer anything. There is no holding me back from growing as a person and growing spiritually. When I learned to let the burden out and allow the Lord to build me as a new creation I was able to be free. I can now say I'm blessed to be a single mom.

What compelled you to want to share your story with us?: I want to let other single parents out there to know that they're not alone. I want others to be encouraged through my story and push forward,  bring hope and not be afraid, don't overthink the process.

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What encouraging words would you give to someone who shares a similar story?: I would tell them to never feel alone, to always lean on God's word to pull you through. To always smile through the trouble and to see your children as blessings.

Forte Wayne | Alexandria's Story

Clickforhope, Divorce, AbuseJasmine LopezComment

Please share your story: : I am a single mom of the most loving & free spirited (almost) 8 year old, Everest. When I discovered I was pregnant at 22 I was in shock and not ready. I chose to plan an adoption and his birth dad agreed, since we were young and unmarried. At 7 months pregnant I broke down... I couldn't possibly go through with this. I sought God and clearly heard him remind me He has never and will never leave me alone. He said I can and will do this. I chose to raise my son & his birth dad chose to walk away. 

Over the next year I met a man who would soon after become my husband and adopt Everest. I thought I finally had all I wanted. A family, stability, marriage. Soon after we were married I realized I didn't truly know the man I was married to & the relationship became abusive. After 4 years of abuse, 1 separation, many sleepless night crying out to God... he left with a text & filed for divorce that week.

It's been 3 years since then & I am thankful to God for keeping his promise of never leaving us and always giving me strength to get through the days. Some days I still worry I may have messed up the first years of my sons life but then remember God is not only writing my story but he is writing my sons as well. My son is just as much a child of God as I am & God is a faithful God who redeems.

Last year I started a company Foreveresta in dedication to my son & being a light in the world which can be so dark. It is a mobile retail boutique with a mission of educating guests through global artisans and brands, retail partnerships, and mission-driven organizations while supporting emerging entrepreneurs in the developing world through economic development of underserved communities. 
My hope is that everyone who has a chance to walk in our doors can experience a glimmer of hope and leave encouraged. I hope through this my son will grow to see he is valuable and can achieve anything he dreams with God on his side.

How has your story shaped who you are today?: Being a mother has taught me of God's deep unconditional always forgiving love for us. How at times we walk away, mess up, think we know better whats best for us yet he never once changes. He is always right there ready to redirect and help us back up. I have learned to be still with God & trust what HE says is good, right, and purposed for us... even when I can't understand it. Just because something seems to be everything you want and seems to be "good" doesn't mean its ultimately what IS good for you. God's ways are unlike ours but HE IS reliable & trustworthy. I have learned true joy, contentment, and peace come only from our heavenly Father. Nothing of this world will ultimately satisfy, so I continue learning to abide in Him first.

Why should your story be selected to be featured on our blog?: I have a passion for sharing honest stories from my life with others in hopes they can be encouraged and say "me too!" There is something comforting in those words. When we don't feel as alone in our circumstance and can stand along side one another in love. I know my "story" is still being written but God has given me a voice and these stories to share with other women who can relate.

What encouraging words would you give to someone who shares a similar story?: Lean not on your own understanding but TRUST GOD in ALL you do, he will surely direct your paths. 
Take one day at a time and don't be to hard on yourself. Give yourself and your kiddos lots of grace in love, stay humble, and laugh as much as you can. Laughter is good medicine for the soul :) You are always enough and you are never alone!

He gives Beauty for Ashes

Loss, Widow, Single Parents, Single Mom, Clickforhope, Placental AbruptionJasmine Lopez3 Comments
"I have absolute trust in His sovereignty, wisdom and goodness. I've learned that the most epic adventures await where your feet no longer touch the bottom of the ocean floor." -Brandy

Please share your story:

I was raised in a Christian home, and have been around/involved in ministry my whole life. I thought I had things pretty well figured out as far as God and life were concerned, and felt like all of my service had somehow earned me a "Hardship Pass". Not that my earlier days were easy breezy (they involved family issues and divorce, lots of moving around, difficulty making friends, etc.), but I knew a lot of people that had it way worse than me.

In 2006, after 4 years of dating, I married my college sweetheart, Jonathan, or "JoNate". I was a new Labor & Delivery Nurse and he was in full-time ministry at a fairly large church. Within 3 months of being married, he was diagnosed (not to my full knowledge) with some pretty significant health issues. 2 years later, we moved away from family, friends, and secure jobs in TN, to follow the Lord's lead to Gainesville, FL. We were getting a fresh start, and it did wonders for our marriage! 6 weeks after we moved, I got pregnant with our first child (after trying for over a year!). At 20 wks I had a placental abruption and we lost our sweet baby girl.

To give a very brief overview of that year, in Feb 2009 we lost our baby, March had a lease purchase agreement fall through on one of our houses in TN and we had to deed back a lot we had purchased to build on in TN as well, April my husband was "demoted" due to changes in his new employer's plans...and totaled our second vehicle (which we’d had for 6 months:-I), July a week after paying off the last of $1000's in medical bills from my pregnancy complications, I got a kidney stone...incurring more medical bills. Then, in October, my husband's little sister, Jessica, was killed in a car accident-leaving behind her 21 y/o husband of six months, 2 y/o daughter and 3 wk old son.

During this "eventful" year, our marriage and ministry were thriving. We were leading a church "small group" with 25-35 people in our (apartment!) home each week...it was incredible! Each trial served to drive us closer to each other and to God. We were fasting together, praying together more frequently, seeking after the Lord...we were desperate! Shortly after Jessica died, I got pregnant again. This pregnancy was completely different and I delivered our healthy, beautiful baby girl, Madison, at 39 weeks! We were so in love! On Sunday, Aug 29th I posted on fb about how happy I was to finally be able to take Madison to church, and how good it was to hear my husband leading worship again..."I couldn't imagine life getting any better than this."

Six days later, Labor Day weekend, I woke up to find my husband unresponsive. He had passed away sometime early in the morning from what we later found out was a genetic heart condition. I was scheduled to return to work from maternity leave in another week, and instead found myself in a whirlwind of funeral arrangements and flooded with friends, family and phone calls.

The phone calls included one to the HR Dept at my job to find out how to activate the new life insurance policy that we had just placed 3 wks prior, after our daughter was born. I was so relieved that we had acted quickly on that. However, my relief very quickly turned into shock and panic when I found out that the insurance company's system had a glitch, and our policy increase was never fully processed...which left it at $5k...and covered 1/3 of the funeral costs. And here I was left with student loans, 2 mortgages on our rental properties in TN (which weren't bringing any profit), a hefty car payment on our 4 yr old car, rent, ridiculous Florida utilities and other monthly bills...with a newborn! My husband had handled 100% of our finances from day one, and I didn't know usernames and passwords for a single account. It took three months of sifting through statements and making phone calls to figure it all out.

I have so many stories of things that happened with the houses...from sitting empty for up to 9 months at a time, to trees falling on the roof, getting destroyed by tenants and having to be renovated-despite having a property manager that was supposed to be helping take care of them, the legal processes necessary because we didn't have a will, getting dropped from 2 insurance companies in 3 months while waiting on the legal process to be finalized, facing foreclosure a couple times for different reasons and the possibility of bankruptcy...so many crazy stories to tell! But each one is a crazy testament of God's faithfulness and provision!

Today, outside of the one remaining rental property, I stand debt-free, with great credit and I am scheduled to close on our beautiful new (to us:) home in Franklin, TN in August. This process started out of the blue and a full year sooner than I had hoped and planned...this is nothing short of miraculous!

It’s invigorating to accomplish feats with hard work and putting in all of your effort. But it’s all the more exciting, and humbling, to know that you had little to do with getting where you are! For every battle or trial I've faced, (and there have been many) I have been incredibly delivered and I am living proof that, “In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

 

How has your story help shape you into who you are today?:

I've realized just how powerful God's strength and joy are in my utter lack of qualification and in my greatest weakness. I've discovered the safety that accompanies submission to God's plans for my life, even when I am so far beyond understanding. I have absolute trust in His sovereignty, wisdom and goodness. I've learned that the most epic adventures await where your feet no longer touch the bottom of the ocean floor.

What compelled you to share your story on our blog:

I have such a heart to encourage people facing loss, or going through seemingly impossible situations. I've watched the Lord do absolutely unbelievable things in my life, and I know that He's able to do it for others too! I just want to spread hope!!

What encouraging words would you give to someone who shares a similar story?:

Never give up...no matter how hopeless your situation seems. As long as there is breath in your lungs, God is willing and able to heal, redeem and restore. He delights in those who place their trust in Him. He gives beauty for ashes....

Photos by: Jazi Photo

Makeup by: Jacqueline Gamache

Single Parent | D Family

Clickforhope, Single ParentsJasmine LopezComment
"Being apart of #Clickforhope would mean so much to me because I've never taken family photos with Mckenzie." -Shaniqua Davis

Please share your story:

I am a single parent of a beautiful six year old girl named Mckenzie.  Mckenzie and I recently relocated to Chicago from Detroit, MI to follow my career dreams. Although I'm only 25 years young, I work very hard to take care of McKenzie alone. Being apart of #Clickforhope would mean so much to me because I've never taken family photos with Mckenzie. With all of the other expenses that I take care of alone, the expense of a photo shoot seems like it could never make it to the top of my to do list.

I would truly appreciate the opportunity to look back on our journey as we grow together as Mother and daughter...I am still growing and maturing along with my daughter. I would love to have the opportunity to look back on these times, through a lens and reflect on how far we have come.

How has your story shaped you into who you are today?:

My story has shaped me into everything I am today because everything I do requires 3x the extra thought because of my daughter. I found out I was pregnant with my daughter the day before my high school prom. I chose to continue to go to college and graduate for me and her. I chose to continue to follow my dreams so she will always know that anything is possible. There are no limitations on dreams, my daughter is the most positive person that I know. Being a single parent can be tough at times but her positivity and love makes everything worth it.

Everything thing that I do requires me to think twice and about if I'm making the right decision. This has truly helped shape my life and make me more resilient.

What compelled you to share your story?:

I think our story should be selected because the teamwork that my daughter and I possess could be the inspiration that someone else is searching for. I want to share my story with the world and let everyone know that there are absolutely no limitations on accomplishing your dreams and living the life you deserve to live.

What encouraging words would you give to someone who shares a similar story? :

Have faith, everything always works out as it should.

Single Mom | Martha

Single Parents, ClickforhopeJasmine LopezComment

What is your story?

Hello! My name is Martha McGrane and I am a single mother to a beautiful baby boy named Aidan Joseph McGrane who turned 1 on 10/19/2014. I work full-time at a non-profit agency with children who are survivors of abuse and trauma.

What/who is your inspiration?

I am inspired by a close friend of mine, Tara Lattanzi. She gave birth to a baby girl this summer, and is also in the process to adopt her foster child. Her story is a picture of God’s love for us, and how deeply He cares for us, even through struggles.

How has your story defined or not defined who you are today?

My story has given me a deeper understanding of who God is. He has defined me as a Mother, and daughter of Christ, even through struggles he has blessed me, and given me strength to be the best mother, daughter of Christ, and friend.

Why should your story be selected to be featured on our blog?

I would like my story to be selected in your blog as a way to give other mothers a sense of hope and also community. To know that they are not alone and that through dififcult times, God’s love still exists.

What encouraging words would you give to someone who shares a similar story?

Don’t give up. Never forget how BEAUTIFULLY and WONDERFULLY you are made. God’s deepest desire for you is to be to best person that God has made you to be.

Single Mom | Ugochi

Single Parents, ClickforhopeJasmine LopezComment

Please share a bit of your story:
I’m a teacher and a single mom. This year was a struggle; I wanted to finish my degree program before my son was born and I did. Despite the loads of rejection that I’ve faced from various friends and family I’m confident God will bring a better 2015.

What/who is your inspiration?
My principal. She is also a single mom and aspire to be a principal so I know if she can do it I can too.

How has your story not defined who you are today?
I am still pressing forward with my goal of becoming a principal. A child is not a hindrance to my goals. A child is a blessing to me and my future.

Why should your story be selected to be featured on our blog?
I have not struggled more than anyone. My struggle is just different. I want single moms to be encouraged that they don’t have to give up on owning homes, career goals, finding a mate, or simply enjoying life. I want to be featured so I can encourage.

What encouraging words would you give to someone who shares a similar story?
Life isn’t over. It gets easy. You and your child are still loved by God.

Single Mom | My Mom

Single Parents, ClickforhopeJasmine LopezComment

Meet my beautiful mommy! I have been begging to photograph her for over a year now, but our calendars just never aligned. But I'm so excited that I finally was able to capture her beauty. As a single mom my whole life, I saw how much she had to sacrifice and give for my brother and I. Pampering herself really didn't exist much. We were her motivation to continue on with the long days, even when she was so tired. I remember in 7th grade moving into a town home to call our own, which is where she still resides. I finally had my own bedroom, which I was so excited about. I remember the excitement she had when got the keys to her house. I remember going shopping for a new bedroom set, and the pure joy she had when we finally found a set that I liked ( I was very picky). I'm forever grateful for all her sacrifices so I could have a good life. She is a huge inspiration to me, and taught me what it means to work hard to accomplish your goals and desires. However, now that we are adults and have moved on, I have pressed her with the question, "What are you passionate about?" For years she hasn't been able to answer that question, but now she has found a love for nail art and makeup...you should totally see her collection....it's huge! :) She watches Youtube tutorials like crazy, and enjoys doing my nails whenever I come over. I continue to encourage her to go after her passion, and hope that one day going back to school for her will become a reality.

I also can't fail to mention that she loves my girls!!! They call her "Lita," by her request. I joke around that she has parental weekend rights to them, b/c she has taken DK for the weekend ever since she turned one. I love to see her so involved in their lives, she spoils them like crazy! I guess that is the job of a grandma, huh? One Christmas season, while showing me the boxes of clothes she bought for DK (Savannah wasn't around yet) she said something that brought tears to my eyes....she said, "I know I couldn't have done this for you.....but I can now. It's like my second chance for all that I missed out on."

And so to all the single moms out there, it's never to late to go after your dreams. Where ever you are in your journey of single motherhood, know that you aren't alone. Just do the best that you can. Make the most of the time you have with them. Your kids will love you for it!

Hair and Makeup: Erica Alexis Artistry