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About the Writer:
Joanne Sampl

With grown step-children, college age sons and a self-employed husband, Joanne offers her time to God and to others. Her interest in writing and communications brought her back to college as an adult and through several reinventions of her own business and ministries. With time on her hands, she writes about God and life.



Single Mom Tears

By Joanne Sampl

Synopsis: A glimmer of peace from God helps a single mom hope.

The door closes. Immediately the silence slices through the echoes of the goodbyes. The weight of two days alone load down the young mother’s spirits. This is the first of many silent weekends she must endure. The strain is almost unbearable already, and it’s only been a few seconds since her children left with their father.

There is no stopping them. The tears stream down her already crimson cheeks. Her eyes sting as the intense saline floods every lash. Every pore of her face sloshes with moisture as she throws herself face down onto the second-hand sofa and shudders in her pillow-smothering wailing. Today, she unconsciously decides, she won’t force herself to stop the tears. She knows she has nothing left to barricade them now. She has nothing left but tears.

A few hours later, the tornado of emotions subsides for the young woman. The crisp morning sunlight through the window over the sofa is now dull with the passage of time. Shadows dance around the room. Her body aches from the release of her inner turmoil. The silence still stabs at her callously.

“Will I cry like this every weekend?” she asks herself, turning over on the sofa and glaring at the cracks in the unfamiliar ceiling of her new apartment. “Will I always feel this alone?”

She stands unsteadily, dizzy from the hours of being horizontal. She makes it to the tiny bathroom to wash her face and blow her nose on the generic brand tissues. Her throat feels dry and parched from the outpouring of fluids, but nothing quenches her. The door to the boys’ bedroom whispers to her alluringly. It calls to her mother’s heart, just as if the boys themselves were on the other side, repeating the impatient “Mom, Mom, Mom” stalling techniques of their nightly bedtime ritual.

She opens the door to an explosion of mayhem. In their hurry, the boys left their room a mess. Shoes, clothes, toys and books are scattered across the shag carpeting. She isn’t angry that they didn’t do what she asked. It gives her something to do now. Each toy is gently replaced in the toy chest, and each garment is relegated to the hamper. Shoes are paired in the bottom of the closet. The stacks of books, all well worn from the frequent “Read me this one, Mommy” pleas are one by one put on the shelf.

As her chore of love finishes, the young mother turns to the bunk beds and habitually straightens and smoothes the covers. Under the pillow of the lower bunk is her youngest son’s favorite book: All You Ever Need by Max Lucado. How many times she read this book to her boys! She stares at the cover illustration, soaking up the gentle smile of the woman pouring water from a heavy jug into a wooden bucket.

“Will I ever smile like that again?” she thinks, as her mind wanders back to her heartache again. Her feelings scroll quickly through her thoughts: “I’m afraid. I’m sad. I’m lonely. I’m tired. I’m lost. I’m worried. I’m needy. I’m so weak. I’m just a mess.” No wonder she can’t smile anymore. No wonder she aches from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet, and she feels nothing but pain and loss.

She opens the book as she flops to the floor as a discarded teddy bear kicked out from under the covers. The introduction pages are new to her, though, since her children always insisted on jumping straight to the story. The words that stand out to her are, “God’s grace is a gift more precious than water in a desert. It is all you and your children ever need.”

“God’s grace…it is all you and your children ever need.” Her mind repeats the principle over and over.
“Even now, God?”

Her voice breaks the silence for the first time since she stopped crying.

“Is your grace really all I will ever need? Is it all the boys will ever need?”

Then, like the warmth of her children’s hugs, she feels a glimmer of peace. The truth is clear. Grace is all she needs, to get through the silence, to get through the rest of her weekend and all the ones to follow. And, even to get through the rest of her life.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." – 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

Copyright © October 24, 2004– Joanne Sampl. All rights reserved.


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