When my marriage ended in a divorce 14 years ago, I was devastated. Festive seasons and gatherings with friends were especially difficult initially as my misery seemed to be magnified in the presence of my happily married friends.

Grief is a painful process. At times, I tried to bury it but it would come back and hit me unexpectedly. Sometimes, it felt as if the pain would never go away. I moved on with my life as best as I could but inside me, I felt as lifeless as a dead branch. As a single mother, the pain was doubled, for I carry a special heartache for my child who has to grow up without a father.

Many times, God was at the receiving end of my grief. I bargained with God to bring my ex-husband back to the family, and when that didn’t happen, I started doubting God’s love for me. I thought God was punishing me for something that I had done in the past, and became despondent and felt unworthy of God. I also felt guilty for failing to keep the marriage that God had blessed.

I no longer feel ashamed of being a Catholic single mother for I am assured of God’s unconditional love for me and my child.

By God’s grace, I chanced upon the Beginning Experience (BE) ministry. After my first BE Weekend, I came away experiencing God’s forgiveness and love. Through that first weekend, and many subsequent ones as a team member, my identity as God’s precious child was restored.

There is no greater gift than to receive affirmation of God’s merciful love during the devastating aftermath of a divorce. I no longer feel ashamed of being a Catholic single mother for I am assured of God’s unconditional love for me and my child.

Through the BE community, I have come to know of many single-again persons who persevere to keep their faith in God in spite of the immense pain that they and their children have gone through.

Today, I have come to accept my divorce. There are still struggles that I have to face as a single mother but I am now more aware of my own strengths that will not be taken away from me just because I am divorced. I trust and know that God is also helping my child through her grief journey just like how He has helped me in mine.

This article is contributed by Beginning Experience Singapore and first published in Catholic News.
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Beginning Experience (BE) is a peer ministry to help grieving single-again persons move from the darkness of their grief into the light of a new beginning and renewed hope.

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