God’s Presence with a Single Mom
By Jennifer Noble
Feeling support as a mother is a tremendous gift, and for Dianne Boatright, even though she no longer has children at home, she remembers needing this gift during her transition to functioning as a single mother and raising three teenage daughters. Her heartache came in waves, initially experiencing the separation from a spouse who abused alcohol, to needing to navigate the struggles of running a household. These challenges were present for Dianne, yet so were God’s provisions in her immediate and extended family, and faith to help her through it.
She shares, “God is there in the picture all the time. He has been with me through my whole life, the accomplishments He’s guided, and even in the missions I’ve been involved in.”
Dianne remembers following her divorce, her parents stepped in to lend their support. Many times, she felt the shifts and transitions of growing up alongside her girls, and she knew the church was a catalyst for receiving comfort in familiar ways. Similar to what she had experienced in her home through her parents and grandparents, Dianne made it a priority to read the Bible more than once a week and to pray at the dinner table.
The constant call to lean into God’s word helped buffer the uncertainty they faced.
Her youngest daughter Pam battled asthma and needed hospital care through some of her worst attacks. At one point, they made five trips to the hospital in two months. With these breathing scares, a level of volatility arose with unpredictable health concerns, but so did opportunities to thrive within her community.
At the point Dianne was relocating to Sioux Falls, she was actually reading the paper when she first learned about First Presbyterian Church’s programs. They were offering, and still do, with a variety of topics in their adult education series. Dianne felt her desire to get involved in missions and to grow spiritually would be fulfilled at First Presbyterian Church. She not only has traveled on missions to Taiwan and Honduras, but she feels her role to reinforce connections on an individual basis is key to creating an atmosphere of support and safety.
“I’m willing to put my arm on a shoulder or give a hug when I feel there’s a need,” she shares. Further, she has chosen to remarry and finds her spouse Jack and their marriage to be a treasured relationship. It has brought about another season of blessings depicted to her in a gift from her daughter in a special way.
In looking ahead to Mother’s Day, Dianne shared a painting Pam created and mailed to her. The inscription written on the back is captured in the text within the image, as Pam shares, “May the Lord richly bless you as you draw near to Him in this season of your lives. He has given you each other for this sunset time and will grow you in powerful ways to love Him, love others and serve for Him.” As sunsets captivate and capture the beauty of the skies, may opportunities to celebrate a mother’s commitment bring moments of pause and reflection in honoring efforts of the mothers around us.
Want more: Check out First Presbyterian Church’s article on loneliness.
Jack & Dianne Boatright, First Presbyterian Church