by Patience Enyinda
I can say like David that “I have been young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor their seed begging for bread”, Psalm 37:25. We are declared righteous the moment we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior. So I can say I am one of the righteous!!
I was born and raised in a polygamous family in Nigeria, West Africa. This practice is normal in my culture and still goes on to this day. My mother was the sixth wife; my dad spent most of his life as an Anglican Pastor and Chief of the town. Though my dad was not born again, he had the fear of God and made sure his children went to Church every Sunday. I was sheltered growing up in a small town where every one knew every one. My dad left the ministry when the Church changed their requirements and asked that he let go of all his wives except one to continue as a Pastor. My dad full of compassion could not abandon any of his wives with children.
My husband and I were both from this small town; we got married when I was 18 years old and he was 24 years old both unbelievers. He left to study at Alabama A&M University a few Months after our marriage and I joined him 3 years later. I had accepted Christ as my Savior in High School during his absence. Our relationship became rocky as soon as I joined him because we were “unequally yoked”. We were separated for five years after our first two children. We came back together because his parents insisted that he take his wife and children back. We had two more children and separated again, this time both of his parents were dead and we finally divorced six Months later.
At the time of our second separation my last child was just six Months old; he was one year old when the divorce was final. Though I came from a large family of 18 siblings and countless Nieces, Nephews, Aunts Uncles, Cousins etc; I had no relatives in the US. I did not know what to do to care for 4 children alone in a foreign Country. I did the only thing I knew and learned as a child during those days that my dad kept us in church. As a child, I was very close to my dad and watched him pray and call upon God even if I do not think he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior until 1986 when I visited and led him to Christ.
I cried to God day and night, asking why He allowed me to have four children to raise alone. I remember saying “God you know me and know how fragile I am that I am not strong enough to raise these kids by myself”. One day God led me to Isaiah 54:13 – it says all your children shall be taught by the Lord and great shall be their peace. It just felt as if God was standing right there and talking to me. I embraced that verse and read the entire chapter of Isaiah 54 every day and sometimes several times a day just to remind myself what He has promised. Sometimes I tried to remind God of His promise when the going got tough, (as if He had forgotten).
Over the years I can say He has been Faithful to His word, He has taught my children like He said. He has directed and guided me in every decision. He has even redirected me when I make mistakes. God has spoken to me in dreams about what to say to a child when I didn’t know how to advise them. Just as husband and wife will deliberate on what action to take in raising their children; I have deliberated with God on what action to take and He will let me know each time. He has scolded me when I was hash on my kids or when I was not firm enough.
To the single moms or parents: you are not alone raising your children. God will be there with you if you let Him. He is a husband, wife, father to your children, your protector, provider; He is everything you need when you need Him. He will show up at every situation, He will speak to you if you let Him. When people ask me what I did to raise such amazing well adjusted and productive children. My answer is always “nothing” but actually I did something – I realized early on that I was not capable of raising them and allowed God to take over. That was the best decision I ever made. My heart is full of joy all the time but it may not always show because of my personality. I GIVE HIM ALL THE GLORY!!!