“Tutored by the Lord: Single Parenthood,” Liahona, February 2017
I had not planned on becoming a single parent of four children in my mid-20s and found myself reeling. I had a modest home to care for, four small children, and no post-high school education. I wondered how I would ever financially support my young family. My answers did not come in days or months but over many years of obeying one prompting after another.
Fortunately I had the habit of turning to the Lord in times of trouble. One night the answer came clearly: “Go to school.” I wondered how this would be possible with the financial obligations I had, so I spoke to my parents and my bishop. They agreed that going to school was the right course, and within a few weeks I was enrolled at a local university, where I earned a degree in elementary education with a special education endorsement.
As a teacher, I was still not making enough money to meet the financial demands of my growing children. I continued to petition the Lord about the lack of funds. During a visit with my bishop, he recommended that I go back to school to obtain a master’s degree. I went home, prayed about it, and enrolled back in school the following semester.
Several years later I was prompted to go back to school again. I scheduled the needed tests, interviewed for programs in educational administration, and found myself enrolled, once again, in a master’s program at another local university. Upon its completion, new employment opportunities opened up to me that have enriched my life with new relationships, fostered personal growth, and helped me discover new talents.
In the temple one night, I was sharing my frustration with the Lord that in spite of my efforts, I was still not able to consistently make ends meet. I felt the warmth of heavenly communication reminding me that all my family’s needs had been met, either by my own work or by the generosity of others, and that as long as I remained obedient, we would be cared for. And as I am reminded by Alma 20:4, “I know, in the strength of the Lord [I] canst do all things.”
I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for the promptings to complete my education and the consequent employment opportunities. I am also grateful for all those in my life who have been so thoughtful throughout the years. I’ve learned I can do more than I thought possible with the help of my Heavenly Father. Of equal significance, I’ve learned to receive graciously and to give generously.