Arise, Ye Paralyzed Single Moms!
BATON ROUGE — Today Amanda Carroll is the epitome of a successful single mother of three. She is the host of a daily radio program heard nationwide on 450 Christian radio stations. Her show, which airs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays has made her a household name for 14 million listeners.
But not long ago, things were very different for Amanda Carroll.
she told supporters of The
Life of a Single Mom Ministries that she and her husband had an ideal life with their three small children in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Then one day her husband was late coming in from an out-of-town trip. “When he finally got home, I knew something was wrong. He had a look of panic on his face and said, ‘I’m leaving you!’ I didn’t try to talk him out of it. I should have. I found out later the sordid details.”
Her world collapsed. She had little income and no help with her children.
“I had no life except what I had built with him. I cast my lot with him,” she said.
She faced overwhelming challenges on every front. But one of the worst things she faced was an almost complete paralysis. Like so many single moms, she had trouble knowing what to do next.
One of her worst disappointments was her church. “I was afraid to go back to my church. We had been teaching Sunday School together. It was the perfect church that people want to go to. How could I walk in with three children, one in a stroller, and no husband?”
“At my new church, I wondered where the single moms were. They weren’t in church at all.”
“So many of us are like the paralyzed man in Mark 2:1. Jesus was preaching to a multitude of people. The paralyzed man heard about Jesus and got four of his friends to carry him there to be healed.”
“The crowd was so large that they could not come near Jesus. So they dug a hole in the roof and lowered the man on a mat to get him near Jesus.”
“When Jesus saw him, we said, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’ But the people were not satisfied with that. They wanted him healed. Then Jesus asked, ‘Which is easier, to say to the paralyzed man your sins are forgiven or Get up, take your mat and walk?’ And Jesus told them that he had authority to forgive sins on earth. Then he told the man, ‘I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.’ The man got up, took his mat, and went home.”
“We single moms are like that man. First, we must take away the shame. However you arrived at this place, your sins can be forgiven. That is the first step to be healed from the paralysis you are in. We must not think that our circumstances control us.”
“I say to you, ‘Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house!’”
“The Life of a Single Mom Ministry reminds me that you are not a mistake. You do not have to be paralyzed.”
“Nearly a year after my husband left me, my friend and I hatched a plan. I needed a full-time job and I was going to leave on Aug. 1, exactly one year after he left. But I didn’t know where we would go.”
“We decided to have an epic yard sale. It lasted three days. I had to have the money. I called the moving people and asked them to bring me a POD. They asked where I was moving. I said I didn’t know. I would tell them later. Meanwhile, we were filling the POD with our things. I was on the phone, calling everyone I knew in radio. I told them I needed a job. Then I got a call from a friend, who was the program director of a national radio network. He said, ‘I have a job for you!’”
“He said, ‘We are prepared to offer you a job with K-LOVE radio.’ I said yes! I had to be in California before kindergarten started Aug. 7. The lady who booked the flight booked it for Aug. 1 — exactly the date I had picked! On the plane, my four-year-old, two-year-old, and 18-month-old annoyed everyone on the flight!”
“Sometimes you are the paralyze mom who needs to be healed. Sometimes you are one of the friends who carried the paralyzed mom. I’m doing this, because someone did it for me!”
More than 75 Baton Rougeans gathered for the fundraising event at Kress downtown. The organization’s founder, Jennifer Maggio of Baton Rouge, told the audience her life story, which included being physically and sexually abused as a child, having been pregnant four times by age 19, and living in the projects.
But she turned her life around, went back to school, and became a corporate executive with a Fortune 500 company. She won the Circle of Excellence Award 11 times with her company. She earned a six-figure income. She said, “I thought I’d retire from that job!”
But she met her husband, and they adopted their children. She decided to walk away from corporate America to work full-time without pay to start Life of a Single Mom Ministry.
“Right now, two out of three single moms do not have a church. We must reach out to them.”
Maggio advocates churches starting ministries aimed directly at single moms, in order to help them find God’s forgiveness and bring them into the body of Christ.
She distinguishes between a singles ministry and a ministry to single moms, which are quite different, she said.
At the fundraising event at the old Kress Building in downtown Baton Rouge, the audience was filled with those who want to help single moms. Most of the audience was composed of married women and some of their husbands.
Emcee Keith Cox, a supporter of Life of a Single Mom Ministry, urged people to get involved with the organization. He said that under Jennifer Maggio’s leadership, it has grown from one support group in Baton Rouge to 1,200 support groups all over the United States and in 19 foreign countries.
Cox said, “No single mom should ever have to walk alone. As a dad, I have often been overwhelmed. How do the single moms do it? My mother always told me, when you see God moving, join in! Join with us in Life of a Single Mom!”
For more information, go to www.TheLifeofaSingleMom.com.