Living Well Delivered from Guilt Forgiving herself helped her find grace to help others By Damika Davis hen I found out I was pregnant I was an emotional mess. I was excited about the opportunity to bring life into this world but I felt extremely guilty. I was going to be a single mother. Not only was I coming out of a failed relationship, but after my daughter was born, I went through postpartum depression. Although I made it through postpartum depression, I allowed guilt to control my life and consume me for many years. I knew from experience what it was like to be raised in a single family home and I watched my mother endure her struggles raising two children alone. Raised on the South Side of Chicago in the Ida B. Wells Homes, resources were limited, but the love of my strong-willed mother encouraged me to reach for the stars. As a single mother at the age of 26, I was afraid because I knew the struggles I would have to endure. I chose to hold onto my guilt, not forgive myself and therefore, not allow myself to heal. In my selfishness, I pushed my child’s father away, not allowing him an opportunity to try to be a father to his child. My turning point of healing came when my daughter started displaying the same feelings of rejection and emotional aggression that I had. It was a wake up call. I knew it was time for me to set an example. My daughter was my light and path to an understanding of God’s love and despite what I thought to be mess it was His way of using me for ministry. Valuable time was lost but the wisdom learned is a testimony to encourage other single mothers to get over it and endure. I can’t make up for the lost time I blocked, but it’s a joy to see my daughter’s relationship with her father grow. I started The Daughters Delivered By Grace Foundation in 2010 because I wanted to give single mothers what I sometimes found difficult to find. Sometimes I felt stuck when looking for assistance, not just financially but emotionally. The Daughters Delivered By Grace Foundation is dedicated to impacting the lives of single mothers by inspiring, empowering, and connecting them with other single mothers. The foundation has presented 26 The Well Magazine/ Spring 2013 W workshops to encourage single mothers to establish a plan to raise a healthy family including in-depth discussions about dealing with hurt, fears, anxiety and guilt. We are here to help mothers continue with education, stay financially stable, pursue a career, raise healthy productive families and build positive relationships with the fathers of their children while allowing them to heal from their hurt in the process. It's very important for single mothers to stay in prayer, have help with a network of others that share the same experiences, and get counseling for themselves and their child if necessary. This is not something you have to endure alone. God can turn our struggles into testimonies to help someone else.