Linda Ranson Jacobs heads up the Single Parenting Division of the National Center for Biblical Parenting. Here is a little bit more about her personally, her testimony, and current interests.
I have always loved the Lord – from my earliest memories, the church and His people filled my life. As a child, I pictured myself as a Christian wife, serving the Lord and raising God-fearing children. However, after seventeen years of marriage, my husband walked out and left me to raise our two children by myself. At the time, I was sure my dreams of serving the Lord had been destroyed by this divorce.
But slowly, God revealed to me that my journey with Him had not ended. He used my most devastating experiences of a divorce and later, the death of another spouse, to grow me and draw me closer to Him. Through the journey of raising my children alone, the Lord gave me the gift to speak, write and encourage single parents.
I also spent many years working with children that had challenging behaviors. I ran a therapeutic child-care where the majority of the children were diagnosed with a behavior disorder or had severe emotional wounds. While society and even churches disregard these children, the Lord showed me that His love is the same for every child. Over the years, He has developed a deep understanding in me of how to work with and accommodate these children. And He has blessed me with an incredible intuitiveness to see into the heart of hurting children and know how to best serve them.
After my own children were grown (and yes they are God-fearing young adults), I began to search for an avenue to encourage single parents and also help the hurting child. To me, it seemed the local church looked at single parent ministries as a burden rather than an opportunity to impact the Kingdom. I was called to many churches around Oklahoma, Texas and other states to speak to single parents. During this time, I could not find any particular denomination or faith-based organization that supported single parent families.
In 2002, I was called to North Carolina to develop DivorceCare for Kids (DC4K) for Church Initiative. DC4K is a program for churches to assist them in ministering to children with divorced parents. I have seen the immense impact on many children devastated by divorce. Many of them have challenging behaviors due to emotional wounds. But, once they find Christ and feel the loving arms of a church family reaching out to them, they find hope, help and healing.
I love the Lord and His people with all my heart. I don’t have the same dreams I did as a young child but I still want to serve and honor the Lord. My own children are now grown with children of their own. Through raising my children alone, experiencing divorce and grieving the death of a mate through cancer, I have learned that life is an ever-exciting journey with twists and turns, valleys and tall mountains. It is a wonderful journey that never ceases to be amazing. I stand in awe of what the Lord has done and continues to do in my life.
Currently my hobbies and interests include growing flowers and making flower arrangements. There’s something about fresh flowers and their aroma that fills me with calmness. I think it’s a stress release for me to work with something new and fresh and from the Lord.
I also enjoy my grandchildren, playing and just loving them. I love to read and I also play the piano and enjoy music. I started playing the piano in 3rd grade and majored in it in college. Currently I play for 2 different churches in two different towns on Sunday. At the first church I play contemporary music on a keyboard with a praise team. The second church is a more traditional Baptist church where I play the old traditional hymns from childhood on a baby grand piano. I love playing the old hymns but I also like some of the contemporary songs too. Many days I sit down at the piano at home and will play for hours. I learned when my husband was dying of cancer that I could minister to God by sitting in a chapel in a hospital playing songs of faith and deliverance to my heavenly Father.