“Survive and Thrive”

Statewide Conference Designed Exclusively for Single Moms
Pam Kanaly knows firsthand the trials of being a single mother.

In 1986, her husband announced that he wanted a divorce. Kanaly took on the role of a single mom to raise her two children, then 2 and 3 years old. In the 20 years since then, God has enabled Kanaly to overcome her sorrow and has given her the opportunity to minister to scores of single mothers.

She recalls a May morning in 1986 when she was awake before dawn and was sitting alone in the dark, sobbing.
“I said, ‘God, what am I going to do?’” At that moment the sun broke over the roof of the house across the street and Kanaly said she was bathed in light and felt the spirit of God.

“I sensed his quickening and I heard him tell me, ‘I’m going to walk you through this. It will be difficult, but I’m going to bring you through this and lift you up.’”

Kanaly said she found comfort and hope in the Bible.

“The pages of scripture came alive to me, almost like Jesus himself was stepping out of those verses, wrapping his comfort and care around me,” she said.

The Lord also led her to journaling as a way to help her find the right path. She writes down her feelings and the insight she receives from God’s word about those concerns.

“He filled me with his presence and led me out of the darkness of bitterness into the glorious light of complete forgiveness and wholeness,” she said.

Kanaly’s time as a single mother lasted five years, until she remarried in 1991. Shortly after that, she started teaching a Bible class for women. The group, called Blended Blessings, had both married and single moms and grew to include more than 200 women.

“God prospered that class,” she said.

As the years went on, God opened other doors and called her into wider ministry. She started receiving invitations to speak at conferences and, for a year, she co-hosted a daily Christian radio talk show with Peter Spencer called the “Lifeline of Hope with Peter Pam.”

In 2002, Kanaly co-founded Arise Ministries with fellow Edmond resident Shelley Pulliam. The mission of the non-profit organization is to educate and encourage women to discover their identity in Christ and develop an intimate relationship with God. They accomplish this through four separate areas of ministry: speaking at conferences and workshops, producing publications, the Peter Pam media ministry and hosting conferences.

Single moms from across Oklahoma can experience Kanaly’s enthusiasm at the upcoming Survive and Thrive Conference, hosted by Arise Ministries. Scheduled for June 9-10, the event gives single moms a chance to be pampered while they learn about God’s power to heal a broken heart and provide a new way of life.

“He can take one’s mess and make it their message,” she said.

Last year, more than 150 single moms from 35 Oklahoma communities attended the conference. This year, child care will be offered and attendance is expected to be 400.

“Every single mom has a common thread, and that is loss,” Kanaly said.

As reflected in the title, the conference offers hope while providing practical information on everything from time management and parenting techniques to dating and finances.

In addition to Kanaly and Shelley Pulliam, the conference has a team of 22 women coordinators and about 80 volunteers working to make the weekend special for single moms. Henderson Hills Baptist Church is donating the use of its facility for the event.

While other Christian conferences focus on parenting or women’s issues, Survive and Thrive is the only statewide conference designed exclusively for single moms.

Nationwide, there are 9.8 million single moms raising 16 million children. This accounts for nearly one-quarter of all families in society.

“Being a single mom is the hardest job in the world. Single moms often feel isolated, incomplete, overwhelmed, lonely, weary and struggle financially,” said Kanaly, adding that a close relationship with God can help in all those areas.

Registration for the conference is $45 and an additional $5 for child care. For those needing child care, the deadline to register is May 26. For moms coming without children, the deadline is June 2.

Donations also are welcomed to provide scholarships for single moms to attend the conference. A $50 donation would cover tuition and child care for one mom and is tax-deductible.

To register or for more information on the conference, visit www.ariseministries.net.

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