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  • From Broken Woman to Wounded Healer: A Single Mom's Story

    Find out how one solo mom’s faith helped her conquer life’s battles.
    by Tina Santiago-Rodriguez .
From Broken Woman to Wounded Healer: A Single Mom's Story
PHOTO BY courtesy of Ley Almeda
  • Ley Reinares-Almeda seems to be a woman who “has it all”: a beautiful family and a great career as an event planner and stylist. In fact, if you saw pictures of her with her family now, you probably would never guess that Ley used to be a solo mom, raising her son on her own. 

    But that is exactly who Ley was. One day, not so very long ago, Ley discovered that she was pregnant. 

    Coming from a conservative family, she felt scared at first, especially when she realized that she would be journeying alone as a parent. 

    “When I found out that the pregnancy test was positive, I immediately informed the father. At that time, he was not ready,” Ley shares. “Even so, I knew that I would keep the baby. I had to practice a lot on how to tell my parents that they would be grandparents and I would be a single mom.”

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    Despite her initial fears, Ley broke the news to the people who mattered the most to her: her best friend, cousins, then eventually, her parents and other relatives.

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    Pregnant at 25, away from home

    It was no joke for her to be a single mom. Ley was 25 and in Canada at the time, and her parents were in Manila during her entire pregnancy.

    Fortunately, she had relatives in Canada who gave her the support she needed, with her parents backing her up all the way, albeit long-distance. 

    “I was confident that with the kind of family that I have, I have a great support system,” Ley confides. “Growing up in a clannish extended family is an advantage because I have a close family support.”

    All worth it

    Despite the circumstances surrounding his conception, Ley fondly remembers the birth of her son. 

    “When I saw Addy, I cried out of joy! It was amazing! I praise God for him. He was beautiful!” she recalls. “We survived winter, labor, unmedicated birth, scoliosis, mitral valve prolapse, gestational diabetes! How can someone not want that baby?”

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    Seeing Addy gave Ley more strength to fight and continue with her life, and now, their life together. “I entered a new chapter of my life with a smile,” she shares. “I may have been a single mom, unmarried, but who cares? I had my special joy, my angel, my protector, my son. He made everything seem alright. 

    "I actually was never sad when I was pregnant— moreso when Addy was out. I choose my battles. I know that happiness is a choice.”

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    “Forgive yourself”

    Although Ley harbored no resentments against Addy’s father, she realized that she had overlooked one important thing: to forgive herself. “I never hated the father. But I totally blamed myself for what had happened. I had no self-worth,” she discloses.

    Ley eventually learned to forgive not just those who had done her wrong but herself too, particularly when she attended a “Love Life Retreat” organized by the Feast Makati, a prayer gathering of the Light of Jesus Family.

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    “I will always be grateful that I’m part of Light of Jesus. They are my second family. The Feast is where I feed my soul with sumptuous words of God. This is where I also draw strength and where I can be my vulnerable self,” she expounds. 

    The Feast Makati taught Ley to move on. “It is where I found myself again, loved myself again. It’s also where I met JB, my husband or my TOTGA (The One That God Allowed),” she shares.

    At present, JB and Ley are the proud parents of three kids, including Addy.

    Ley and JB with their three kids, including Addy.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Ley Almeda

    Being a wounded healer

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    Drawing from eight years’ worth of experience as a single mom, Ley has made it her mission to give hope to other solo moms. 

    “Just to make things clear, I am NOT encouraging other young women to get pregnant unmarried,” she emphasizes. “In the eyes of God, I committed a sin. But I am not covering it up by committing another. I am here standing up for what I did. Because when this happened to me, reality kicked in.”

    Ley is very much aware of what’s happening around her. “I am not alone; I am not the first single mom in this cruel world. There are many women who are scared and don’t know what to do,” she says. “Women who are left by their partners to face this battle alone.”

    Thus, Ley’s personal advocacy to help solo parents was born.

    Ley eventually found her "TOTGA" — The One That God Allowed — in JB.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Ley Almeda
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    “I know how hard it is despite having a good support system,” she explains. “How about those who don’t have the support that I had? How about those who were victims of abuse? I've encountered a lot of mommies who had the same journey and I can say that somehow, I've helped empower them.” 

    As a “wounded healer,” Ley wants to use her past trials in a good way. “I want to give back the love and support that I received to those who don’t have anyone to help them,” she says. 

    “I want to share that it is a grace to be born. I want single moms to know that there are other options and not just abortion; there’s adoption. I want to uplift those solo parents—whether it be the mom or dad, separated, annulled or widowed—and to remind them to trust in God.”

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    “We have a partner in God”

    It is this trust in God that Ley hopes to foster among solo parents. 

    “In the last ten years, I’ve spoken to countless single moms,” Ley discloses.

    “When asked the question: ‘What would you say to a new single mom?’ the answer time and time again was a resounding, ‘There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there! It will get better. Someday you’ll look back and realize every challenge has resulted in a blessing.’ 

    As cliché as it may sound, God has a plan for you and it is the best one! Single motherhood is challenging, but we have a lifetime partner in God. He is going to work in your life to transform and renew it so you can move forward with your purpose, in full confidence rooted in the Lord.”

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