Angela Thomas: A Woman of Beauty and Grace

Angela Thomas: A Woman of Beauty and Grace
August marks the celebration of women in South Africa, and we thought it fitting to feature the remarkable Angela Thomas, a lady of strength, humility and incredible faith. Avid readers will be familiar with Angela, an acclaimed author and anointed women’s speaker. Angela has visited South Africa several times with ‘Beauty for Ashes’ (an annual ladies conference that takes place countrywide) and is due to grace our shores again in September.
I spoke to Angela recently (who had just got home after fetching kids from school) and asked her a few questions about her journey as a media mogul and single mom of four kids.
What struck me most about the Southern belle during our conversation, was her gentle spirit and her incredible honesty. It is no wonder that God has blessed her ministry and raised Angela up as one of the most respected and impactful women speakers in America and the world.
• She’s 46 years old with 4 kids:
    Taylor (19), Grayson (15), 
    William (13) & Anna-Grace (11)
• She came to Christ in college
• She graduated from Dallas
    Theological Seminary in 1986
• She has authored 12 books,
    most notably the best-selling title:
    ‘Do You Think I’m Beautiful?’
• She recently celebrated her
    One year anniversary with husband
    Scott Pharr.
as a single mom for several years, how have you managed to ‘keep everything together’?
These last seven years, wrapped in a whirlwind of emotion and activity, have been the most difficult yet the most rewarding I have ever known. Loving four children through their crazy lives, providing for us all, managing a home, and thinking about caring for myself felt a little like running the whole, wide world.
Many of the single moms out there know that. But in these years, God has given me a passionate pursuit.
I want to live an amazing life. I don’t want to wait until my kids are grown up to become the best version of me. I want them to have that kind of mom now. They deserve the very best version of family that I can wrap a house around. God has been faithful throughout the tough times, and the fact that I am now married to my sweetheart, is testimony to God’s goodness.
you have been married for a year now to your college beau. having been through a tough divorce, was remarriage ever part of your plan?
Actually no, not really. The day my marriage was finally all over, I walked from room to room, nauseated, physically shaking, wiping tears, and packing three laundry baskets with whatever children’s clothes I could find.
I strapped two kids into their car seats, picked up the other two at school, and drove an hour to my parents’ house. Mama made dinner, and my kids thought it was just a fun sleep over – except we slept over for three months!
Honestly, I’m not really sure how I made it through my first year of being a single mom. I look back now and know that a survival instinct kicked in eventually. Unfortunately, the will to keep going took a while to materialise. For the first few months, there were no living instincts inside of me at all. Just a desire to evaporate.
In the time we lived with my parents, I was a mess. I would get up in the mornings, drive the children fifty minutes to school, drive back to my parents’ house, go downstairs to my bedroom, and lie on the bed until it was time to pick them up again. God bless my mom and dad.
They truly carried me through every single day. Mama cooked dinner and helped keep the clothes clean. They both listened to me talk about the same things night after night and left me alone when I couldn’t say any more.
your family’s support was invaluable. How was your relationship with god affected?
I think my divorce is one of the most tragic things our family has ever been through, and I hated doing that to them. I still hate the tidal waves of pain it has caused so many people in my life.
Talk about walking by faith. I was physically healthy, and I promised God that I would do anything I had to do to provide for us. But when we moved into that house, I was completely in the dark about what that would be. The only plan I had was to work hard and live with integrity. There seemed to be only enough light for that one decision. From there the way wasn’t clear. It was one baby step at a time.
you penned ‘my single mom life’, a book of stories and practical lessons gleaned from your journey. what is your advice to others in a similar situation?
I realise that many women are single moms for entirely different reasons. Two of my friends recently lost their husbands to tragic deaths. In an instant these women became the only remaining parent in each of their homes. Another friend’s husband just succumbed to illness.
My heart grieves with you if you have suddenly found yourself widowed. I won’t even pretend to know how you feel or to understand the emotions you face.
When I used to tell people that I was a single mom, he or she would look at me like I was crippled. One Christmas Eve the kids were supposed to be with their dad, but it turned out that they were able to spend a few hours with me.
We all went to the Christmas Eve service and I was so grateful to not have to go by myself! The church was packed as the five of us filed into a row. And though I was happy and counting my blessings, I made the mistake of looking around and seeing all the other families flanked with a mom and dad. I know there are other single moms at my church, but at that service I couldn’t spot anyone who looked like us. And my heart ached.                                                              
how has life changed since you remarried?
I had thought that I would remain single indefinitely, or at least until all my kids were out the house. So to be married now to Scott is a wonderful surprise! I have known him since I was sixteen and we even dated a bit in college.
When we met up, I had a lot of trust issues to work through (with regards to marriage) and I didn’t want to embark on anything that would harm my children.  But, God brought the most beautiful man I had ever known into my life and today at 46, I am a happy newlywed! Scott has always wanted a family and he had no kids of his own. He is incredibly supportive of my ministry and gives me the freedom to travel around the globe. I am hoping that Scott and the kids will join me at the conference in SA this September.
how do you balance work and family?
I have a passion for women and as I study the character of God, I see His response to His daughters and the enduring love that the Father has for us. My desire is to see women set free to love and be loved by our precious Heavenly Father.
It is never a burden for me to work for the Lord, but sometimes when I’ve had book deadlines or have been travelling constantly over weekends, I take time out to treasure my family and focus solely on them.
as a high profile christian woman, what role does your church play in covering you and the ministry?
My pastor and the elders at my home church have completely blessed my ministry. I attended that church in Tennessee for over 10 years (I now live in North Carolina with Scott and the kids) and the elders would come and pray with me regularly. God used my church in such a powerful way to be my safe place and my home during the tough years, and to protect me from any harm the devil tried to throw my way.  I am still in regular contact with them and regard my pastors as true shepherds.
any words of wisdom for lonely ladies?
Being lonely can’t kill you, even though it feels like you will surely die. You will wake up tomorrow and God will give you fresh mercy. Whether it’s a lonely year or the odd lonely day here and there, as women of God, we must face loneliness with integrity.  People make the dumbest choices when they are lonely (like entering into dangerous internet relations or calling ‘that’ guy from your past) and we have to be on guard. Even though you face this sad place, you can bring Glory to God!.