By Lore Ferguson
For most, Mother’s Day is a celebration of their mothers and for many it’s a day when women are simply celebrated themselves. There is another demographic, though, for which this Sunday is a painful reminder of what is not. Trillia Newbell gave some beautiful encouragement for women experiencing miscarriages and infertility at The Gospel Coalition, but there is another kind of empty barrenness afflicting many women today: singleness.
We may be very much like Sarah, waiting for a promise that has yet to birth. We may be tempted to help God on His way, offering up quick fixes and good ideas. We may be tempted to laugh at our Father, scoffing at our married sisters who experience what we long for. We cannot deny that an extended season of singleness brings with it unique pain, but it also brings with it a unique gift: the gift of the void.
It is very difficult to look at a void of any kind and call it good, or a gift. Even God Himself knew the vast expanse of the universe, void of creation, was a lesser good than what He deemed good after creation. We think that there is something not-good about singleness. If “he who finds a wife, finds a good thing,” again, how are we to look at the void of our lives today and call it good?
Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, calls singleness a gift and, I confess, it is easy for me sometimes to scoff at this “gift.” Yet, in one of my recent classes we have done some inductive work in the books of Acts and Romans, and here I see why Paul could call singleness good: in the void, he filled with kingdom. The man was about the Father’s work, busying his hands with the work of people and the scriptures, busying his mind with the discipling and teaching of men and women. The void was the gift.
Mother’s Day can feel painful for many of us, but I would like to argue the pain is present partially because we have not seen what God has given us to fill the void.
The gospel alone compels us to kingdom business. If your life has been transformed by the deep and beautiful work of Christ, the most precious work you do is His work. His last command to us was to go and make disciples. For mothers, their children are their primary disciples. But for you, single women, look around you! The fields are white with harvest. White with it, filled with a harvest, brimming over with those who long to be discipled and taught, who have not had godly role models, who have been disappointed by earthly parents, and who have no idea how to study the word or serve the Church.
Your void is your gift. Go and fill it with the souls of the motherless and orphaned. And Happy, Happy Mother’s Day.
Lore Ferguson’s name is pronounced Lor-ee, but you can call her Lo. She grew up on the east coast, but transplanted to Dallas a few years ago—she’s not from Texas, but Texas wants her anyway (as the song goes). It was the Church that drove her away from Jesus and it was the Church that brought her back in, and there’s nothing she loves more on earth. She writes regularly for The Gospel Coalition, Project TGM, Deeper Church, and most regularly at her blog, Sayable. Lore is a covenant member at The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas. You can follow her on twitter here: @loreferguson
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