Isaiah 54 was a passage God put on my heart when I was going through an extremely difficult time as a single woman. A single mom, to be exact. I was having a hard time, financially. My house was also having all kinds of problems. I felt insecure as far as being able to provide for my kids and parent them at the same time. I was being attacked legally by someone who should have been helping with the task at hand. I felt that I was not up to the challenge of single parenting. (Is anyone? Should we be?) It was the best alternative I knew for my children, but I felt like I was sinking fast.
(This post was originally published in July 2013 on my Tools For Godly Living blog. It was a very long post and I’ll be offering it here in a few parts. I reread it today because God has, for various reasons, been working on me in these areas again. When I wrote this, I was a single mom. Since then, I’ve remarried the most wonderful man in the world. And I don’t say that lightly! Even though I wrote this specifically to single moms or women who can’t or haven’t been able to have children, I believe it applies to a lot of us who are in or have been in devastating and difficult circumstances. Please tell me what you think.)
In the midst of this, one night, when I was feeling worthless, helpless, hopeless, and afraid, God opened this chapter of Scripture to me in a way that changed my fears dramatically. It didn’t make it less difficult, but it made it less terrifying. And what’s more, it made it actually hopeful. So much so that I wrote each verse and promise from God on a 3×5 card, and as I worked each night, I flipped through those cards, meditating on them during every small break.
I want to share this with you because I want to bring hope to other unmarried women, barren women, and single moms (maybe single dads, too, but not being one of those, I’m not sure if this will strike a chord in them). I think that this applies to every one of you as much as it applies to me. If you’re reading this and none of those descriptions fit you, maybe you can pass this on to someone who needs to hear it and will be blessed by it.
Isaiah 54:1 (NASB)
Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child;
Break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed;
For the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous
Than the sons of the married woman,” says the Lord.
I am not physically barren. I have 5 children, so it would seem that this verse does not apply to me. But what God spoke to the inner recesses of my heart through this verse was that, even though I was not married and could, therefore, no longer bear children, I was still extremely fertile. My relationship with God can produce much more fruit than my relationship with a man. This applies to productivity in my earthly family. It also applies to spiritual fruitfulness. I was certainly desolate; there was no doubt about that. His promise here was that if I pressed into Him and turned to Him the energy I would be putting into a spousal relationship, He would make me fruitful. This doesn’t mean, by the way, that I will always be single, or that you will always be childless. But right now, in this season, this is what we need to build, so that it can be maintained if and when that aspect of our life changes.
Isaiah Cadre Discussion:
1. How have you felt devastated?
2. How do you compare yourself with those who are married, or if you’re unable to conceive, how do you compare yourself with those who have children?
3. How do you feel that you’re lacking because of that? It’s important to face those things in order to understand what God is offering you.
4. What seeds has God planted in your heart? If you press into Him and build your romance with Him, allowing your spiritual womb to be fertile, those seeds will grow, just as a baby grows in the womb.