You are loved. Cherished, even.
Not because you were brave enough to move overseas “alone.”
Not because you ignored the caring relatives who asked, “How in the world will you find a husband over there?”
You are loved. Adored, even.
Not because you’re an independent thinker, a strong person.
Not because you’ve sacrificed.
You are loved. Anticipated, even.
Because of Him.
You are loved by the eternal God, your Harbor.
You are loved by a Dad who wraps you up in his everlasting arms.
You are loved by the One who knows the true depths of loneliness and the rich intimacy of friendships.
Indeed, you are loved.
You are valuable.
And you are needed. Our churches, our teams, and our families need you.
You probably know that already. You probably feel that already. But just in case you don’t, as a brother, father, husband, team leader, pastor, and friend, let me remind you how much we value you and need you.
We don’t need you to be a wonderful Christian woman. We need you to be a wonderful Christian human, unique because of your personhood, not just because of your womanhood. We need you to love people uniquely, heartily, and with passion.
You see the woman caught in adultery differently. We need your eyes. You are more aware of the emotional needs behind the physical needs. We need your awareness. We need your heart.
We need you to lead. Your perspective is valuable, your needs valid, your abilities real. You see problems and solutions differently. We need your intellect.
We need you to support us. Not like a cook supports the troops, but like a soldier supports a comrade. We serve side by side in this thing.
My kids need you. And not as a babysitter.
My sons need you to show them what a strong woman looks like. Teach them that a woman’s value does not come from the fact that she’s got a body, or a husband, or kids.
My daughters need you. They need to see a woman who’s willing to follow God’s call regardless of who joins her. They need to see a woman who pursues God on her own, enjoying her own relationship with him.
You are not half a unit. Some stray ingredient that I guess we’ll mix in with the “real” ingredients of teams and churches and potlucks.
You are not leftovers.
Without single women serving abroad, there would be a gaping hole in the Church and in the history of modern missions. And in my own life.
Growing up, the names (and books) of Amy Carmichael, Gladys Aylward, Corrie ten Boom, and Elisabeth Elliot taught and inspired and coached me. I read their books, listened to their stories, and learned from their faith.
Single women still teach, inspire and coach me. I am grateful for ladies like Amy, Sara, Yvonne, Tanya, Christina, Rhoda, Ann, Jenny, Sue, Sarah, Mary, Sovannara, Emma, and so many more. I listen to them speak, I read what they write, I watch them love people, I observe their journey through Facebook status updates, and I am grateful.
I need them. The Church needs them.
And Jesus loves them. And he loves you too. Not because you’re awesome or beautiful or perfect. Not because you’re really good with Instagram filters. But because you are part of his Bride, his people. Immensely valuable.
Every day, Elisabeth Elliot began her radio program with this reminder, “You are loved with an everlasting love – that’s what the Bible says – and underneath are the everlasting arms.”
May you remember his everlasting love,
May you rest in his everlasting arms,
Today, tomorrow, and everyday.
With deep appreciation and gratitude, your friend,
*This article originally appeared on Velvet Ashes.
Used with permission
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