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The Blessings of Being a Single Female Christian Missionary

In a previous post, I have described my struggles, specifically about being single as a female missionary, or a single female Christian in general. This week, however, the Holy Spirit has been working on me again, reluctantly I am being moulded by him; He is chiselling me into shape. My antagonism with wanting to be wedded and the desire to be patient in God’s will right now is waning.

The War Waging Inside of me

I was deeply convicted by a sermon I had listened to earlier this week. The pastor was joking but making a painful point that many Christians have a genuine desire to see Christ return again but only after they have met their spouse. Hearing that shook me a sobering silence. Am I putting the desire of marriage and marital intimacy ahead of Jesus who surpasses any physical or spiritual pleasure of marital intimacy? Urgh… The thought of it tore me as I grappled with that conviction; that’s a real battle of spirit and flesh right there. I know it to be true, and yet every aching of my being wants to justify it and argue against it.

I even go the opposite extreme and contemplate a life of singleness and try to come to an acceptance of its possibility, and again I feel my flesh fighting it. This discomfort and war I feel raging in me I know is just my flesh and spirit trying to battle it out. It’s a pain and frustration that shows me that I need to put one of the two opposing thoughts to death and submit my will back to the hands of God; for I know Jesus has a way better plan for me than I do. His gift of Himself far surpasses and delight or pleasure or joy I can find here on earth, and I need to strive for that eternal treasure and not for worldly treasure that will inevitably rot, rust or be stolen away.

I Battle With Tears

God has dealt with me ruthlessly with so many of my wants and needs and has used some great and godly women in my life to reveal it to me. To discern for me from want and need can be hard in this affluent part of the world. Moreover, when I’ve had so many prayers answered by God, it’s hard for me to discern what desires of mine are wants and which ones are needs. Jesus has answered so many of my prayers concerning church planting, leading and full-time ministry. Those same prayers were entangled with desires to be partnered with someone who desires those similar things. When I see part of my prayers answered and not the other, I’m confused and stumble around wondering why.

I’ve battled with tears with the conflict of my desire for something and when I have not received it. At the moment I feel Him tackling my heart regarding my singleness, and I have been resistant to His hand at my expense. When I resist God, I feel unsettled and discomfort, I feel a restlessness inside me that keeps me from sleeping.  When I resist God and try to fight with Him over what I want, I always lose and go through heart ache, and my behaviour towards him reverts to a teen-like angst against Him. I behave as the stubborn, rebellious, and obstinate child, crying out “why not?” When I resist him, I suffer.

What the Lord is showing me through my singleness

With much resistance, I slowly realise what a blessing my singleness is. Here I can devote all my time to His work and ministry; I have no obligations to a spouse or family. Here in my singleness, I need only to be concerned with my relationship with the Lord of which all my other relationships are affected. I can devote so much more of myself and focus so much more of myself to his work. I am free from needing to spend any time on relationships, other than that of the Lord and grounding my foundations firmly in him.

There is a joy that comes with that freedom and that singleness that the Lord has been showing me this past week that the married cannot have.

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  • J

    -Your integrity for the purposes of God; to love Him and find a way -the best way- to serve Him, are visibly present in your written words herein. Keep on listening, as between the Scriptures and His still small voice (from how the Holy spirit leads through what you’ve read) will keep you; as the promises given are already ours…by faith and trust is His good work(s).
    -Blessings to you, as the sun rises and sets on each of your days.

  • Thanks for the encouragement J, and thanks for visiting.
    Hope to see you back here again :)

  • Waiting can be good

    Hello, just ran across your blog on a “best of woo theme designs” page! Inspiring your journey and heart-love for Jesus. I have some observations & suggestions that I hope are helpful.

    I just also wanted to add in that my brother is a born again Christian and until recently in a church that embraced the Promise Keepers. My brother & her husband, and many other couples, were from abusive families, and born again as teenagers or young adults, i.e. after a lot of damage was done.

    They received some counseling before marriage from the minister. After marriage they began experiencing problems, most seriously was his wife had no role model or anything inside herself for knowing how to be a Godly wife or woman (and him likewise). The minister would send him to Promise Keeper rallies where they would basically say, pray and “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” in the knowledge that God made you the man of the family, i.e. he was responsible for his wife’s emotional problems and solving them.

    What a great way to doom a marriage, not urging professional help and teaching that it is the person’s fault that being born again didn’t solve everything. Basically the pastor was using them to do a lot of work in the church and not providing any serious help. Eventually they left the church to get real help, but by that time it was too late.

    The incredible amount of porn addiction in the old church/ promise keepers by folks trying hard to be faithful but having no practical way to leave old habits behind; serious sexual incompatibility problems that could have been overcome with a professional, licensed marriage therapist; to infidelity… it ended up a nightmare and with the children seriously damaged as well. And this was so far away from God’s plan for them, but God uses other people and those people were kept away from them.

    View this time as a gift — not only to work & pray all the time — but in getting psychological help from both Christian peer groups and professional/licensed (Christian if possible, but not necessary if truly professional) psychologists for learning about yourself, how to hear your emotions & needs (not only needs of ministry), and how to turn childhood patterns around, otherwise you will be fundamentally like your parents (even though you love Jesus).

    God does not want you to be miserable & unmarried. God doesn’t want you to be a workaholic. That does NOT equal God wants you in a relationship, or married, right now! You are not old enough in the Lord or know yourself enough to be in a serious relationship. Do the hard work of learning about your own self, and attending groups where others do too (without the immediate distraction of doing it to date). You’ll be a big blessing to both Christian and seeking alike. Bless you in your path.

  • Suzanne

    I stumbled upon your blog while googling “struggles of missionaries”. I found the other post about the struggles of being a female christian & single. Thanks so much for sharing these two posts.

    I’ve written my process through the same struggles (of course some days are better than others) coming to many of the same conclusions as you shared. It was a blessing however to read another single female feeling and thinking the same way.

    And I’ve had some of those same humorous moments…..finding single men on fire for God after joyfully coming to a decision it would be better to remain single at least for a time! :-)

    • Thanks Suzanne, that’s encouraging to know too :)

  • Jennifer

    I came across your blog as I was searching about being a single missionary. I am in the process of pursuing missions as a single Christian woman. Your thoughts could not have been more perfect for what I needed to hear today! As I read this post, I was amazed at how you described so perfectly what I feel so many times! It makes me know I am not alone! Thank you and God bless you!