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.