As a single missionary, I am asked a lot about my single status. Emphasis on a lot! I hear things like, ‘Why have you never married?’ ‘What are some of the challenges you face as a single missionary?’ or my favorite, ‘I have the perfect person for you to meet!’ These comments and questions mostly come from married people. What do I hear from single people? ‘Is it worth it?’
Is it worth giving up marriage? Is it worth living in a foreign country on your own? Is it worth not having children? Is serving God really worth the price He is asking me to pay? To be honest, some days my answer would be NO! But those are the days I let my flesh win, the days I focus on myself and have a pity party.
When I was in college, one of the classes I took was called Christian Ethics. The teacher’s watchword for the year was Focus. She was so right. When our focus is on ourselves, it usually leads to a pity party. You know what I am talking about. The question ‘Why me?’ comes up frequently. When our focus is where it should be, on Jesus Christ, then the ‘Why me’s?’ tend to go away and the ‘Wow, look what God is doing all around me.’ can shine. If I focus on what I don’t have or what I can’t do, I will make myself miserable. God does not want us to be miserable. He created us to be fulfilled by accomplishing His will. Do I still have dreams of being a wife and mother someday? You bet ya, because God also created women to be helpmeets and caretakers. Do I make myself miserable by thinking about what I don’t have? Sometimes. But in order for me to be fulfilled completely, I need to follow God’s will for my life. He created me with a specific purpose in mind. He did not make me single to make me miserable, but to fulfill the design He has for my life. There is a song I love that talks about God as the Master Designer. He is the only one that can see the blueprints. Only God knows what the finished item will look like. This reminds me that He is in control and His way is perfect.
Not too long ago, I saw the film ‘Facing the Giants.’ The scene that touched me most was when the coach’s wife walked out of the doctor’s office. She had heard one more time that she was not pregnant. What really drew my attention was when she looked up at the sky and said, ‘I will still love you, Lord.’ I thought about how that applied in my life. True I am not a wife, nor am I trying to get pregnant. However, she was acknowledging that God was in control and whatever He gave her was the best for her. As a single person, many times we are tempted to look around us at the couples and envy them. But, God is in control and we need to recognize that He is giving us what is best for us. Not a punishment, but an opportunity to show His grace.
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Living by yourself can lead to living in your head a lot. This is why focus is so important. This blog started because I wanted to give people space to talk about how to shift our focus off of ourselves and onto God. What are you getting out of serving God? Where is your focus?
If this blog post has been helpful to you, please let me know.