A Season of being Single and Flexible
This blog may not appeal to you this time, and that’s okay! God has laid on my heart to share a struggle of mine in hopes that it will inspire someone who is reading it.
I often struggle with why I am still single. There are many days that having an extra pair of hands on the mission field would be a huge blessing in the form of a husband ☺ But, recently, God has been revealing why I should enjoy this season of being single and flexible…
Sometimes, Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 go right in one ear and straight out the other: "I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband. I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible."
Yes, it makes sense. Not having the responsibility of a spouse frees those of us who are single to spend time doing the Lord's work. My first thoughts when reading Paul’s words are, "Okay, Lord. I'll be single until you send me someone. I'll serve you without earthly responsibilities. It'll free me to focus on You." However, do I really surrender my will when I utter those words? Or, is it just my way of trying to convince myself I believe it? There is a vast difference between convincing myself and being fully surrendered. It wasn’t until God brought out examples in my life that I grew to understand this truth!
As I was thinking back to the time Fabregas was in the hospital, I realized that I would not have been able to sit with him for hours on end and even during the night if I had the earthly responsibilities of marriage. Now, God has brought up another medical ministry opportunity for me, and this, too, has opened my eyes to thankfulness to the Father for my season of singleness!
A man from my Bible study group is married with a 2 and a half year old daughter. I've come to love this sweet girl from seeing her at church most Sundays and playing with her after church. Last Monday, he came to my house to tell me that this sweet baby had been burned, and they needed assistance.
Their neighbors were quarreling, and one of them threw boiling water towards the other. The victim moved out of harm's way just in time to escape major burns, suffering only minor burns on the arm and shoulder. Meanwhile, this innocent toddler, who was sitting on the porch playing, was splattered with the majority of the hot water.
I have been visiting this sweet baby girl and her parents at the hospital almost daily for the past week. I've been able to collect donations from both our Bible study group and even from our wonderful church to help this family in this time of need! The pastor has also visited a couple times. There is such community here, and the impact of it is becoming more of a reality as I type this blog. Praise Him for our church and these people who surround me!!
It really hit me last week- the reality of Paul's words. I'm not saying it would be impossible to minister in these ways if I was married, but it sure would be more difficult. I'm positive I wouldn't be able to do hospital visits almost daily. I know for a fact after having the 4 boys last year for a while that children would definitely make me miss these opportunities because I would be looking after them! And, it’s in these moments that I remember why God, in the beginning of this journey to Uganda, allowed the boys to go back to their homes in order for Him to use me to the best for His glory!
God always reminds me of His truths when I start desiring for a life and ministry partner. In God's timing, it will happen! And, it will be His very best for me! But for now, God wants me available to minister in this way with "as few distractions as possible".
As I'm typing this, I'm sitting in the hospital with this precious mama and baby girl. The plan was for me to stay from 9:30am to 6:30pm so the father could go by his work and then visit his sister in a nearby town to provide an update on his daughter. There are many people willing to do this very thing, but others have jobs and work full days. I'm so extremely blessed to have a flexible schedule to be available for these opportunities that God provides.
Please pray for the precious child and her parents. Her burns are superficial and are healing well. However, according to the doctor, she now has a lung infection. She is on more antibiotics to help with the infection and is on oxygen to assist with breathing. We really don't have any idea how long she'll be in the hospital as the doctors can't give any estimate. Please just pray for complete healing soon for her and peace for her parents. Thank you all!
I become so touched and almost in tears when I think about how truly blessed I am. To have all of you supporting and praying for me to live here and do this work - my heart’s desire. I'm seriously living out my life verse and DLM’s mission verse, Psalm 37:4, “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart!”
When we fully surrender (and I don’t mean the trying to convince ourselves surrender), God can and will do BIG things, and He loves to give us our heart’s desires when we are delighting in Him!!
As I live out my heart’s desire each day, it reminds me that God knows my heart’s desire for a spouse to walk alongside this ministry journey with me. Just like He has provided for me to be in Africa doing what He has called me to, He will provide a spouse who is beyond anything I could hope or pray for. In His timing!
So, for all my single friends out there, rest in this season of singleness. Lean into God (not our own understanding) and trust that He so wants to give you your heart’s desire, but MORE than that, He wants to be our EVERYTHING! I will be the first to admit...I like attention, and I would like to be pursued by my future husband any day now! But, what joy comes when I realize that God pursues me every minute of every day! He is the One that lavishes so much attention on me...if I will only be still long enough to experience His Presence and remember His truths. He wants to grow us, teach us, mold us, and shape us into His best for His glory!
** 9/15/17 UPDATE : It is with heavy hearts that we share that this precious little girl passed away today. Please continue praying for this family. We know God is in control, and in His timing, He will heal all broken hearts. Thank you for your prayers.