If I had known at 20 that at age 30 I would be serving as a single female missionary in the Middle East,  I would have probably married the next guy that came along.  And, I would have regretted it, I’m positive.

Why?  Because I am right where I am supposed to be.  On the good days, my heart is so full of love for Him and others that I feel it may explode.  On the hard days, when I tend to ask, “Why, Lord?” and my prayers are peppered with complaints, it is often through tears and on bended knee that I renew the choice to trust Him.

Marriage was my plan. Always. Truthfully, it is still in my plans, and I consistently bring it up in my prayer life.  But I don’t think the life I’m living is some sort of backup plan to the “perfect life” that could have been.

There was a moment, a few years after I became a believer, I felt Him asking me how much of my life was really His, how much was I really willing to give up?  Would I hold back areas of my life, my plans, and my dreams from His touch?  Would I cling to the things of this world over Him?

It was one of those rare times in life, when the world may see nothing happening, but in my heart I was forever changed.  I was set on a path to following Him–whatever He wanted of me, my answer was yes.

Really, it’s the commitment every Christian makes– if we make Jesus Lord, then we are giving up our lives then and there.  But how often do we (and I mean myself in this!!) simply take our lives back and go on doing what we want to do and living how we want to live?

Shortly after that time of commitment (re-commitment?), I felt called to missions.  At that point my experience was limited, and I am pretty sure my answer of “yes” still included a husband, children and “white-picket fence” future.  Never could I have imagined where He would lead me.

After living in sixteen different places since college graduation, I feel like I am finally home–in the Middle East, odd as that may seem.  I am convinced that He is working in the lives of the women around me and some have hearts burning with desire to know Him.  As I move about my city, I am trying to meet these ladies and share with them the Truth they long to know.

I’m living the life He means for me to live, one day at a time.  Tomorrow I could be hit by a car (I mean, really, there are no crosswalks!) and be on my way to see Him.  Or something could happen that sends me on a plane back to the States.  Maybe I’ll get married someday, or maybe I won’t.  It could be I will see crazy large amounts of people turn to Him. Or possibly His purposes for me will be different.

Whatever He has in store for me, I’m all in. Not all in with bitterness. Not all in with hesitancy.  I’m all in with a great big smile on my face.

Comments
  • Joanna Gurubabu
    Reply

    This piece was exactly what I needed. A young single missionary woman myself, God has brought me on this wonderful journey where my identity, home, strength and hope have all become Him. (the way it ought to have been all along!) Going through this article I remember the precious moments where God touched me and my heart was forever changed. My heart was set on following my heavenly father – whatever He wanted of my, my answer would be yes.
    God has been taking me on this journey. Where even on the mission field He still continues to break and mould me into the image of Jesus.
    The most recent part of me He has touched are my dreams of a future with a missionary husband serving the Lord where He leads us. To one day have children who would grow up seeing the reality of Christ wherever we may be. Just like you’d mentioned above, for me too this was a dream in my head even as I realised my call for missions.
    Lately God has chosen to touch that very area of my life. After working through many other important areas in my life He has reached the one area I now realise ive held onto way too tight. Growing up in a broken home the dream of having a godly marriage and secure children was one I’ve held onto as far as I can remember. Singleness, missions, and all the uncertainities that come with it was something I’d never choose. However the God of mercy touched my heart, opened my eyes to who He is, healed and called me His own. Gave me the honour of serving Him in missions and brought me to a place where He showed me I am complete in Him. God has been teaching me how “Singleness” as a period in ones life before marriage or as a calling is glorious. As glorious as marriage which in itself is also a calling. God has brought me to a place where no matter what my future holds, in the midst of all uncertainties, Christ in all His Glory is All I will ever need.
    This assurance I find in Hm gives me the strength to face whatever challenges singleness may hold. Especially being a young single missionary woman In a country like India. (where orthodox girl child rearing practices are geared toward preparing them for marriage. To make the perfect wife)
    In a country like India being a Christian in itself is challenged by society, let alone being a young woman missionary, a ‘single’ missionary, working among tribal groups in the mountains away from potential men!
    Off late I’d been facing pressures from all around regarding marriage with the only source of strength being Gods assurance that He My Heavenly Father is looking out for me. I Need but to trust Him and Rest in Him. I guess today, I chose to listen to the other voices around me,(including my own dreams and desires) and allowed discouragement creep in. God brought me here to this website I never knew existed and gave me the right encouragement I needed. Through your article God reminded me His Lordship over my life. His preeminence and How He Himself is looking out for me. I rest in Him. Thank you. God bless you.
    Love,
    Joanna.

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