April - Pursing Obedience

April 2005

I was a college student when God began to open my eyes to the nations. He was pressing upon my heart the desire to take the gospel to those who had never had a chance to hear it. As I grew in confidence that it was God's will for me to give my life in service to him among the unreached, I began to shape all other aspects of life around this purpose, especially my major and dating life. Before I would have just been hopeful to find a good Christian man to marry and settle down to raise my children with, but now he would have to be willing to move to the other side of the globe. It was not long before I realized that those who are willing to forsake family and the comforts of home in doing foreign missions were few and far between, yet my desire to be married remained.

In the years following college, I began to take steps of faith and obedience and accepted a two year foreign missions assignment where I worked as a single along side other single women to spread the love of Christ in an area where he was not known. Through that experience, I learned that remaining in the center of God's will was the most fulfilling thing I could do. My desire to be married had to remain submitted to his will, and I knew if it did that, he would bless me and would be all that I needed. He is more than sufficient to meet our needs. In that time, I also had to remain focused despite temptation. Several godly men who were preparing to be pastors pursued a relationship with me. I tried to rationalize that they were not just good men; they were ministers, the kind of person who would share my passion for the lost. As true as that was, they were not being led of God to minister in foreign lands, and I was. I could not allow my impatience in wanting to be married cause me to disobey God, as I had once been told that the number one reason a person who once felt called never makes it to the mission field is marrying some who is not.

I took more steps to prepare for long-term service and began seminary studies. Would I have to go back overseas single again? I did not know, but what I did know was that his will was for me to go and that I must continue to pursue obedience despite the cost. I knew that even if I did have to go single, that I would not regret it. He is worth it. Following these years of struggle to trust the Lord with my singleness, God blessed me more than I could have ever imagined in giving me a husband who not only had a desire to take the gospel to foreign lands but specifically to Muslims, the people I had grown to love. God is so faithful. While for some he provides a spouse and others he does not, He remains ever faithful and worthy of all our life and devotion.

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you as well". Matthew 6:33 NIV

by Heather Leigh