Moving to Africa without a husband!?!? Yep. Sure am.

Some people just come out and ask why I’m going single. Others dance around the subject in conversation to gauge how I really feel about living in rural Africa without a husband.

Good question! I’d be lying if I said I didn’t ask myself, occasionally, why I’m doing this single. And here is how the conversation goes between God and me…

God: Go.

Me: um, not sure if you realized this, but p.s. I’m single

God: I’m aware. Go.

Me: But does this mean I’ll never get married or have a family?

God: Not necessarily. But even if it did, would you still go?

Me: uhhhhhh…..

I found myself stopping there, unable to answer that question for a while. And I want to encourage you in something… that is an okay place to pause and pray for direction. It is not an okay place to stop. I am confident that the Lord will usher anyone, whether single or not, to a place of clarity if we only ask. You do not have because you do not ask (James 4:2). I have met with countless women during this process who feel the same way about moving overseas during a season of singleness. We all had a picture in our mind that we would be wives, building our family, by a certain age, and it can be confusing when that is not the case. Here are lies the enemy has thrown at me in the process…

You’re moving to the middle of nowhere, Africa. Do you really think God is going to or even has the ability to provide you a husband there?

Pretty sure He made Adam a wife out of close to nothing. Do I believe God is all-powerful? If so, then this lie has no ground to stand on. But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases (Psalm 115:3).

Do you really want to go if this area of life can cause you sadness or loneliness?

I feel freedom to grieve the family I don’t have. I don’t grieve as if God hasn’t given me what I’ve wanted. I grieve as a woman who desires a husband and children yet does not have that. If I believe that He is all-powerful, that ‘everything is appropriate in its time,’ and He is sovereign, then I grieve as one with hope. Not a hope that He will give me what I want, but a hope that says He will give me what I need to make His name famous. Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth (Psalm 46: 10). His ways are perfect. And although I am walking forward into many unknowns, I know those unknowns are showered in His love, grace and mercy. He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust! ( Psalm 91:1-2).

Shouldn’t you just wait in the U.S. until He gives you a husband? That would be much safer!!

Ha! Whose definition of safe?! He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart (Psalm 91:4). And I’m pretty sure if God can create every nation and people group from nothing, then He can provide a husband for me regardless of my location.

These are all relatively easy things to believe and say, but they are hard to actually walk forward in. I want to emphasize this… It is only through God changing my heart that I can claim these truths without wavering. It is not something ‘I worked through.’  A year ago, I honestly said, “There is no way I would ever move overseas still single… Who would kill all the bugs and baboons?” Today I can truly say that I am blessed to be where I am, and I couldn’t be more excited for the ministry God is creating through my circumstances and singleness. I’m still not excited about the bugs, but I’m dealing with it… slowly.

 

And there are guards in Langano to kill the baboons!

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14 thoughts on “Moving to Africa without a husband!?!? Yep. Sure am.

  1. What a testimony of faith and total reliance on God. Your transparency and honesty is encouraging and I know God is going to use you to touch many lives both here and in Africa! We will be praying for you!!

    -Haley (Jayci’s long lost friend)

  2. And…. I’ve heard a ton of stories just like this beginning. They meet their spouse on the field. Praying for you my sister!

  3. dear Jen. This post sounds like me 10 years ago.
    – @25 moved to a country with less that 0.1% evangelical believers
    – lived 6 years of wonderful adventure as a single serving Our God
    – met a man who LOVES God and the lost in a way i never dreamed of
    – returned to that country with less that 0.1% evangelical believers to serve Our God, married with our infant son!

    Friend, i don’t know what He has ahed on the path for you… but i believe and can testify that HE IF FAITHFUL. And now, being married, having a family… i wouldn’t trade those years of serving Him as a single for anything! May His name be made great among the nations 🙂

    I too, remember battling with the Lord, and coming to the conclusion that, “I would rather be obedient and GO, than be disobedient and stay… hoping he would bring me a husband.” I’m so glad i went.

  4. One of my friends in Np school had to struggle with this because she knew God had called her to International missions and she had to come to the place of being able to say ” I’ll go – single or married ” now she’ s married and in south Korea with her husband who is an Army chaplain . I also believe you are safer IN Gods will than you would be anywhere else. I’m proud of you for accepting Gods call and excited for you!

  5. I love this post! I know that I move on past college graduation this spring that marriage will be a central theme of the questions people ask of me. And I pray I’m faithful to His vision for my life instead of someone else’s, instead of even mine, because like you, I do want a husband and children someday. I just know that today He hasn’t called me to wifehood and motherhood. Today he’s called me to singleness. And it’s my mission in this day to bring Him all the glory I can in this season. I applaud you for going to Africa, for following His call on your life at this time, even though it might be more ideal under other circumstances. All praise be to Him for your obedience and His provision for you as you do so.

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  7. Jen –
    I’m so proud of you and will be praying for all that is to unfold in this journey. He is indeed faithful and will take great delight in you bringing HIM glory. I’m excited to hear all that will happen!!

  8. For a single female also serving Jesus in Africa, this post was SO encouraging! Thanks for writing and submitting your life to He who is worthy. Your words are so right; His reward is better than any earthly husband or family we could dream up. Way to fight the good fight of faith both in your own life and for the sake of others! Blessings to you today in your journey of hope 🙂

  9. Thank you so much for sharing this! I’m currently a graduate student in Colorado but all my family lives in the Midwest. God has clearly called me to move to Utah, and being that I am single, the loneliness I am sure to experience at times overwhelms me with fear. I’ve spent some time in Utah doing ministry already, and it’s a difficult culture for Christians to live – it’s filled with spiritual warfare and there are very few (if any) evidences that your work is making any difference. And let’s face it, the state isn’t filled with a plethora of single Christian men. It’s been difficult accepting that God is sending me there alone, but like you said, it’s a slow process that needs to keep moving forward toward fulfilling God’s calling. Thank you so much for the encouragement. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who struggles in this area.

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  11. So I know this post is about five years old, but I still wanted to thank you for writing it 🙂 I recognize the talk you had with God, and I’m still something God is showing me more and more and this post was one of those moments. No baboons here, but very not enthusiastic about the bugs but it improves bit by bit 🙂

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