Standing By My Singleness

At times, people have intimated that my current life circumstances are not optimal for finding a life partner. I’d have to agree.

I live in a foreign country (South Korea), in a city where the majority of people are not fluent in my native tongue (and I’m far from fluent in theirs). I am a Christian intent on only considering a life partner who shares my faith, and the city I live in is not majority Christian. The church I am part of is quite small and there are very few single men in it.

And while technically anything can happen at any time, for the past three years, not much has.

“There aren’t many prospects there,” people point out. It’s said to me in loving concern. But it’s a decidedly not-encouraging comment. At least I felt that way until I decided to own it.

God can do anything. That’s a truth I live by, and a statement I actually believe. Along with this one:

God is good.

I’ve written about singleness before, and I thought I had said all I had to say. But as it turns out, I have just a little more to add.

How can God be all-powerful and good and let me still be single?

This is a real question I’ve wrestled with. And it seems to be a question other people sometimes ask when they look at my life. It’s so easy to question God’s goodness because of circumstances. From the beginning, the deceiver has tried to drive a wedge between us and God by using circumstances. He suggests a twisted interpretation of our circumstances to get us to question God’s character.

“Did He really say you couldn’t eat from any tree in the garden?”

“If God loved you, why wouldn’t He give you what you want?”

Despite blogging all the right answers last year, living out those truths often proves more difficult than writing about them. For me, I’ve genuinely been tempted at times to move cities because of this issue. I have.

Why stay? It’s not like I’ve built up a career that requires staying put. Isn’t it time to move forward? There’s no shame in having a legitimate desire to meet a godly man and start a family with him, right? Why not take a practical step towards that by moving to a place where I’m more likely to cross paths with such a person?

When I brought the question up with God, God said I was free to move. But do you really want to?

I had to take a pause and think, but eventually, I realized: No. I don’t. I love my life here. I love my job, my friends, my community, my beach-side neighborhood. I’ve built a life here that is meaningful, enjoyable, and beautiful. I love this city, and I believe God has me here for a reason. There was just this one thing trying to undermine all the other good things, the one thing that was missing.

Maybe if I moved, I would meet someone I could end up with. I’ve watched it happen to others. It certainly seems more likely than me meeting anyone here. That possibility has taunted me at times. But when I turn to my heavenly Father and ask for His perspective, God completely shifts the angle of my view.

Like the rain that comes down from heaven and does not return to it without watering the earth, so are you. I have sent you here. To be a blessing in this city. To water the dry ground with your presence, your prayers, and your love. Your time here is not wasted. You can’t see the fulness of your impact yet, but it’s not wasted. Trust me.

And that’s when I remember that I’m living for something very different than marital status, the world’s standard of success, or any other type of dream or idea. I’m living for God.

Because I truly believe that God is good. Because God came down to where I was and found me. When I was lost, when I was weak, when I had nothing to offer Him, God came and made me His daughter. God is the one who always loves me, who fully knows me, who understands what makes me tick, and who delights in every tiny little step forward I take.

I don’t want to spend my life chasing anything other than Him.

So if following God means choosing singleness, that’s what I’m going to do. Whatever I may be missing out on in life, the truth is, I already have something––Someone––far greater. A love that is beyond compare. His name is Jesus.



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Elizabeth is a teacher, preacher, musician, and writer. She has a Master's of Divinity and a Master's of Music, which represent her two great loves: Jesus and the arts. A half-Korean, half-white American, she spent seven years in South Korea teaching English. Elizabeth is a perpetual learner, a deep feeler, and a pursuer of beauty and truth.

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