Challenges of Singlehood Before Moving to the Mission Field

Updated: Aug 12

Have you ever been in a situation where you have reached an ideal age to get married but you chose not to, simply because you were in the midst of moving to your mission field?


Have you ever been in a situation where you have reached an ideal age to get married but you chose not to, simply because you were in the midst of moving to your mission field? My story of singlehood can be traced back to when the coronavirus first began to spread and the world went under strict lockdown.


A month before the outbreak, I was in my home country preparing the visa application for my mission field. The visa process was to take about a month or two, but within a couple of weeks, the virus began to spread in every part of the world.


Since then, two months have turned into slightly more than two years and I am still not where I am supposed to be. This has exacerbated the stress of living in a society preoccupied with the institution of marriage.


The Context


The idea of happily living on one’s own without relying on a spouse is still alien in my culture. Someone who remains single into one’s early 30s is frowned upon, especially when that someone is a woman.


On the contrary, if you are married at the “right age” but to the wrong person, you have done well! For my people, it doesn’t matter who you marry but when you marry. There is nothing more tragic than not finding a life partner at the right age. SoSo, the moment you enter into your late 20s, everyone around you begins to freak out which in turn freaks you out, driving you to make hasty decisions.


I have not fallen into the trap of over-romanticizing arranged marriages or even love marriages for that matter, and of pitying myself for still being single. In a culture like mine, I think that’s a real success story, isn’t it?


Too Much Pressure!


My whole extended family, family friends, the matchmaking aunties at church and the society at large badger me about my singlehood .


At my age, you are inevitably part of a contest of who gets married first. And no matter how much you try to convince people that you are perfectly happy being single, you are either considered a staunch feminist who is too full of herself or someone in a state of complete denial of the fact that she is ageing and almost every one of her peers is engaged or married.


I often hear things like ‘your biological clock is ticking’ or ‘living alone is not easy for women in our society’ or ‘you should find someone before all the eligible bachelors of your age are taken’ or that ‘after 30, no one will ask for your hand’ etc. To be honest, hearing these sentences over and over again sometimes weigh me down.


Nevertheless, in times like these, I’m always reminded of God’s promises and His steadfast love for me. I trust Him with my lifelife, and He has all the answers to who, when and where. He knows me better than I know myself, and He will reveal everything in His perfect timing. It all comes down to trusting God.


God and my Singleness


While there are many who tell me that my singleness is something unfortunate, God is there to remind me of what His plans are for my life. I believe that my singleness is part of God’s plan for this season or maybe for many more seasons ahead. Knowing this is my greatest source of comfort when living in a society so obsessed with marriage.


There are times when I do feel the pressure and begin to think about what my future would be like if I never find a life partner. But such feelings of uncertainty are episodic. They come and go. What stays with me is my faith in God’s timing.


Just as in the words of Ecclesiastes chapter 3, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…”


There is a reason why God has chosen me to go for missions in this season of my life, and that is ultimately where I draw my strength from — my faith in His plans for my life.


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