I always said that I would only go to Radius once I was married…
Would a single woman be useful on the field? How could I survive training without a partner, without a spouse? I was lonely and afraid of going to missions training and overseas alone. I thought a husband would fix that.
Elisabeth Elliot is a hero of the faith and inspiration for many to lay their lives down before the Lord in audacious pursuit of Him. Elisabeth served as a missionary for about 15 years. She was on the mission field as a single woman, as a wife, as a mother and as a widow. In every one of those seasons, she experienced loneliness. In one of her books, The Path of Loneliness, she wrote this and it had a great impact on me:
“The pain of loneliness is one way in which he [God] wants to get our attention. We may be earnestly desiring to be obedient and holy. But we may be missing the fact that it is here, where we happen to be at this moment and not in another place or another time, that we may learn to love Him – here where it seems He is not at work, where He seems obscure or frightening, where He is not doing what we expected Him to do, where He is most absent. Here and nowhere else is the appointed place. If faith does not work here, it will not work at all.”
On my own path of loneliness, God has indeed taught me to love Him more. Since I have accepted the gift of His grace and sovereign hand over my life, I am able to see heading to the field as a single woman as one of the biggest blessings I never expected. Single women get unique opportunities in training and on the field including having more flexibility with their free time, loving their teammates in significant ways and walking by faith in the strength of the Lord.
One staff member recently said, singles don’t have more time – as far as I know we still only have 24 hours in a day. But we have more flexible time. Perla is one of my closest local friends here in Tijuana. She is a 19-year-old single mother, who lives with her single mother, Elvia. Perla and Elvia own and run an estetica (beauty salon) close to our campus. They have adopted a couple of us students into their family. We visit their estetica, attend their birthday parties, hang out with her cousins, and explore TJ on the weekends. We have the flexibility to spend time with them when it works best with their schedules.
Being a single woman also enables me to have special relationships with the kids on campus and, Lord willing, one day on the field. Whether it’s taking a child to a local market for “hot cakes”, putting a different child down for bed while their parents are out on date night, or participating in family worship with another family, I get to share in their personal lives. I have the privilege of speaking into these children’s lives in a way that’s different from their parents.
In the end, however, it is not about having more flexible time or getting to speak into lives in a significant way, it’s ultimately about laying our lives down before the Lord in worship of Him. Quoting Elisabeth Elliot again, “God has promised to supply our needs. What we don’t have now we don’t need now.” Single, married, or widowed, no matter where the Lord has us, we are God’s children and He graciously uses us as instruments to bring others to Himself. Our King is sufficient.
Name withheld for security purposes
Current Student of Radius International
This blog post was written by one of our current students based on what they have been learning while at Radius.