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of loneliness is not solved by immersing ourselves in activities. Neither is it solved by marriage. Loneliness can be conquered through a
healthy understanding of our identity in Christ, and knowing that He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Times of aloneness
are wonderful opportunities to cultivate that relationship we have with our Lord.
Married friends, take note: your single friends don’t all have that fear of being the third wheel. Invite them to the party. Go on a three person
date or a five-person date with another couple. Let them know that you accept them and their state for who God
created them to be. Single friends, sometimes you just need to be the initiator. The marrieds need a little help here,
and it may be up to you to plan the dinner or join the Sunday school class of mostly married couples (I did!).
Temptation to Over-Commit
Another potential complication with filling up our schedules is the tendency to over-commit. Sometimes we
do that to ourselves. Other times, we feel pressure from friends, family, or coworkers. How many singles have
heard, “Ask her; she doesn’t have to go home and cook for a family,” or, “Can you just see the last two patients;
my wife is waiting for me?” “You don’t have a spouse and children, so you must have time to run the diabetes
education program, right?” I think a lot of us in medicine are overachievers. We’re people pleasers. We don’t
want to have to say no because that might infer that we can’t handle something, so we say yes—to everything.
It’s a myth to assume that singles have all this free time. It’s a lie that even we singles believe. Married couples have an automatic default.
They have “valid” reasons for not committing to something. They have to spend time with their family. Might I point out that as a
single person, not only do I have all those things in life that contribute to busyness, but I have to do all the tasks by myself. I don’t have
someone else to do my laundry or to cook for me. And those relationships I commit to, it probably takes more time to develop those
since I have limited time to spend in another’s company. My “family” doesn’t necessarily live under the same roof as me.
Okay, I’m not trying to swing the pendulum the other way. I’m merely pointing out that both married people and single people have varied
challenges that contribute to the temptation to over-commit. If we’re in medicine, we’re already in a profession of caring. We’re already drained
by our work and interactions with needy people. The Fruit of the Spirit of our lives can easily start to rot, and instead of offering our patients or
our friends ripe, sweet fruits—like peace, patience, gentleness, and self-control—we instead offer impatience and coarseness.
I’ve not mastered these temptations myself, and there are many more. Again, I cannot help but notice how many of my friends in
medicine are single and struggling, and I just wanted to take the opportunity to encourage them and to let them know that I am praying
for them. Don’t wait passively for temporal fulfillment. Wait on God and learn what He desires to teach you as you serve His people.
When she wrote this article, Traci Warner was a nurse practitioner at Faith Family Medical Clinic. Appointed as a medical
missionary to the people of Nicaragua, she was raising support to transition to that full-time. Traci lives in Nicaragua and begins her
8 th year serving as a medical missionary. While waiting on the Nicaraguan government to approve a medical license, she’s continued
limited medical care there and hosted medical teams during their short term mission trips. Traci has a passion for teaching and
training and does a lot of that with pastors’ wives and other church leaders. She leads Bible studies as well. “I’m now 42 and still very
content in my singleness and in the ministries God has called me to.”
MARRIAGE AFFECTS MINISTRY – OUR STORY
Jeremiah CB I ‘07a & Lindsay Cooley
Bro. Baughman, I remember something you said to me the last day of CAMP BIMI I ‘07. As I was leaving, you shook my hand and said to
me, “Jeremiah, serve God.” That meant a lot to me and really has been a great help to me. I had every intention of continuing to serve God
as I left that day, but your words sure strengthened and encouraged me. You said it with sincerity and intensity. Thank you for the part you
have and do play in my life. I have had many doors open for me to serve God since that day in June 2007. God’s Grace has been with me
all the way and I realized that I cannot serve God in my strength. I continued to pursue God’s Direction for my paths concerning missions.
To God be the glory! The Lord has done great things for us and we are glad! Thank you for being a faithful servant of God and pouring
yourself into the lives of others!
In 2009, Lindsay prayed in very specific terms concerning a husband. “Lord, if Jeremiah is Your Will for my life, then bring us together
before the end of this year.” In her heart she believed it was God’s Will that we marry. God had put world missions in my heart, and this
caught her attention. Why was a heart for missions so important? It was important because Lindsay knew God wanted her to serve Him
as a missionary.
Meanwhile, I had been praying about a wife for some time. One evening at our home church, I noticed Lindsay walking near her car.
In that moment, God touched my heart that I should begin to pray about her. Months went by. She was still trusting God to bring us
together. Eventually, God led me to speak to her parents concerning their daughter. One Wednesday night in December, I did just that.
Lindsay’s parents shared with me that they were praying for her and me regarding marriage. Lindsay did not know this, and she also
had not yet shared with her parents that she was praying about me. God was at work in her heart, her parents’ hearts, and my heart.
Within a week, we spoke to one another about marriage. In that first conversation, I told Lindsay that before continuing, she needed
to know that God had called me to be a missionary. She responded that she was willing to go anywhere because God had called her to
I had waited on God, believing He would bring the right wife along. And when He did bring her to me, He had already prepared her
for missions. Lindsay waited on God, trusting Him to bring her a husband called to missions and He did. Eleven months later, we were
married, knowing that God had brought us together. Marriage does affect ministry! Don’t rush ahead of God.