Overcoming Barriers to Fulfill the Call (Emily Petty)

Overcoming Barriers to Fulfill the Call

Hear from IM missionaries as they share their stories about the variety of ways they have each overcome different barriers to fulfill their call to the mission field. How is God calling you to take the Gospel to the nations or to those around you?

Emily Petty shares her story of overcoming the barrier of going to the field as a single. She shares what she has learned about not being alone and she also encourages others!

I started my journey towards Japan knowing I would be doing it alone. Because of this, I put off applying for my internship. Being alone in one of the world’s loneliest places was not exciting to me. I saw potential challenges that I was not willing to endure.

One day, when I felt God nudge me to apply for my internship I told Him, “You need to either change my heart about marriage or fulfill it.” Just weeks later, my heart didn’t change per se, but my burden for Japan was far heavier than my desire for marriage. So, I applied.

I say all of this to say, that since arriving in Japan, God has continued to show me the truth of Psalm 37:4, “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” He gave me such a desire for Japan, that my heart wouldn’t be content without pursuing it. And though I started this journey alone, it’s far more fulfilling than I ever imagined my life being.

Does this mean it’s been easy? No, actually! There have been nights of feeling unreasonably alone and moments of not feeling qualified. One reason to hone in on the challenges of singleness is that it gives room to recognize the intimate power of God. He knows our heart’s cries, our insecurities, and what makes us feel loved and valued. I’ve learned He cares about these things. Better yet, He works to comfort us in His perfect way.

In moments of loneliness, God Himself became my closest Companion. In moments of insecurity, the truth of Scripture became true to me; 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” This truth came to fruition as He became my strength. I learned that if I ever want to consider a godly marriage, then I must first consider godly singleness.

Letting Him fill in the gaps, learning the sound of His voice, and practicing obeying it. God has graciously given me a season of singleness that has taught me more about His character and kindness. Ministry is easier when you’re constantly experiencing His strength in your weakness. My singleness was never a weakness but how I felt about it was. Experiencing the mission of God as a single person has allowed me both opportunity and growth. I’ve had the opportunity to spend special time and energy in ministry among other single people, loved on friend’s babies, experienced the exhilaration of “doing it myself”, and eaten ramen, alone and in my favorite place with headphones in.

If you’re a single Christian, be encouraged that your energy, time, and perspective are highly coveted on the field! We need you. We have a place for you. You are absolutely capable.

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