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Finding ‘The Purpose’ for My Singleness

a single woman wearing a backpack looking out over a forrest

Ah, singleness.

The thing in my life that constantly keeps me on my knees before God, so aware of my own sinful attitude and heart tendencies.

Anyone else feel like that? Just when I think I have a handle on how to live out this season with grace and purpose, something happens to reveal a wrong way of thinking or a distorted view of God.

I was talking with another single friend, and I mentioned how I just wanted to know that I was single for a reason. That this extended time of singleness is for a purpose, and that I would know what exactly that purpose is.

I think of a few older single women I know, and there is an obvious calling on each of their lives that is better lived out single. One is a long-term missionary in Romania and is able to devote all of her time to running English evangelistic camps for students. Another is a well-known speaker and author who travels every weekend to speak at conferences. She’s in such demand that her schedule is completely booked through the end of 2013. Sure, both of these women could have changed careers if they had been married, or served alongside their husbands, but in the absence of marriage, their lives have a huge impact.

To me, there is an obvious purpose in their singleness. If I’m going to be single longer than I thought, I want to know there’s a purpose for me like that, too. I want there to be some grand plan for my life that I couldn’t have been able to do had I been married in my 20s. But there isn’t.

I work a corporate 8-5 job, co-lead a small group and baby-sit for friends every week. I could do all of these things married, and in some cases, probably even be better.

I struggle with looking at my life and not seeing The Purpose for my singleness. I don’t have a platform; I don’t influence thousands. I’m an average girl leading an average life. (Since I’m only a month into this blogging thing I’m not counting Boundless as a platform.)

But my friend, in a very gracious and gentle way, reminded me that that’s OK. Maybe some people are called to extraordinary things, and maybe some (me) are called to be faithful with the small things.

Maybe God’s call on my life is for me to just do the best with what He’s given me. To work hard and with integrity at my job. To be a listening ear and supportive friend. Maybe part of my calling is to be available for God to use me to serve and love others well as my primary focus until He calls me to serve and love my husband and kids as my top priority.

Of course we’re all called to love and serve our neighbors whether single or married. But a married person has the additional, and I would argue, first priority to love a spouse and children sacrificially.

Even though it might not seem like there’s a huge, obvious purpose, I can still trust God and His love for me. I go back to Matthew 7:11, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Maybe someday The Purpose will be revealed, and maybe it won’t. But my faith and trust in God shouldn’t hinge on that knowledge.

I’m reminded of the words of Corrie Ten Boom, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” So let’s learn to trust God with whatever good gifts He’s given us.

Have you ever tried to find The Purpose for the delayed answer to things you’ve been praying for? Is it easier to trust God if He reveals that to you?

Copyright 2012 Ashely Boyer Hendley. All rights reserved.

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