In October 2012, I wrote my first blog post for Boundless. I’d been a long-time lurker, but when the opportunity arose to write about my own struggles with singleness and learning how to be an adult, I jumped in with both feet. I had recently turned 30 and was mourning the loss of a potential relationship. I was feeling very, very single.
So I began to write about faith, dating and the things God was teaching me, sometimes through incredible blessings and other times through deep pain. And as I read your comments and interacted with you all on Facebook and Twitter, I found I wasn’t alone in my doubts, fears, and longings. When I started to slip into isolating myself and throwing the world’s best pity party, the Boundless community reminded me every week there are thousands of other young adults who are still trying to figure it all out. And I learned it’s OK to not have life neatly tied up with a bow.
A few years later my heart felt battered after the end of a friendlationship that I let drag on for way too long, but I agreed to exchange numbers with a guy my best friend wanted me to meet. A year later we got married. On our first anniversary we shared the news that we were expecting a baby. On August 31 Tyler and I welcomed Maren Grace Hendley into the world.
I didn’t know in 2012 that 2016 would see the fulfillment of literally decades of prayers. In 2012, all I knew was that the life I had was not what I expected or even wanted, but it was still good. God was not teasing me, and nothing from my single years was wasted. Every hurt, every struggle, every tear that was shed and every relationship that ended was part of God’s divine will to mold me into the wife and mother He knew I would be.
I don’t know if 2017 will bring the fulfillment of your prayers, whatever they might be. I know God can do it, but I don’t know if He will. I do know there is no magic formula, and there’s no 12-step program that guarantees marriage. I do know God’s father heart is kind toward us and He can be trusted with every part of our lives.
So thanks for letting me journey with you through these young adult years! As I go back to being a Boundless lurker, this is what I hope and pray for all of you — it’s something from a post I wrote on the difference a year can make:
I don’t know what this year will bring for you. Maybe you’ll get a promotion. Maybe you’ll travel somewhere exotic. Maybe you’ll travel somewhere boring for your college roommate’s wedding. Maybe you’ll pay off your last student loan, or maybe you’ll struggle to pay your bills. Maybe that new guy at the gym will ask you out, or maybe you’ll go through a break-up. This year could be the year everything falls into place for you, or it could be the year everything falls apart. Maybe it will be a little bit of both. If it’s the former, praise God and shout of His goodness from every rooftop you can find! If it’s the latter, cling to His promises and remember that He will never let you go. But no matter what, God will be with you. There is no where you can go that is out of the reach of His love for you.
Copyright 2016 Ashley Boyer Hendley. All rights reserved.