Last New Year’s Eve I was single. So very, very single. I spent the evening enjoying a steak dinner and playing games with my parents and grandma. I felt a little lame, but at least we made it to midnight! There was no one to kiss when the clock struck 12, and there wasn’t even hope that there would be any time soon. The next day I flew back to Colorado and scraped all the ice off of my car at the airport after heaving my burgeoning bag into the back of my car. I probably muttered something about how being a strong, capable woman wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. On the way home, I met up with an online match for dinner. The date was fine, but after a promising start, things fizzled, and I closed my online profile a few weeks later. The year was not off to a great start.
I got back to my cold, lonely house and prepared to go back to the stress of my job. Traveling always made me more aware of my singleness than usual. I went to bed that night praying for something to change in the new year. I was feeling burnt out and weary. But the Lord reminded me that He was near. He had not forgotten about me. He knew every tear I had shed, and He was using singleness to sanctify me. I prayed for God to give me joy, no matter when or if my relationship status would change.
Three months later, I got a random message from my best friend. There was this guy she worked with, and she wanted to set us up. You guys know the rest of the story: That guy is now my fiancé, and we’ll be married a few weeks before the one-year anniversary of being introduced. During that time, I moved back to my hometown, started a new job, got engaged, and spent this New Year’s Eve with new friends and even had a kiss at midnight.
But I didn’t know any of that on Jan. 1, 2014. I didn’t know the answer to over a decade of prayers was going to enter my life in only a few months. I didn’t know that January was the last time I’d return to my cold, lonely house. I didn’t know my life was going to drastically change in the most perfect way.
But isn’t that the point of faith? To believe even when we don’t see. Especially when we don’t see. Isn’t faith choosing to trust God with our deepest desires and our most daring dreams, knowing He is the center of it all? In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).
As 2014 arrived, I felt fragile, weak, and a little worn out. But even in the midst of that, God’s peace was with me. Peace to know I would be OK, no matter what the year brought. God graciously allowed my heart to stay tender, instead of becoming hardened and bitter. Somehow, someway, God’s love was deeper still.
I don’t know what 2015 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 nowhere you can go that is out of the reach of His love for you.
Copyright 2015 Ashley Boyer Hendley. All rights reserved.