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The Gift of Singleness (UGH REALLY?!)


Ashley Hetherington

Today Kait and JJ are joined by Ashley Heatherington to talk about the one thing we always hear and roll our eyes at, the gift of singleness. 


What’s up Heart of Dating family?! We’re back this week with another episode in season 12 all about tools to THRIVE in singleness. Today we are PUMPED to have a sweet friend with us, Ashley Heatherington. We know the title of this episode probably made you throw up a little in your mouth and we GET IT! BUT, don’t write it off yet, this episode with Ashley is inspiring and real and honest and we can’t wait to jump into it with you! Let’s go!! 

You are just coming out with a book called The Joy of the In-Between- can you start by telling all of us about that?!

Ashley has a platform on Instagram and now she has a book we get to talk about, Joy of the Inbetween!!! It’s all about waiting seasons and how to actually have JOY when you’re waiting on God and how to actually TRUST God in a waiting season. It’s a 100-day devotional so you can read it every single day because sometimes that season may be longer than 100 days! She also runs The Honey Scoop, where her focus is to help others grow closer to God and reach their full potential in Him. The Honey Scoop name comes from the scripture Proverbs 16:24. 

So girl YOU are single… and one thing that singles get told ALL the time is that “singleness is such a gift”... and to be honest, most singles ROLL THEIR EYES at that haha. How do YOU feel about this statement… be HONEST!!

You’re NOT alone if you rolled your eyes and said you hate that statement because Ashley says SAME! BUT, you know that statement actually comes from scripture! This is important because this means it’s not a personal opinion, it’s the word of God. SOOO then we need to be paying attention EVEN IF we don’t like it. 

1 Corinthians 7:32-33 “I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him, but a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife.” 

Paul wants us to not be so concerned about what we have or what we don’t have. He wants us to be faithful stewards of what the Lord has given us. So, if we’re single right now, God has us in this place for His kingdom and His glory. When God wants us to be partnered with someone for the good of the Kingdom, it will happen, but we don’t need to worry about it. 

How did you get to this place of speaking about singleness like this?

Ashley wants to get really vulnerable here because she is still single and so often we hear people who have been married for 15 years talking about singleness and it’s hard to connect and relate to. Ashley just wants YOU to feel so seen and loved by the Lord. You are NOT alone. There are SO MANY CHRISTIAN singles out there! 

Around 5 years ago Ashley got out of a relationship where she had been dating this guy for 4 years. Ashley says she was the most lukewarm girl you could think of. Therefore her relationship was lukewarm. They weren’t running after Jesus. When they broke up, it was around the same time of Ashley’s parent’s divorce and this just shattered her world. A year later she started her ministry and started getting into that. In being wrecked by that season, God rebuilt her. She couldn’t be lukewarm anymore. She was living at home working on her ministry meanwhile all of her friends were getting into relationships. It’s post-grad, everyone is pairing up quickly and that’s the time when her relationship ends. She started really comparing her life and her season to everyone else in her friend group. That was such a difficult season for her because she was SO happy for her friends and at the same time seeing a season she desired but wasn’t getting. 

For Ashley it’s been a rollercoaster of processing with the Lord and being content and then lamenting with the Lord when it comes to singleness. 

God began to show her the gifts of singleness like… 

You can do whatever you want on a Saturday. You don’t have kids. You odn’t have to get permission from anybody. You want to get Starbucks? Go. You want to go for a walk? Go. Want to go travel? Go. That is a GIFT! 

You can pursue the calling and the mission God has for you. You can RUN for it. It’s really so beautiful that you can be so FOCUSED on the Kingdom. 

You can love your friends and grow in Christian friendships. 

You can grow closer to your family.  

You miss out on so many things when you’re so focused on getting to the next season. 

How has your singleness journey been for you… have there been LOWS and times of disappointment and frustration? How have you wrestled it out with God?

It’s truly been a rollercoaster. There have been a TON of low moments. Disappointment with PRAYING and FASTING and BELEIVING and then it NOT happening. So real. Disappointment with thinking something is going to work out with a guy that you really like and then it doesn’t work out and you’re like, that felt like a gift from God and now it’s falling apart. That’s so disappointing! Frustration when year after year you see other people getting the thing you’ve been praying for and maybe they haven’t even waited long, but you’re still in your waiting season…that’s frustrating! God has so much compassion for you. God sees that, he sees the grief and he sees the hurt. In those moments, it’s a real test of faith. When you’re in those moments of disappointment, frustration, jealousy, bitterness, or envy, your faith is challenged. Your faith is put to the test. Are you going to trust the Lord? 

It’s also a surrendering of whatever it looks like. There’s a difference in trusting God to give you exactly what you’re imagining in your mind versus trusting Him to give you the BEST thing regardless of what it looks like. What are your thoughts on that? How do you feel when I say that?

Absolutely! Ashley had to learn this too. She was following God but she still wanted her own things. She was pushing her own agenda instead of actually dying to herself. When you don’t get something you want, Ashley thinks God challenges you. Like are you really going to submit and surrender even when you don’t get what you want? 

It sounds like more and more you’ve become more honest with God about your desires, frustration, and disappointment. Do you feel like part of that was like an onion? What did that part of the desires of your heart slowly being sacrificed and surrendered look like?

This is so good because it brings back when you love God, he will give you the desires of your heart but we forget that God needs our full surrender first. You don’t push your own desires to the Lord and say, sign off on this. 

Ashley thinks God is so sweet with the desires he puts on our hearts. Because if we’re surrendering and you’re like God I want what you want, and he’s giving you dreams and visions of you going to be a missionary somewhere or you going and being a teacher somewhere or you going and singing…she doesn’t think God puts desires and dreams and visions on our hearts just to torture us. So when you surrender and pray, pay attention to the things that come up, opportunities, and the gifts that are being highlighted. 

So in all of this… have you found that singleness is a gift in ways? How has it been for you?

YES! One would be intimacy with God. When you’re single you have an opportunity for God to be your everything. God should always reign number one, but there’s a special closeness that you get with the Lord when it’s just you and Him. If this isn’t enough for us then we’re missing EVERYTHING. 

Two, your friends! You’re never going to get that time back. 

Three, family! You can love your family SO WELL. You can minister in this time because you have TIME. 

Four, TIME! You have time to travel, start a YouTube channel, go start a new hobby, work out, move your body, and learn how to cook. You have so much TIME! 

How do YOU personally balance finding JOY while also grieving your disappointment with the Lord?

When you pray and say, God help me in my singleness, I don’t understand and I’m confused. I’m not sure if you truly understand that there is a God who listens and there is a God who is faithful to answer. 

Ashley tells a story of when she prayed this and then within the next week, the Holy Spirit revealed to her several people who were in happy, incredible marriages who were discontent in areas of their lives. Then the Holy Spirit shared with her that it’s not like when you get married you’re just completely. When you get married you have other things you’re waiting on. We always will have the temptation to feel discontent or feel in lack. However, if we find everything in Christ, joy, and peace, then what we do is we go into these places and gifts God gives us and are not looking for them to fill us. 

James 1 Whenever you face trials, whenever you face this waiting season with perseverance and patience with the Lord you are growing stronger and your faith is being built and your character is being built. 

Keep believing. Keep interceding. You better keep praying about these desires because there's a reason for them. 

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Ashley Hetherington

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Ashley Hetherington is the author of The Joy of the In-Between, and a writer, speaker, and founder of the Honey Scoop: a lifestyle blog that encourages and equips young women to grow their faith and reach their full potential in God. She is also the creator of a membership program the Tree, an online community that helps young women connect with God and read the Bible. She has a degree in journalism and interactive media studies from Miami University and resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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