Happy New Year!
2020 was not a year for control, order and planning. Life as we know it, was shut down. We were were supposed to stay home and stay away from others, even family. I have seen so many responses to last year, frustration, depression, anger, perseverance and faith. It was a strange year, yet there were so many blessings.
I got to see my family everyday. My kids didn’t go to school in person. My husband worked from home. My kids read the bible with me and studied with me. We went on family walks. When I finally was able to get a bike, we went on bike rides together. I loved all the family time, drawing us closer together.
The past ten years, I have gradually become closer to God. I have learned to listen to the Holy Spirit gently whispering into my ear, instead of pushing blindly ahead doing what I wanted to do. In the past, I would panic and listen to others and stomp forward creating chaos and unhappiness in my life.
The first time I really listened to the Lord was seven years ago. Everything seemed utterly hopeless. My husband lost his job. I had an emergency surgery, 2 weeks before Christmas. Then, my dad died of cancer on Christmas Eve. We couldn’t sell our house. It was a life changing time for me. When everything was in utter disarray around me, I had to trust in the Lord’s promise that it was going to be ok. I started reading the bible. I read that I had to give up everything, and God would restore all my blessings plus more. Letting go of control was difficult, but we forged ahead, having no idea how our lives would work out. We prayed for a new realtor. We prayed to sell our house. We prayed for a new job. We prayed for God to show us where to move.
God answered every prayer. I learned that when you trust in God, God will bless you with everything you need and the all the things that you didn’t know that you needed or wanted.
“Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him”
—Psalm 2:12 NKJV
That was a huge turning point, in my walk with God. Since then, there have been many times that I have let go of what I know and see. I listen to that gentle nudge in my heart and follow it. God takes care of me every time.
In 2019, the year started out great. I had the best birthday with my mom and family. We drove across country to visit family and sightsee along the way. Family visited us. It was an amazing time!
Then, in August 2019, my mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, Glioblastoma. We spent countless hours and money that we didn’t have, driving to see her at the hospital and then at an assisted living facility. Sadly, I watched her decline each week. I had no say in her care, nor did anyone want to hear my opinion. If I expressed my opinion, I received lengthy angry emails from my siblings. They said horrible things about me and to me. As if it wasn’t painful enough to watch my mom’s health decline each week, I had a dose of hostility lashed at me constantly. I prayed so much. God carried me through it. I was sad, but my heart felt the Holy Spirit’s peace and comfort. I didn’t respond to their attempts to upset me. God gave me grace. Thankfully, I had my husband, kids, and friends. Most importantly, I had God. I went to a bible study group every Tuesday morning and felt heard, supported and refreshed.
My mom died on Christmas day 2019. I went into 2020 feeling sad, yet supported and held up by the Lord. When the Pandemic happened, I was initially stressed out, but I had God’s peace in my heart. Online school was not going well for my children. God lead me to homeschool my children. In August, we started homeschooling. It has been a huge blessing. There is a community of families that love God and are there to help, support and guide us.
God has brought me through many difficult times this year. When God tells me what to do, I talk it through with my husband, and usually he had received the same guidance in his heart. We step out into the unknown, relying on faith. We could fall, but God never lets us fall. We trust in God, and God raises us up, watches over us and protects us.
I don’t know what 2021 will bring bring, but I do know that I will trust in our God, who can bring joy to our hearts in any situation.