In the year 2021, our church had a focus word for the year. It was “Thrive”.
Listen, that’s a bold word for 2021, AM I RIGHT?!
A few weeks ago my husband had an ‘Our year in review’ conversation and I asked if we would characterize our year as “thriving”.
With uncontrollable tears in my eyes, my answer was a resounding,
“NO! Maybe, hopefully, I’ll be able to look back on 2021 and see that I did thrive, but as of right now - absolutely not. I would not describe 2021 as “thriving”!’
If I could put a word on 2021 it would be FAILED.
I failed. In everything in 2021 I have felt like I failed.
I failed as a wife, mom, sister, daughter, friend.
I failed as a boss, employee, coworker.
I failed as a Jesus girl. Oh, how I failed at that one.
I have struggled with serious anxiety and anxiety attacks.
Silently dealt with severe depression that made it hard to even speak at times.
The loneliness, heaviness, and hurt this past year are just… staggering.
There were times where it was ALL CONSUMING.
2021 has probably been my hardest year since my mom passed in 2013.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”
- Winston Churchill
Let me tell you though, the Lord is good. The last week of the year and the Lord showed me I did indeed thrive in 2021. And it’s not because of my own doing. It’s all HIS doing.
HE gave me the courage to ask for help with my mental health
HE humbled me to own my mistakes and apologize when I messed up
HE forgave me time and time again for being a subpar Jesus Girl.
HE was there through it all. HE never left me, never forsaken me, and ALWAYS protected me.
Even when it didn’t “feel” like it.
HE changed my perspective
HE taught me this year. A LOT.
HE taught me how I was picking things up in life that WERE NOT MINE to carry. He reminded me on a deeper level that I AM NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT. I AM NOT THE HERO. I AM NOT MEANT TO SAVE PEOPLE. So many times this year I believe I hindered what the Lord was working on in OTHER people because I was trying to fix their needs in my own strength.
Oh, my friends, that is where wisdom and discernment come in.
I’m a saved, full of the Holy Spirit, Jesus loving, set apart, bold in Christ, a woman of God.
I know who I am and who I belong to.
BUT I STILL STRUGGLED THIS YEAR.
And through my struggles, the Lord has taught me how to truly love people where they are, judgement-free.
I am not the same person that walked into 2021.
I like this version of me. I’m closer to the Lord than I ever have been. I don’t say that in a super saint, self-righteous way. There’s a camaraderie with Him. He is my battle buddy, so to speak.
I have been in the valley and I have SEEN where HE has carried me through. Where my anger and hurt feelings and raw emotions weren’t too much for Him.
HE has stayed with me.
My hope is that you too can look back on 2021 and see where the Lord has carried you.
And to look hopeful toward 2022.
FOCUS: the center of interest or activity.
My FOCUS for 2022 - is the Lord.
Everything, E V E R Y T H I N G, will revolve around Him. People can call me crazy - I’ve graduated to a place where I don’t care what I’m called anymore.
I’m chasing HARD after the Lord.
And I’m taking all who are willing with me.
If you realize you’ve been doing this life without Jesus pray this with me
Jesus, I have been doing this life alone. Without you. I confess that I have sinned against you Lord. And I ask You to forgive me of those sins. I don’t want anything to hinder our relationship anymore. Show me what I need to move off the throne of my heart that was meant for You. I have this deep longing for something more and I’ve tried all the things the world has to offer and nothing is filling this Jesus size whole in my heart. I need You, Jesus.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Let me pray for you too.
Lord, I may not know who exactly is reading this or what 2021 dished out to them. But You know. You know their name, the number of hairs on their head, their hurts, their failures, their hangups. You know their families and every situation in their life. You know exactly where they are at this very moment. You know their every need.
I ask that You would put people in their path that point them to You Jesus. Place them in a community of believers so they know they don’t have to do this life alone and with uncertainty.
Lord let Your love, peace, joy fill them. I pray for a miraculous breakthrough for every single need.
I pray all this in the name that is above every name. The name every knee shall bow to and every tongue confess is Lord.
The name of Jesus, Amen