A new decade is upon us! As we say goodbye to 2019 and hello to 2020, we reflect on the events that took place in the last decade. The world around us changes every day, but in the last ten years, it’s progressed more than we could ever have imagined. Countries are in political uproar, the world is distressed about climate change, worldly customs are becoming normalized and more acceptable, and technology is advancing faster than I’m typing these words.
In the last ten years, my family and I moved to Israel, I became an adult, countless memories were made, and many trials attempted to tear everything apart. I can’t begin to describe what has transpired since 2010, so instead, I’ll focus on the year that we have just left behind us!
2019 felt like the fastest year of my life. Each day whizzed by, and in the blink of an eye, it was over! Though the year began in sadness after a friend passed away (Click here to read Coping with Suicide), it got better as the days and months transformed before my eyes. God pushed me beyond my limits and taught me that I don’t need to be afraid of failure when I’m walking in the calling He has put on my life! With this understanding, I saw Inspire-Truth grow and was motivated to begin writing two books that I hope to have finished by the end of the year!
The biggest highlight of 2019 was joining Helping Hand Coalition’s team. What began as an article to promote their work on Inspire-Truth (Click here to read my article), quickly became a job that continues to push and excite me! Not only am I using all the skills I’ve been building over the last five years; but, my passion for photography has been reignited, and I’m learning how to use the camera that I got on my 16th birthday! One project that has become very close to my heart is the Shalom House. Every week, twenty survivors of the Holocaust come to the HHC Caesarea Villa for an afternoon of music, fellowship, and love. It’s an honor to take pictures of their smiling faces and write about what happens during these events. (Shalom House Website)
Going to England with my mom was also a real blessing. After being in Israel for an entire year, I was itching to get away and had the best time with my mom! We browsed through the shops, saw some great shows, and reconnected with friends and family. It was the best mother/daughter trip that I hope will be the first of many!
A Glimpse into Our Trip
The most devastating parts of 2019 included my dad getting sick and not being able to be a bridesmaid at my best friend’s wedding, and losing friends (Read Everything is Temporary)! Back in May, my father was rushed to the hospital with severe heart pain and was diagnosed with myocarditis. However, after seven months of treating his condition naturally, the doctors were stunned at my dad’s speedy recovery and gave him the all-clear this week! Hallelujah!
In that same month, my best friend, Heidi, got married, and I was not able to be there on her big day after my visa was denied (Read Unauthorized Travel). I did everything in my power to make it to her celebration, but every time I found a new door, it was slammed in my face, and I ended up having to cheer on her and Randy’s marriage from afar. Congrats to you both!
Living thousands of miles away from my friends is really difficult. Timezones are the worst, but it also makes the times we are together extra special. I had a blast ice skating and laughing with my friend Joy, who came to Israel and also met up with me in London. In September, we hosted a “Meet the Author” event where Margaret McMullen promoted her latest book, Where the Angels Lived, to those living in Caesarea. It was great getting to know her and her husband, Patrick, along with reconnecting with our long-time friend, Cindy Bayer, founder of The Place of Stories. My family also had a fun time with our friends from Virginia, the Smiths, who came to tour the country for a week.
Through the Highs and Lows, God is Faithful!
At the end of each year, I ask the Father to reveal a word that will be the theme of the coming year. Last year, my word was growth; this past year, it was new beginnings (technically two words), and, this year, I felt the Lord give me three words: purpose, fulfillment, and completion.
What these words mean to me:
Purpose – Following my calling and working on the projects God has placed on my heart!
Fulfillment – Finding a community in Israel and making new friends!
Completion – Finishing at least two books and getting my visa for the States!
What are you reflecting on as we enter into this new decade? Has God given you any words for 2020?
Life is an incredible experience, and I feel very blessed to look back and see how far the Father has brought my family and me! So, cheers to the next 366 days (leap year, ya’ll) of this new year; I pray that 2020 will be a year of purpose, fulfillment, and completion for you, as well!
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)