2022 – The year of setting my face like flint! Wow, what a year it has been! From starting 2022 with a positive Covid test to ending with the completion of my debut novel, the last twelve months have been an epic adventure!
Every December, I ask the Lord to give me a word for the upcoming year, and 2022’s was FOCUS! Isn’t it ironic that the very thing we should be doing is often the most difficult to achieve? Nevertheless, through many distractions, difficulties, and delays, I held tight to the theme of this year and watched God’s timing work it all out.
In fact, that was one of the biggest lessons I learned in 2022 — there’s no point freaking out or stressing about timing when God’s already gone ahead and got it in His hands.
There’s no telling what a year will bring, so as I look back on the key moments of 2022, I smile at the way God is orchestrating my life for His purposes rather than my own. I couldn’t have dreamed of this life even if I tried, and while I still don’t know what the Lord will do with all of the words He’s giving me, my prayer is that I will remain open and vigilant to the adventures He has in store!
2022 was full of memories, but two surprises stand out the most: Irena Sendler and Italy!
In May, I was asked to write a 2,000-word biography about Irena Sendler for an unknown project in less than a day! At first, I was perturbed at the suddenness of the assignment but persevered to get it done by the following morning. Pushing my other tasks aside, I researched, outlined, wrote, and edited the article until the wee hours of the night to ensure it was ready. Little did I know that this specific piece would be used in Helping Hand Global Forum’s presentation to the POPE at the VATICAN! Now, I’m not a Catholic, nor do I support most of what they teach; nevertheless, this is a BIG DEAL! I’m still amazed by it and often look at the picture of the Pope reading MY article! This is just another show of God using me in ways I couldn’t have imagined! Too often, we give up on our callings, discouraged by people’s warnings that it’s nearly impossible to make a living doing what we love the most, but I believe that when God puts something in our hearts, He will provide what we need so we can master the craft He’s given us!
The other unexpected event of 2022 was signing up for a writer’s retreat in Italy for March 2023! I was scrolling through my Facebook feed one morning when I saw the announcement and immediately knew I needed to secure my place on the trip. I still have no idea what to expect from this retreat, but I trust that God has opened this door for a reason. There will be many literary agents present, so I’m going to spend the next two months working diligently to get my book proposal ready in time!
Please pray for the next part of my journey as I strive to find a literary agent and publishing house to print my book! Satan has tried to thwart this novel from seeing the light of day; however, he will not prevail! After getting tendonitis in August, it was a struggle to the finish line, but the moment I typed the last word and declared that I was FINISHED, the pain left!! HALLELUJAH!
Over the years, I have been asking God to send me friends and a community. None of us are meant to be alone, yet life in Israel can be very isolating. With churches often under the radar, I didn’t know where to look, but miraculously, God recently opened the door for me to attend two young adult groups, which I’m enjoying! I hope to continue building these relationships throughout this year and make more wonderful friends!
I also want to give a shout-out to my fantastic accountability group. In 2021, we were put together after completing Jordan Raynor’s Redeeming Your Time Coaching Community and have been meeting for over a year! Their encouragement and influence in my life have been a great source of inspiration and motivation to push forward on the path God has put me on! I appreciate each of them and look forward to our daily devotions and bi-weekly Zoom calls!
A few other noteworthy mentions of 2022 are the disaster hike we took on my mom’s birthday (we went the wrong way – read here), taking a bus load of Holocaust survivors to the Garden Tomb for Joshua Aaron’s live recording concert, attending the International Book Forum (read here), celebrating my 25th birthday at a Turkish Bath (highly recommend), and the many wonderful Helping Hand Coalition events I had the pleasure of photographing and documenting (read here)!
Unfortunately, a year cannot go by without tragedy striking. As we all know, 2022 was a rough year of war (praying for Ukraine) and loss (Queen Elizabeth, may she rest in peace). After I got out of the hospital from having Covid-laryngitis, my parents and grandparents also tested positive, so it was a long recovery process. My nan was hospitalized twice but has since recovered (praise God). Then, a dear friend tragically passed away, leaving us all stunned and wishing we could’ve done more. If any of you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or have lost a loved one this year, please read the article I wrote called Coping with Suicide! You are seen and heard; please don’t stay quiet!
2023 is here, and once again, I find myself anticipating a packed year of movement and miracles. I have no idea what will happen after March (my trip to Italy), but I feel like this will be a transitional year. Who knows what God has in store, but I’m excited to watch His plans unfold as I relinquish control and allow Him to lead the way.
What are your plans for 2023? How has the Lord been directing your steps?
I’m looking forward to experiencing all the Father has in store for this year and hope you are too!
Happy New Year, everyone!