Reflecting on 2023 and Looking Ahead to 2024
As the year draws to a close, I find myself in the familiar bittersweet reflection. I smile at the memories made and victories won, but I also glance back at my unmet goals and wonder how the months flew by so quickly. In the face of life’s perpetual demands, time remains unforgiving. Nevertheless, after learning how to set my face like flint in 2022, I entered 2023 ready for the transitions to come and with the patience needed to produce excellent work.
Every December, I pray about the upcoming year, asking God to reveal the theme for the coming months. At the end of 2022, God told me to brace myself because this year would be a transition year. And, boy, did I experience change!
Italian Adventure and Quitting My Job
March marked the beginning of these transitions as I embarked on a two-week Italian adventure. The first week took me to a beautiful Tuscan villa in Chiusi for the Serious Writers Retreat, where I gained valuable insights about the publishing industry and critical mentorship to improve my writing career — I’m so excited to begin polishing my debut novel and finally get it into people’s hands!
After saying goodbye to my new friends, I spent the next week making my “Letters to Juliet” dreams come true by visiting the movie’s filming locations in Verona and Siena. I promise, next year, I will finally post all about the rest of this incredible adventure!
I returned to Israel two weeks before Passover, feeling renewed and excited about the future. As we cleaned our home from leaven in preparation for the feast, God surprised me by doing a deep clean of my spirit, teaching me the importance of worth and listening to His voice. It’s scary to step into the unknown, but the more time I spend in His presence, the more trusting I am to obey His voice when He calls. So, days before Passover began, I handed in my notice at work. Quitting my job was the most unexpected transition of 2023, but it opened the door for me to start my freelance business, Inspire Truth LTD (click here). God knows exactly what we need and wants to see us prosper when we obey His direction. I feel blessed to have a Heavenly Father who cares enough to direct my steps and shine His spotlight on doors previously shrouded in shadows.
Our Miraculous Move
May to July saw our house filled with boxes as we packed for our upcoming move. If you’ve read my article “Dear Reader,” you’ll know the astounding testimony of this move. Every part of it was miraculous, from receiving the funds to finding a place with everything we needed. God is so good, and while my family has seen the Lord’s provision countless times, this move truly opened my eyes to God’s grace and guidance.
After unpacking the boxes, I looked forward to returning to normal life. I’d planned to publish more episodes of my podcast UNCANCELED Faith, start polishing my novel using the advice I received in Italy, and schedule regular content to stay active on social media. However, as I’m sure you’ve experienced, our plans don’t always work out… Three weeks after moving into our new home, my nan broke her hip. For the next seven weeks, my parents and I took turns staying with her in the hospital and rehab center to ensure she received the best care and to assist in her recovery. As you can imagine, not much work was done at this time.
And then, October 7th happened!
Israel at War!
Thirteen years in Israel have shown us our share of attacks and battles, but nothing compares to the current war Israel is fighting. Our lives were already upended by my nan’s accident, but the war escalated this transition to another level.
It’s been three months since Hamas’ brutal attack, and the end of this war remains in the distance. Today, more than 130 hostages are held captive in Gaza, over 12,000 rockets have been launched towards Israel, more than 200,000 Israelis are displaced from their homes, and over 10,000 citizens have been injured. The IDF is working around the clock to destroy Hamas’ tunnel infrastructure in Gaza, each discovery exposing more war crimes committed by this terror organization; yet, the news remains biased, condemning Israel for its retaliation… IDF officials have deemed 2024 the “year of war,” so I don’t know how long this conflict will continue, but I remain confident that the Lord’s wings are over us as we pray for Him to use us during this time. These are not regular days. Though we might go shopping or do regular activities like spending time with friends, we are constantly on alert, ready to take shelter if the sirens sound. Please continue to pray for Israel and its leaders. We need wisdom, especially as the operation becomes more intense and news of the hostages becomes more critical.
Hanukkah – Let Your Light Shine
One of the best parts about coming to the end of the year is celebrating Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. This week-long holiday is about rededication, victory, praising the Lord, and shining the light of Yeshua to the world. This year, Hanukkah was really special in our home. After months of war, making it difficult to separate ourselves from everything going on mere hours away, it was so much fun to decorate our house in festive lights and bring our focus back to the ONE who truly matters — Yeshua. I’m so grateful for my mother, who planned many surprises to make this week memorable. Her love and care reminded me that our Heavenly Father loves us and wants to bless us with gifts and happiness, sending kisses from Heaven.
In the spirit of rededication and victory, I went on a prayer walk to reminisce on the year and praise Yeshua for His faithfulness. I learned so much in 2023 and became a better version of myself. After fighting through the valleys, I am stronger than ever and confident that God is truly enough!
2024 — The Year of LIFE!
So, what’s next? As we lit the menorah each night during Hanukkah, the Lord reminded me that we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world, called to sprinkle (not douse) our salt over everyone we meet and shine our light as a testimony of God’s presence. So, you can imagine my excitement when the Lord told me that 2024 will be about LIFE! Truly living! It’s time to break out of my comfortable box and start exploring, taking chances, and diving into the future with open eyes. It’s time to live life to its fullest, allowing God to use me as He takes me to new places and lays His work in my hands!
The Lord wants to do so much for us, but we must be ready to embrace everything He has in store and trust Him to lead the way without seeing what’s ahead. And, sometimes, that means taking that first step to show Him we are truly ready for the next adventure!
2024 will be my “Survivor” year — embracing things that scare me, laying down my pride to allow others to help, and exploring beyond familiar borders!
How about you? Are you ready for what the Lord has in store for you in 2024?
Happy New Year! May the Lord continue to pour His wisdom and grace into your life as you walk with Him!