“I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22!” HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Whenever we come to the end of another year, I find it so exciting to go through the events of the last 365 days, revisiting all of the ups and downs that have gotten me to where I am today. While each year is always jam-packed with experiences, it never ceases to amaze me how different each year is, and 2021 was definitely unique! Full of adventures, battles, transitions, and trials, it was a non-stop year of prayer, decisions, movement, and new beginnings. Looking back on my predictions of 2021 in my post, The Story I’ll Tell, I can’t believe how accurate my words were!
Words of 2021 and their fulfillment:
Get ready to fight – This year was one battle after another. From racing against the clock to reach specific deadlines to resisting the plans of the enemy, there were many days of tears, fierce shouts, and exhaustion; however, the Lord was faithful and replenished our strength every time, restoring our joy and reminding us that He would inevitable win the battle!
Drive on – Despite all of the distractions that were pulling us from our callings, this was the year to press in and redeem our time. Jordan Raynor was a HUGE encouragement and mentor in this! Through his books (Redeeming Your Time and Master of One) and his coaching community, my work schedule and productivity have been revolutionized; I am no longer allowing myself to be spread thin and am actively learning how to be purposeful when it comes to accepting projects and tasks. Opportunities might come, but that doesn’t mean we have to jump on every one of them — especially when they do not pertain to the calling God has placed on our lives!
New beginnings – This was the most accurate word for 2021! My family prayed about the transition that we knew was coming all year, but none of it happened until May. For three months, we were in packing mode! First, in less than a month, we moved my grandparents into a Messianic senior home – which was a miracle in itself; then, it was our turn to move our home and studio. With twelve days left on our lease, we still didn’t have a contract signed on a new house to move into; nevertheless, God had a plan, and with amazing provision and strength, we were able to sell and move everything in less than three weeks! It was a rush, but the move couldn’t have been more perfect. While we’re not where we would’ve chosen to live, it’s opened the doors for new relationships, reignited passions (horse riding), and set us in a prime location if things continue to escalate in Israel.
Can you believe that it’s been two years since the Covid-19 outbreak shook the world? And, just when we thought things were getting back to “normal” or, at least, feeling a bit more like old times, another variant appears, and Israel is leading the charge with excessive restrictions and no-fly lists! Nevertheless, through this era of pandemics, conspiracy theories/prophecies, and control, the Father is raising His people up and using this time to bring focus and direction. It’s time to stop settling for a life of going through the motions and start seeking ways to glorify God, using our gifts and callings to further the work we’ve been put on this earth to do!
This couldn’t be more true for my life. At the beginning of this year, I prayed that God would give my family and me clear direction since there were so many paths to follow but not enough clarity on which to choose. With each decision, my family and I would battle our flesh and the seemingly impossible tasks ahead of us, trying to wrap our minds around which was the more promising direction; however, when we were reminded that it’s not by our strength that these things are done, but through laying it all at the Father’s feet, the results exceeded more than we’d envisioned. Through the course of the last twelve months, it has been one heck of a journey as I learned about God — His purposes, plans, love, timing, feasts, and Word — and the art of patiently waiting even when it seems like time is running out.
We will never fully understand or know all that God has planned; however, it only makes those moments of clarity even more transforming and exhilarating. That’s the beautiful thing about life; we are always given the power to choose which path we take. It might not always be the best choice, but there will undoubtedly be a lesson or two to learn no matter which direction we go in. God is amazing like that. He knows what is best and wants to see us achieve, but He gives us the freedom to follow Him willingly! And, if we wind up choosing a path that takes us the scenic route, God will ultimately find a way to bring us back on track. Detours aren’t always a bad thing; I’ve learned many a thing on my countless excursions, but there comes a time where we must decide whether we’re going to keep dipping our toes in and out of the water or finally take that surrendering plunge into the deep end.
My prayer for 2021 was for God to reveal Himself. Now, as we move into 2022, I’m setting my face like flint to prepare for a season of focus and dedication. God has done so much for my family and me this year, but He’s not finished with us yet — there’s still a lot more CrAzY Faith to cling onto (shout out to Michael Todd)! It’s time to fully surrender and prioritize the work God has set before me — mainly completing my debut novel — rather than treating it as a hobby. Though trials and tribulations will undoubtedly come to hinder my progress, this will be the year to utilize the teachings and tools the Father has geared me with so that I can stand my ground, turning my gaze away from the things of this world that will only distract and fill my soul with junk, and press into the promises of the Father!
What is your prayer for 2022? Are you feeling the same urgency to sharpen your armor and focus more on the things that are true, honorable, right, pure, and praiseworthy? The world is moving rapidly, and while the battle is far from over, we are made strong through Yeshua! This year is going to be a lot different than 2021 because we’re older, wiser, and more determined than ever! So, let’s use these next 365 days to commit ourselves to the things from above, setting our faces like flint and following the path laid before us!
“Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.” ~ Isaiah 50:7
Highlights from 2021: