Looking back over 2020, looking forward

For many people, 2020 means nightmare scenario. Our memories include sickness, the corona virus scare that began in March, shutdowns and isolation, not being able to see our loved ones, and going through disease and deaths.

For us, living in Spain during much of the year, we experienced all of the above. It was the most difficult year of my lifetime on several fronts, and the only thing that got me through was continually choosing to worship instead of worry.

We faced sickness, death, strict corona virus restrictions, trials, and, on top of that, an international move that began with selling our house and legal issues.

But, God directed our paths.

Even though this was a hard year, we watched as miracles unfolded. I don’t use the word miracles lightly, either. Even our lawyer told us, “You can thank God.” It was obvious that Someone much bigger than us was making things happen.

We arrived in the United States at the beginning of November. Our shipment arrived in good condition in mid-December. We are thankful.

My husband and I are living with a relative while searching for a house. When we found one we both loved and made an offer, we felt like this might be it. We prayed that God would either open or close doors and make it obvious to us if this was the house He wanted for us. Before the inspection, it became clear that this wasn’t the house He wants for us.

I love that we can trust God to guide us well. It is exciting to live like this and watch as He smooths the way or closes the door. All we need to do is follow Him—like silly sheep following the Shepherd. He always leads us well, provides, and protects.

I chose a theme word for 2020. It was worship.

With all that was going on in our lives, much of it unpleasant, I made it a point to turn off my worries and cares and consciously worship. I didn’t do it perfectly. There were days of tears and asking God why. I actually walked out into the yard and poured my heart out to the Lord, telling Him I couldn’t manage without His supernatural help. The great thing is, His help is always freely available.

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not (Jeremiah 33:3).

This is my testimony for this past year. God showed me great and mighty things. That’s what He does.

I am looking forward to seeing His mighty hand in 2021.

How has the Lord blessed you this past year? Want to share? Please feel free to comment.

Blogaversary Musings

A year ago, I launched out into the deep and began “Walking in the Way.” I’m not sure it has completely met my expectations or yours, but I’m experimenting and learning, and that counts for something, at least. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” So, I began, and I’m happy with completing this first year.

I also decided on a key phrase for last year. Truthfully, it has helped to ground my thinking through the year. 2019’s phrase was “Trusting God through the labyrinth.” At the time I decided on it, I had no idea how convoluted a path we would travel. 2019 was a good year, but we were faced with some unanticipated turns and changes in our lives, some real challenges, and different jobs. We also had many blessings. Indeed, God proved Himself faithful every single day.

This New Year 2020, I am thinking about a new theme for the year. It’s one word:

Worship.

I need to keep first things first—spending more time, energy, and prioritizing worship—praising, adoring, and keeping a correct perspective. My focus needs tweaking: more Bible, more getting to know my Lord, and definitely more true worship.

How about yours? I’m guessing we can all use a spiritual retuning in some area.

My husband and I are in one of the most uncertain phases of our lives: an overseas transition. We’ve had our house in Spain on the market since July, and exactly one person has come to see it. So, we have no idea when our house will sell and when we will be making our move. It might be in 2020—and maybe not. God knows, and we will rest in His best plan for us.

Also, we’ve faced some health challenges we didn’t expect. (Who does?) No one knows what the future holds. Thankfully, the Lord is sovereign, and He allows what He wills in our lives.

In the Bible, we read about invitations to worship Christ.* At Jesus’ birth, angels, shepherds, and wise men were called to worship Jesus. Simeon and Anna worshiped Him.

True believers are called to worship Jesus. Sinners are called to repentance and worship. Every nation will be gathered before the King of kings—and every knee will bow before Him.

Jesus said, But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).

I want to worship in spirit and truth.

Do you have a theme word or phrase for 2020? Please consider sharing.