2020 was a game changer for my family and myself. I don’t know about you, but 2020 started off pretty well with expectations of “this is the year we will do this or that.” And then it all changed. In what seemed like an instant, everything we knew about how our daily lives would go, got turned upside down. Every plan – out the window. Every event or vacation-canceled. Forget about the never-ending, ever-changing recommendations on how to stay “safe”.
Everything was new and different. And definitely not in a good way. The news was always horrible. Everything seemed to be tinged with anxiety, grief, strife, worry, and even anger.
For me, things definitely changed, but if I am completely honest, which I always am, what changed in my life, in my family’s life, NEEDED to change. We were caught in a never-ending struggle between what we thought we needed and what God knew we needed. For over two years, my constant prayer was for God to help me with my distractibility. I would write in my prayer journal every day, asking for guidance and telling Satan to stop trying to use distractions to, well, distract me. Distract me from my husband, from my kids, from everything that should mean the most to me. We were always seeking His guidance, while wanting His answers to line up with our own. Often not hearing anything that resembled an answer. This time, He sure did answer…it just didn’t come in the way we thought it would. It usually doesn’t.
I, thankfully, have home-schooled our children since our oldest was in first grade, so nothing changed for us. And believe me, God has given me so much compassion for the parents out there who have had their lives turned upside down with their child’s education. What happened because of all the upheaval is something that makes my heart sick. I make it a point to pray every day for friends and other families who are even struggling at this point, two years later, to decide about the next step to take.
My husband has worked throughout because he delivers needed supplies to construction sites and hospitals. He is what they call an “essential worker”. We are so thankful for his amazing company that has taken care of their workers. During that time, I began a remote job doing social media for a small company. I never anticipated it. I wasn’t looking for it. But I am blessed to love what I do.
God was doing a new thing. But what did that look like?
In our case, and I am speaking just about us, (knowing there are so many who are in a VERY different situation), He has taken what has happened and “turned it for good”. He has redeemed for us, so much of what we were losing and not even aware we were. We were losing time. We were not being present. We were not being intentional with our actions. We were not doing for our own family what we were pouring into others. We needed a “new thing” to be done, but God was the only one who could make it happen. Throughout this whole time I have uttered the same two words over and over…
He made us very aware of the frailty of life. How quickly things can change. We were busy doing everything we thought we should do, but not exactly or close to what God wanted us to do. Our actions were actually pulling our family apart and Satan was loving every distracted minute that we gave him.
He started doing new things. Our eyes began to open and He showed us everything that was going on had a purpose. In order for Him to do something new, we needed to get rid of the old. Our old thoughts. Our old ways. All of the old distractions. We needed to stop looking outside for answers and start looking up. When God does a new thing, it’s not always pretty. There were times when old ways would start to creep in and we would have to hold each other accountable. There were things we thought we needed, that we had to let go of, even some people. We were open to His leading and the necessary pruning. And during that time, the enemy tried his best to derail both of us, in an effort to derail our family. First, he went after my husband. Then me. But through it all, God showed up in ways we could never have imagined. In a community we never knew we needed. In ways that made us fall flat on our faces and to our knees, thanking Him for saving us from us. Yes, us from us. We kept getting in the way of the unbelievable plan that He already had in place for us because we were too busy trying to figure everything out ourselves.
Two years has passed and while we are happy 2020 and 2021 are gone, we are thankful for the lessons God taught us during that time. Our faith is the strongest it has ever been, as is our marriage and family, which is exactly why the enemy had ramped up his attacks. It’s too bad for the enemy that God always wins- which means we are victorious. Satan needs to be reminded of that daily!
Take a moment, quiet yourself, and ask God how he is using what is going on in your life to strengthen you and draw you closer to him? If you are being drawn away from him, you can be assured that he is not the one driving you away. Satan is solely responsible for that. He wants nothing more than for you to believe God doesn’t love you and that you are too far gone, but remember. He is a liar. Keep seeking, keep knocking, keep believing. You may not believe he will provide an answer, a way, a reason, but he will. He is Jireh. Your provider. The only one with the answers you are looking for.