Well, after a crazy couple of months, I’m back. This season has been incredibly hard for me. I know it’s been hard for a lot of you, but just because we’ve all gone through it, doesn’t mean it’s any easier for me. My story is valid because it’s my story.
At the beginning of March, before I knew the extent of all COVID would be for our world, I was thriving. Alone time was amazing. I could finally write and do everything I was pushing off. I could finally prove that God IS hope in the midst of hopeless situations.
Suddenly, the phrase “new normal” came into our vocabulary, and I realized that this wasn’t a temporary blip in history. This was a life-changing, catastrophic event that would affect every person on the planet. And suddenly, I didn’t have all the answers. I didn’t have the perfect Instagram post or Tweet to comfort anyone. I could barely comfort myself.
But I know the One who knows the future. I know the One who WRITES the future. And I realized just this week, after hitting a wall at the end of April, that I literally had the weight of the world on my shoulders instead of trusting God to fight my battles for me.
It’s been hard to open up WordPress and write anything public. My journal has been FILLED with my prayers, thoughts, feelings…the good, bad, and ugly. And after looking back at my journal entries from a few months ago, I realize that God has been faithful to comfort me and equip me for this very moment.
This past Sunday, I listened to a sermon by Pastor Robert Madu, who was guest speaking at Life Church. At the beginning of the message, he confessed that he was telling God that he didn’t ask for any of this. God reminded him that in the beginning of the year, Pastor Robert asked for more of God, whatever it takes to get closer to Him. Well, God answered his prayer, but not in the way that he expected.
That line spoke to me. What did I ask God for in the beginning of this year? God’s word for me this year was “holy.” I didn’t understand it, and I didn’t like it. It wasn’t a trendy word, like “adventure” or “success.” It was something I couldn’t do on my own, something that forced me to rely on Him. After all that’s happened this year, I’ve learned that God is the ONLY one I can rely on.
I wanted to share some of what I learned and prayed for at the beginning of 2020. My hope in sharing is that you would be encouraged that life will go on after COVID is over. Sure, we’ll have to face “a new normal,” but were we even happy with the “old” normal? (I know I wasn’t). What is normal, anyway?
So, without further ado, here are some lines from my journal for each day of January (except for some days where I didn’t write). If you all like it, I’ll share my journal entries from February and March:
January 1st: “God is a dreamer.”
January 2nd: “God is leading me, and this is the year when my faith in Him will grow…He’s calling the body back to Himself, and I’m included.”
January 3rd: “God is the God of the plains. We crave mountaintop experiences and fear valley experiences, but most of our lives are in the middle” (inspired by a YouVersion plan about holiness).
January 4th: “God is holy, pure, ‘other.’ When you come in contact with a holy person or thing, you can defile him if you are unclean. But Jesus was able to touch sick people and make them clean” (inspired by the Bible Project’s video on kadash).
January 5th: “God grows me in the season of waiting. And in the year where all my dreams are coming true, I want to even see God work in my everyday life.”
January 7th: “To be holy means to be set apart from sin for the purpose of serving and/or bringing glory to God” (inspired by notes from the Zondervan NIV Study Bible).
January 8th: “God loves us too much to leave us as we are” (inspired by a sermon preached by Pastor Steve at LFCC’s Young Adult Ministry)
January 11th: “God will prove Himself holy” (based on Ezekiel 36:23).
January 12th: “The waiting period is an opportunity to learn what God says and what we need to do” (inspired by a sermon preached by Pastor Ed at LFCC).
January 14th: “Thanks be to God that we can be holy by His grace. Amen!”
January 16th: “GOD IS SO GOOD! I’m trusting Him for the battles bigger than me” (inspired by a sermon preached by Pastor Steven Furtick at Elevation Church).
January 19th: “Let God show you the potential of what you have. When God calls you to do something, He provides the resources” (inspired by a sermon from Pastor Ed at LFCC).
January 20th: “It amazes me that God calls us holy people, but we’ll never be perfect until we die. I guess God sees us from an eternal perspective. He sees us how we were destined to be.”
January 21st: “We are a dwelling place for God.”
January 22nd: “Never doubt in the dark what God has told you in the light” (inspired by a sermon preached by Pastor Steve at LFCC).
January 23rd: “God will take your greatest hurt and make it your greatest ministry.”
January 25th: “I know this is hard but I can’t take the way we’ve been over the years. Our schedules are consuming us and I really hope something changes when we get a house” (to say the least, being in quarantine has allowed Lenny and I to get some wonderful quality time together!).
January 26th: “Don’t have a short memory when it comes to what God has done” (inspired by a sermon preached by Pastor Ed at LFCC).
January 27th: “Holy humans are set apart by God for His special use. While He owns everything, some people and places He reserves in a special way” (inspired by notes from the Zondervan NIV Study Bible).
January 28th: “I’m trusting God to heal and restore me. Whatever that looks like” (I started 2020 with some health challenges. Thank God that He got all of them out of the way before New York became a hot spot for COVID or else I wouldn’t have been able to go to the doctor as often as I did).
January 30th: “We need the support of others to wake us up.”
January 31st: “God is telling me to be still and focus on the present. To be thankful for what I have now. At one point, I considered the things that annoy me now as blessings from God, and I prayed for them.”
On that note, I encourage you to be thankful even for this season. It’s hard, but it will bring you closer to God. If you need help, please reach out. I may not have all the answers, but I know what it’s like to handle scary situations alone. Let me tell you, it’s much better with help!
What has God taught YOU during this season? (Comment below!)