Heart of gratitude, part two (Reflection on the year)

I have seen this post on Instagram over the past few weeks and it inspired my thoughts for this blog. The post says ‘I thought 2020 would be the year I got everything I wanted. Now I know 2020 is the year I appreciate everything I have.’ At the beginning of this year, I wrote out some ideas of what I wanted to do in 2020. I was still in Amsterdam and I wanted to continue travelling after coming home to work for a while. I was planning different ways to grow in ministry, and I was excited for what the year had to hold. In reality I spent most of the year unemployed, I have not travelled further than England and I have not accomplished many of the ideas I was expecting to. I spent many months of this year unhappy and worried and fearful. I was overwhelmed with not having work and I felt this year was a huge waste.

Thankfully, I am ending this year in employment and I am continuously being set free from the burdens I put on myself. I do understand not everyone is in this position. Some of you reading this truly feel you have lost everything, and you feel there is no solution to the many problems you are facing. For this blog, I thought it would be nice to take time to focus on the people and things we can appreciate from this year. For some it may only be one or two contributions. Regardless of how many, I hope we can appreciate how faithful God has been to us. Even in the midst of our struggle and hardship, God has still got us to where we are today. Maybe, you do not want to be in the place you are today, but I trust and believe in a God, who is always making a way in our lives. Sometimes in comparison with the world, we feel we have so little. As I look back on the year when I felt I had so little. I was truly overwhelmed by God’s faithfulness, grace, and redemption. This blog is for my Heavenly Father, my Saviour, and my closest friend. Thank you, God, for 2020 and for leading me through it.

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. (Psalm 94v19)

Thank you, God, for leading me daily to my bible. Even on the days when my emotions were high, or I was mentally drained. Thank you, God, for how you used the Old Testament to teach me valuable lessons about life and what a life of faith looks like. It does not mean I have to be perfect or life will be perfect, but I do have to trust and put you first. Thank you, for answering my questions in wonderful ways or the way I laugh when you help me to realise, I have misunderstood something. Thank you Lord for helping me to love Your word and helping me to live it out through my life. Half the time the intentions never come out as I intend but thank you for giving me a spirit which never gives up. Thank you for all I continue to learn through Your word and thank you that even on the bad coffee days your word is more refreshing.

Thank you, Lord, for the many people you have used to mentor me in my faith, whether I know them personally or not. From the many sermons and books, I have been blessed to watch and read this year. You knew exactly the people who I would relate to or I would need, and you are so good at being so intentional. Some truths were hard to swallow but thank you God for your grace and forgiveness. Thank you, Lord, your word is as alive today as it was when it was first written. It has absolute transformational power. I thank you, for people who are willing to share their faith and their life so that others can learn and see a testament of Your faithfulness.

Thank you for all you have ministered into my life and how you have used those to minister into the life of others. Thank you for the continuous ministry through this blog and how it is going out and reaching the people at that moment.

Finally, thank you Lord for my family. Thank you for the many blessings you have poured out over us and how you have seen us through many challenges this year. We could never doubt your faithfulness and goodness. Thank you for my friends, thank you for getting them through so many trials and triumphs. In a year which has tried to knock us down completely, you have strengthened and equipped us all to keep standing and pushing forward. To see the triumphs of my family and friends has been such a blessing.

I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together. I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. (Psalm 34v1-4)

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