Well, hello! I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but 2020 is here!!
Please excuse me while I happy dance… BRB…
I’ve read a lot of posts this year already and the bulk of them have been about the lessons that the blogger learned in 2019. I love that idea so much I thought I’d make my own list. However, the last decade has been such a profound one for me, so, instead of limiting it to just last year, I thought I’d do a top ten list of the last ten years.
The year 2010 taught me the depth and Source of my strength.
Philippians 4:13 is a popular verse amongst many Christian circles (it’s the “I can do things” one). But 2010 really brought it to life for me. Do you know what I learned? There is a Christ-shaped well of strength on the inside of me and I really can make it through anything with His help.
The year 2011 taught me that He is my Provider.
The Jews have several names for Yahweh, or God, representing a facet of His character. The earliest known rendering of one of those names is Jehovah Jireh, the God Who Provides. It is first seen in the Old Testament account of Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah when God provided a sacrifice in place of Isaac. In 2011 we faced financial crisis after financial crisis and every single time, God miraculously provided. Every. single. time.
The year 2012 taught me the importance of honesty.
I’ve never been much of liar. But I have been guilty of covering things up for people. While love does cover a multitude of sin, it does not cover up issues or diminish them. Love deals honestly and openly with destructive behaviors and confronts them head on. I feel like that is something our culture is so guilty of… we don’t deal with issues because we don’t want to make anyone angry. The only people who get angry when truth is exposed, are the people who have something to gain by keeping it hidden. Those people will continue to hurt anyone and everyone around them if they are allowed to continue in their junk and I finally had to learn when and how to speak up.
The year 2013 taught me how to honor those who trust you.
Back in August I wrote a post entitled, “The Day my Voice Died“. That experience cemented in me the necessity of never taking lightly another person’s decision to put their trust in me. When someone decides that I am safe for them to confide in, even if it’s only one time, I need to protect and treasure their decision, guarding their trust close to my heart.
The year 2014 taught me the importance of standing up for myself.
In my heart of hearts I am typically a “peace at any price” kind of person. I want to get along with everyone around me and have, on more than one occasion, sacrificed my own well-being in order to do so. I H A T E telling people no and will go to great lengths to keep from doing so. However, in 2014, I had no choice but to continually speak up for myself. It was challenging, but I needed someone to stand up for me and if I wasn’t willing to, who would be?
The year 2015 taught me how to fight for myself.
So remember 2014’s lesson? Well in 2015 standing up for myself became a battle. The pressure to sit down and be quiet became intense. I can remember distinctly feeling like I was getting nowhere in doing so. But that wasn’t the point. The point was doing what I knew to be right and, in this case, it was not backing down, no matter the cost. I learned that I am worth fighting for.
The year 2016 taught me how to be brave.
As a result of 2015’s lesson, I had to make some hard decisions. There were many times that I wanted to run away, but I couldn’t. I had to keep moving forward and allow the situation to make me more brave than I ever thought I could be.
The year 2017 taught me about the love of Christ.
In April of 2017 I had an unmistakable encounter with the pure, terrifying and beautiful love of Christ. I call it my Damascus Road experience. Saul was a devout and vicious Jewish priest who persecuted the 1st century Christians. On his way to a new town, while on the road to Damascus, he had an encounter with Christ that changed him forever (Acts 9:1-9). While my Damascus Road experience was considerably less dramatic in its events, the effect it had on me was no less profound. For the first time in my relationship with Him, I could tangibly feel the power of Christ’s love for His people. I couldn’t eat or sleep and I cried, non-stop, for days. I will never ever forget it and I pray that its effects will never wear off.
The year 2018 taught me about the importance of worship.
If you have followed me for long, you know about my wreck in November of 2017. In 2018, the injuries that resulted in that wreck began to experience complications. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, or CRPS, was the overarching term. It was a devastating diagnosis In the days that followed, worship took on a whole new meaning. It became moments of rest and recuperation. It became moments of quiet surrender where I could sense the Lord fighting this battle on my behalf. Simply put, worship became my lifeline.
The year 2019 taught me about hope.
Hope… Humans need hope. It crucial to our survival. Hope gives us a reason to keep moving forward in the midst of terrible circumstances. It helps us believe that we can do the impossible. Hope fuels us as we chase our dreams and sits next to us in hospital rooms and doctor’s offices. It is why Luke* prays that the God of hope fill us until we overflow with it. There is nothing that can bring joy in the midst of suffering like hope can.
Overall, the last ten years have taught me that “I am more than a conqueror through Christ, who loves me. For I am sure that neither life nor death, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor anything else in all creation can separate me from the love of” my precious Jesus Christ.
And now I’m looking forward to what the next ten have in store!
What about you? What are some valuable lessons the last decade has taught you? Tell me in the comments below…
*It has not been proven that Luke wrote the book of Acts, however it is widely accepted among scholars that he did.