Welcome to the year 2020. A new decade. I enjoy milestone moments that make me think back to all the things God has done in my life in the past and look forward to all He will do in the future. There are so many things that have changed in me and my life that caused me to learn more about myself and living the life God has called me to. So I thought it’d be good to share some reflections of the past decade.
At the beginning of 2010, my family was smaller, I lived in a different state, was part of a different church, and did my job in a completely different way. Very little has stayed the same. God is known for His transformational powers and I can see evidences of that in my life for sure!
As I think about the decade of 2020, I fast forward 10 years and think about all the possible changes and opportunities ahead. There is so much to look forward to and anticipate. It’s only because of ALL the things I’ve seen God do in the past decade that causes me to have hope and excitement for this coming one! Remembering what God has done in the past helps us hold tightly to the hope of all He will do in the future.
Here are some of my reflections of the past decade that are life changing lessons to take with me into the next decade:
Surrendering to God’s plan is better than my plan
Wow this decade stretched me to be openhanded with our lives and plans in so many ways. Surrender is not easy, but it creates a massive growth spurt of faith. The biggest surrendering moment of our decade was moving to Florida to help start a church. This changed the entire trajectory of our lives. God used this to grow us in ways we didn’t even know we could be stretched. It allowed us to rely on the Lord and walk in faith at every step and every change. We can see the AMAZING work the Lord has done in us and through us because of it.
During this decade, we decided for my husband to leave his career job in pursuit of a totally different path- TWICE! Trusting the Lord and surrendering to His path for my husband’s career journey has been such a growing experience. There were so many unknowns that were out of our control, but instead of sitting in fear and worry, we walked by faith and felt the peace of God’s promises.
Remember that hardships bring growth
There were many hard moments as I look at my reflections of the past decade. The biggest one was being foster parents for 5 years. That was not easy, but it brought so much growth for all of us. Plus it opened the door for us to adopt our youngest child!
Facing hardships head on causes you to rely on the Lord in a totally different way. It also reveals a lot of your weaknesses, sin tendencies, and character defects that need improvement. Once these areas are brought to our attention, just ignoring them and sweeping them under the rug was not an option. It was time to get to work and that resulted in very unexpected growth. We thought we were becoming foster parents to help hurting kids, but God saw that we needed some help in our own lives as well.
Getting too comfortable can make faith stagnant
Have you ever felt your faith get lazy and stagnant? One lesson I’ve learned from my reflections of the past decade is that being too comfortable can cause us to get more self-reliant and less God reliant. In Indiana, it was comfortable and easy compared to the life of faith we live now. But we didn’t realize that the idols we’d created there were giving us the illusion that we had it all figured out and prevented us from trusting the Lord and His plan for our lives. We had to get really uncomfortable to grow in our faith. I’m not saying that is the recipe for growth for everyone, but that is what God has used in our lives for massive faith growth spurts.
These 3 reflections of the past decade are ones I can take with me the rest of my life. I am so thankful for the roller coaster of these past 10 years and how much has happened. I would not be the person I am today without all of those experiences, highs, lows, gains, and losses. Thanks 2010’s- now it’s time to apply all I’ve learned and bring it into the 2020’s!
What have you learned from the past decade?