2019 was rough.
I don’t say that lightly.
2019 was simultaneously the best year and hardest year of my life at the same time.
If you asked me to pick just one favorite memory from the year it would be impossible, because I experienced and lived so many wonderful moments.
But at the same time I walked through some of the darkest valleys I have ever experienced. I had days where I sat in the Walmart parking lot crying my heart out because I wasn’t sure how much more broken it could possibly get. I mourned and grieved, I wept, I suffered, and I had to make choices that cost me things I loved very much in the pursuit of obedience to Christ.
So even in all of the joy and moments I wish I could relive over and over, I had a very messy, broken, dark year.
That’s my favorite line, you know.
Because when God enters the stage, everything is about to change.
But even in the darkest, hardest moments of 2019 I experienced truths about God’s love that I never would’ve expected. And I realized even more… sometimes it takes the darkness to see and understand more of his light shining around me.
So whatever 2019 looked like for you or whatever 2020 is already looking like, it’s my prayer that these three truths will invade your heart and remind you of his great love.
GOD’S LOVE IS MY ANCHOR
In the midst of some of the darkest weeks of 2019 my heart felt like it was being tossed around on the waves of a storm.
Life often feels like that in the hardest moments.
It feels as if the storm is raging and the waves are tossing and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.
His love is an anchor.
I learned that, I experienced it, I felt it.
In the midst of the darkest storms, he is the One right there, holding me… holding you. He is the One whispering “Peace, be still,” not just to the waves, but to my heart in the midst of the waves. And he is there reminding me and you that when everything else is changing and shifting and breaking around us… he is secure and he is steady.
And he’s holding us. Every minute of every hour of every day.
GOD’S LOVE BRINGS ME HOPE
In the midst of pain or suffering, it can feel very hopeless. It can feel as if there is no purpose or reason.
And we won’t always understand the purpose or reason and sometimes there’s no way we’ll even see it here on earth.
But you have to believe that God doesn’t waste anything.
The hardest thing that you have walked through last year and the hardest thing that you have walked through today can still be used by God in some way, even when you don’t understand.
And that gives incredible reason to hope… no matter how dark and hopeless the situation may seem.
GOD’S LOVE IS NEVER GOING TO QUIT
I don’t know who or what in your life made you feel as if you were not worthy of love. I don’t know who or what in your life made you feel that if you just made one more mistake there love would go away.
But there is One who will love you unconditionally, forever, no matter what, and he’s never, ever going to stop.
His love is never going to quit.
We live in a fallen world. We live in a world marked by pain and sin. And the people we love are going to hurt us at some point, even if they don’t mean to. Sometimes that can make us feel as if their love is going to stop or quit.
No matter what earthly love stops or quits on you, his love never will.
His love is never going away.
There’s nothing you could ever do to make him love you less.
Rest in that, trust in it no matter what comes in 2020 for you.
Because if you know how much he loves you, then you will have the courage to face anything life throws at you this year, even when it still hurts.
He has always loved you. And he always will.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39).