To women’s leaders around the world,
We made it! By God’s grace, we made it through the hardest year of leadership we’ve ever encountered. 2020 was disruptive, chaotic, exasperating, immobilizing, exhausting (go ahead and add your words to the list!) Let’s exhale a collective sigh of relief.
As I trace the past year through my prayer journal entries, I’m amazed at all that God has taught me, and how He’s changed me as a woman and a leader. Has God changed you, too?
- He is more than enough.
- His Word is true and unchanging.
- He hears the desperate cries of my heart.
- He sees my “flabby” faith and sinful ways, yet loves me still.
Didn’t I already know those things? I did.
In strange and unexplainable ways, the Truth became more real in 2020. It’s one thing to believe Jesus will never leave or forsake us. It’s altogether different when you experience it in a profound way—as I did when my body was assaulted by a mysterious infection this year.
Jesus was present and faithful for you, too when all those prayerfully-made ministry plans at the beginning of the new decade were tossed out the window in March. We couldn’t possibly have envisioned challenges like this:
- Who could have known that so many marriages would show signs of fracture under the strain of this difficult year?
- Who could have anticipated that church families would become divided over mask policies?
- Who could have imagined how many women would become depressed and disconnected in these months?
Through it all, you persevered. You kept your eye on the goal, and didn’t shrink back from hard. You leaned on Jesus, the power and wisdom of God. I’m so proud of you.
2020 gave us a clearer vision for what truly matters in ministry, and for that, we can thank God. When our ministries were shaken to the core, the non-essential, just-for-fun activities didn’t remain. We discovered whether our ministries were built on a strong foundation with a clear biblical purpose. We realized we can try something new and it doesn’t have to be perfect. Disruption is an opportunity if we invite it to teach us.
What can we expect from 2021? Only God knows. But we can be sure of this:
- It will demand more than you have to give.
- It will ask questions that you cannot answer.
- Ministry will be disappointing at times.
- There will be days when it feels impossible.
- You’ll wonder what God is doing in the world.
- You may ponder if good can possibly come from all of it.
This year, and every year, we can also be sure of this—we will need Jesus.
In every unsettling moment, Revive Our Hearts is here to remind you that God is good and does good (Psalm 119:68). I pray we run to the Word which is more-than-sufficient for any catastrophe or bad news that slaps us in the face. I pray nothing will steal the peace of Christ in our hearts, and that we’ll be diplomats of peace wherever we go. I pray our hope will be rooted in nothing other than the gospel truth: Jesus humbled Himself to enter our broken world to rescue and redeem sinners like us. And, He is coming again to gather His people and make everything beautiful and right—the way it was intended.
When we become fearful or fail, let’s remember God’s unfailing love and compassion:
For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,
says the Lord, who has compassion on you. –Isa. 54:10
Even more, let’s “press on to know the Lord” (Hos. 6:3) and expect Him to do great things in 2021.