The Good, the Bad and the Stretching.

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:19

I understand 2020 has stretched us – but if we’re honest, hasn’t every year?

I’m not taking away from the toll that this year has taken on many. Each year brings about unchartered waters & a continued opportunity to put our trust in the Only One who can truly sustain us.

In 2020, I’ve seen miracles happen literally right before our eyes. A man who doctors said had 3 months left to live is still here, over a year later – and his cancer is SHRINKING. A baby with heart failure is alive with HIS OWN HEART beating in his chest. I’ve seen beautiful couples begin their new life as one. I’ve seen the gift of new life with precious babies born this year.

ONLY GOD.

We have the choice of a clean slate every moment of every day. Not just because we’re starting out a new year. But because of our God’s faithfulness. He exchanges old for new.  The Lord’s grace is sufficient every day. Every hour. Every minute. I know many people love the idea of a “new you, new year” – and I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. But what if we viewed every day with the same drive and desire that we have at the crest of a new year? 

I’m not taking away from the trials and difficulties of 2020. But I believe if we look just beyond that – beyond what we’ve endured – there is so much on the other side. The resiliency, the determination, the creativity, the compassion that have risen up in so many this year in a new way.

We can look at 2020 and see all the “bad” that it’s brought us. We can make statements when an inconvenience happens to us, stating, “It’s 2020, of course this would happen.” But dear friends, we are NOT victims.

Romans 8:37 says, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” It doesn’t say we’ll just barely get by. The verse says we are MORE than conquerors through Him.  

What if we looked at 2020 with the lens of 1 Chronicles 16:12, which says, “Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced.”

I don’t know about you, but there are some things that 2020 have taught me that I don’t want to forget.

I realized I was living 100mph, and had stopped finding joy in certain things because I was too busy. Along with 100mph living, I neglected time to allow my body to rest and recover, even in the midst of ongoing health issues. I would take out my frustrations on my husband, while simultaneously trying to “people please” because I was too prideful to admit that I was overwhelmed and needed help. I have learned SO much about my body and what it looks like to treat it as a temple of the Holy Spirit. I’ve grown deeper roots in areas that I didn’t even know were shallow.

One of my favorite songs in this season is called “The Story I’ll Tell” by Naomi Raine. If you haven’t heard it, give it a listen. What an anthem of truths of who our God is and how He carries us through every season. It’s so important to declare His truths over your life – no matter what your season looks like.

One of the many attributes I love about our kind and merciful Father is that nothing surprises Him. He’s never caught off guard. He knew your situation long ago, and He made a way. It’s yours for the taking.

Let’s claim and walk in His promises as we continue into this new year.

Father God,

Thank You for Your faithful hand in our lives. I am so grateful that we have never lived an unloved moment because of You. I pray for anyone reading this that You would intentionally and lovingly minister to their hearts in the way that only You can. I pray for peace and perseverance as we continue to press on. Thank you for being our strength in times of weakness. Our encouragement when we lose hope. Our praise for heaviness that You exchange, our mourning for joy and bring beauty from ashes. We’ve seen You do it before and we know You’ll do it again. We praise You for who You are and what You’re doing in each one of our lives. You don’t waste a thing. We love You, and give You all the praise and glory in all things.

In Your holy name we pray, Amen.

Katrina Sipe

Katrina Sipe lives in Chambersburg, PA and married her husband Corbin on May 2, 2020. She loves to hike, kayak and be outside in nature. Coffee is her love language and she really enjoys cooking and baking gluten-free foods. She is on staff at Grand Point Church, Shippensburg and loves seeing the way the Lord is moving in the local communities.

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