Encouragement/Devotional, Faith, Gratitude, Growth, Health, Lifestyle, Ouch!, Prayer, Relationships

Year in Review: 52 Lessons from 2020 for 52 Weeks of the Year

Happy New Year Sis! I hope you had a good one. However you may feel about 2020, where would we be without the lessons we learned in this past year to help us to grow?

Below are 52 lessons I learned in 2020 ( I probably learned more, lol)–a lesson for each week of the year! Enjoy and please share some of the lessons you learned below or any that you related to in 2020.

  1. HEAL-The best thing I can do to be a better person, better disciple of Christ, better daughter, better sister, better aunt, better niece, better cousin, better employee, better servant, better friend, and just better overall is to HEAL.
  2. Healing doesn’t involve anyone else but me and Jesus. If I make it about or dependent on anyone else, I will never heal.
  3. I cannot love people apart from the Holy Spirit. Let me repeat that again. I CANNOT love people the way 1 Corinthians 13 tell us to apart from the Holy Spirit.
  4. My heart needs to remain tender and responsive to the Lord. This hasn’t always been easy for me, but sometimes it’s because I have refused to acknowledge my own woundedness and pain or how deeply things affect me and then bring them before Him.
  5. A transformed heart will allow me to see things more clearly, from God’s perspective. 
  6. The enemy would want nothing more than to deceive me. He is the father of lies and is the master at creating division. Yet, I can also be guilty and a willing participant when I believe his lies, i.e. anything contrary to the Word of God, or am a participant in creating division. 
  7. Start challenging the narratives I have told myself for years that appear to be true, simply because I have repeated them for so long, and line them up with the Word of God. Be willing to think about what I am thinking about. This helped me so much this year and helped me rediscover how much I really loved the Christmas holiday. 
  8. Changing the narrative in my life starts with one decision. The decision to believe differently, to think differently, to see differently.
  9. I have misrepresented God in how I have treated others. Please forgive me. I have not always honored everyone, Christ follower or not, as an image bearer of God. No matter who a person is, what they have said or done, how they choose to live, what they stand for or against, everyone walking planet earth bears the image of the Lord. 
  10. I can’t grow or be healed on my own terms (story of Naaman), but God’s. God meets me where I am and He is the best assessor of the human heart, not others, and definitely not ourselves. 🙌🏾🙌🏾
  11. Be mindful of who is in my ear, who is feeding me, what/who I am listening to, choosing to entertain and what I allow myself to consume. That goes for physical food and everything I take in through my eye and ear gates.
  12. Grief is not just about the death of a loved one, but a loss of any kind. It’s sorrow over what I once thought something was and realizing it no longer is. It’s about giving space to what may never be.
  13. Know the difference between what is fact, what is truth—only God’s Word is absolute truth—and what is reality. God’s truth TRUMPS all the others, no matter what the facts are and what the reality may be. Thank God it does. My reality, however, will become what I continue to dwell on.
  14. The spirit of rejection is real, insidious and so very damaging. I must be sure I am not sowing seeds of it and ask the Lord to help me to deal with and uproot it in my own life. Thank God He already accepts me as I am, knowing all that He knows about me. That is enough. Rejection, however, is a part of the Christ follower’s journey so I need to be ok with it. Jesus was rejected.
  15. If the blood of Jesus and the finished work of the Cross isn’t enough to cover what I feel like I can’t forgive, I am in trouble.
  16. The Word of God is a mirror. It encourages, challenges, convicts, corrects, teaches, rebukes. The real test is, after I have read it, is if I go and DO what it tells me and apply it in my life. 
  17. Something my pastor taught me: Love and work with people where they are, not where you want them to be. (Hint, listen to what they say and you will know exactly where they are in their heart.) Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. 
  18. My feelings and emotions are instrumental in helping me to know there is an issue, but I should not lead with them. 
  19. When the Lord keeps bringing something up or you hear it repeatedly, pay attention. He ALWAYS prepares us before the storm or the test. I just haven’t always been listening, paying attention or simply been distracted.
  20. Spending time with the Lord is NEVER time wasted. EVER!
  21. The gift of time and repentance have been some of THEE best gifts God has given me in this year. Why? Because life is but a vapor and I can be here today and literally gone today.
  22. The Lord is sooooooo merciful! I am so glad about it and that He doesn’t handle me or deal with me as I deserve! I really don’t have time to judge others if I am more focused more on letting the Lord deal with the plank in my own eye. 
  23. God is BOTH/AND at the same time. He is both loving and just. He is a God of love and a God of wrath.
  24. The only person I need to worry about offending is God. He is the only one who can destroy both soul and body.
  25. Wise counsel is good. Wise godly counsel, with fruit as evidence, is critical and necessary. I am so grateful I had the latter this year. 
  26. Soul/heart care is critical. (He looks at the heart of man anyway.) We talk a lot about self care, but I would argue that when I take time to care for my soul/heart (which out of it flow the issues of life), the byproduct of that is self care, or what I like to call stewardship care.
  27. Understanding stewardship is a game changer. It comes with this understanding that truly NOTHING/NO THING belongs to me, but I have simply been called to steward/manage it. My very breath doesn’t even belong to me. Whatever I “think” I own, I can and will misuse or abuse.
  28. I perpetuate certain cycles when I don’t change my behavior. I cannot change my behavior until I do the work to renew my mind daily, with the Word of God, and allow the Lord to change my heart. Changed behavior without heart transformation is not sustainable.
  29. God is my Vindicator and my Defender. Sometimes, the best thing to do is just pray and remain silent. He knows. He sees. He will respond. And He really is the BEST at determining what is justice because He is the only Perfect one.
  30. I have used the phrase, “God knows my heart” one too many times. Yet, the Holy Spirit has been asking me lately, “Yes, but do YOU know your heart?” and if so, what are YOU going to do about it? “The heart is deceitfully wicked. Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). God does. 
  31. Situations and trials, no matter how difficult, always teach us something about us. I find myself asking more and more, “Lord, what do I need to learn from this? What are you trying to show me in this?” And it ain’t always pretty. (Refer to 1)
  32. His grace really is sufficient, i.e. ample, adequate, enough, abundant. 
  33. I don’t want or need to be strong all the time. How else can God’s strength be made perfect in my weakness?
  34. Keep people in your life who will tell you the truth (according to the Word of God) about you, not others. It is how you grow. I would rather have the wounds of a faithful friend, rather than the kisses of an enemy.
  35. I have been seeking validation and affirmation from others for so long that when God does it and has already affirmed me, I can’t receive it and find it hard to believe. 
  36. A broken spirit and a contrite (remorseful, repentant) heart, these things, are still things the Lord cherishes and doesn’t despise, although it is unpopular. 
  37. Discipleship is always and still is Jesus’s heart for those who call upon the name of the Lord. “Therefore, go and make DISCIPLES of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19)
  38. The Lord desires deep intimacy with me. Sometimes, we can become so familiar with a person, that we can really forget who they are and just settle for who they are to us. Sometimes, I have forgotten who God is and how powerful He is.
  39. Human anger is never a legitimate tool to promote God’s righteous purpose. (James 1:20, TPT)
  40. Probably the hardest lesson for me:  Jesus said “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but division” (Luke 12:51). When Jesus, the TRUTH, the Living Word of God, steps into something, it will cause division. The WORD, living and active, divides soul and spirit, and discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12) and nothing is hidden from Him, but is naked and exposed.
  41. Doing what God has asked is hard sometimes, but beneficial. It is NOT pleasing to my flesh. It is humbling sometimes. It does not take into consideration how I feel about it. It is uncomfortable. Sometimes it is painful. It will cause you to swallow your words one time too many.
  42. Praise really does confuse the enemy!  
  43. I have authority, granted to me by Jesus, over every spirit that is not of God. I just better make sure I am operating with the right weapons, not the carnal, fleshly ones, but the ones that are mighty through God.
  44. Staying grateful will quell grumbling and complaining. 
  45. I am allergic to people who always got drama or something going on in their life, people who are always negative no matter what you say, always think an issue is someone else and not them, people who are prideful, and people who are always gossiping and talking about someone else and their life. I have NO space or energy for this in 2021.
  46. Kindness and gentleness is still attractive.
  47. The things I see in other people that irritate me, frustrate me, annoy me, anger me or even repel me just may be things lying dormant in me or that I once was or still am guilty of. Don’t believe me? Ask the Holy Spirit. He will tell you. (refer to  48)
  48. The Holy Spirit really will tell you what you need to know when you need to know it. EVERY TIME! And He talks to you about you, not other people. 
  49. There is a huge difference between discernment and suspicion. One comes from the Holy Spirit. and the other is based on assumptions and repeated patterns/cycles. 
  50. “Discernment is NOT knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and ALMOST right.” ~Charles Spurgeon. I will add, the only One fit to determine what is right is not me, but Christ and His Word.
  51. I don’t need to study about counterfeits, knocks off, or imitations to know the real thing. I must focus my time and energy on the real THING, so I can easily discern what is not real or a masquerader.
  52. When you really know and BELIEVE who you are in CHRIST, you will stop trying to prove yourself to others. It’s exhausting anyway and an absolute waste of time.

***Bonus: It’s easy to get offended 🙋🏾‍♀️. It’s also a CHOICE to be and stay there. And that is a trap of satan. I am no longer falling for that trap.

But before you go…

***Tomorrow is not promised. Today is all we have. If you are reading this and haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as Your Lord and Savior, would you consider doing so right now? Jesus died so He could have a personal relationship with you and so that one day, when you leave this earth, you can spend eternity with Him. You can say a prayer similar to this:

Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner and that I cannot save myself. You showed Your great love for me, while I was in my sinful state, by sending Jesus Christ to die for me. Today, right now, I declare that Jesus is the Son of God. I believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead. Please enter into my heart, Lord Jesus, forgive me of all of my sins, and seal me with Your Holy Spirit. I choose this day to live for You, all the days of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you said this prayer (or something similar) and you truly meant it, welcome to the family of God! Angels in heaven are rejoicing with you on the best decision you will ever make in life, and so am I! Please send me an email (ladyinwaiting222@gmail.com) or respond to this post so I can celebrate with you!

Then the Lord God made a woman

Genesis 2:22, NLT

Scripture references: The Holy Bible

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