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A page from my journal.

My friend Sarah started this tradition of getting me a journal for Christmas every year. Last year, a day before 2020 started, I took some time to journal the things I wanted to accomplish in the coming year on the first page. Physical things like applying to grad school or starting my first manuscript, and other things like being intentional about praying for my future husband and discipleship. The funny thing is, I forgot I wrote down half of what is on my list until I looked back at it the other day. God is so good!

This journal went on to hold the outlines of devotional studies, a compilation of my feelings as certain circumstances unfolded, fears I realized I had throughout the year and personal revelations from the Lord. As much as I recorded in it, there is so much I never got on paper. For Christmas this year, the tradition continued. Before I sat down with my journal to make my list for 2021 on the first page, I finished up my old journal with what I've written below. I'm sharing it with you, exactly as I wrote it, because maybe it will encourage your heart to hear what the Lord has done in my heart and my life this year. But if you read no further than this sentence, here's what the Lord spoke to my heart as I contemplated the year that's winding down, and the new one coming:

New year, same Savior.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. ~ Hebrews 13:8

Now here's my journal entry from December 29, 2020, for anyone still reading...

A lot happened this year I did not write down. It was too much for pen and paper, and refined words. There was loss and brokenness. There was change. So much change. There was clarity and revelation, and somehow also the start of restoration. There was fruitfulness. There was sorrow. There was looking to the Heavens inquisitively... often. And there was all of this at the same time. Yet... God never changed. Not once, for even a moment.

This was the year one of my greatest struggles died with finality. This was the year God allowed me to see the importance of discipleship by doing it, and seeing the fruit of it. This was the year I met the man who, at the very least, yet very most, God is using to love the fear out of me. This was the year so many of us stood face-to-face with the reality of who and where we are and had a decision to make. And we did, and we continue to make the decision to let God into it all a little more each time. This was the year God made me a true worship leader. This was the year God showed me clearly and constantly that He is a God that meets me where I am, no matter where I am.

For all it was and all it wasn't, 2020 was a pivotal year that passed right through the hands of God with great intention.

~ Alyssa

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