The other day I posted that 2012 had been the hardest year in my life. While this is so very true, the other side of the coin is that 2012 was also a great year, and one of the most exciting years in my life.
Yeah, things were hard, really hard. But growing up, my dad always told me that if there is not a battle going on then you’re likely doing little for the kingdom of God. Satan and his crew don’t waste their time on those who are not pressing forward and kicking some butt in Jesus’ name. Now I am not saying that there are not people who have spiritual warfare who are lazy and just sin a ton, but I think there is truth to his statement. Amidst all the trials, sleepless nights, internal strife, and stress within life, there were abundant blessings and grace poured out on a daily basis.
I was blessed with my fourth child, Hudson. My other three children are healthy, growing, and a great joy in my life. In August, I was able to baptize my now seven year old! Not only that, but within Redemption Hill we baptized seven and dedicated six little ones. We saw people get saved, addictions overcome, sins fought, and reconciliation happen. We even made budget, which is a major blessing. On top of making budget, we were able to give away over $6,000 to other church plants, with another $6,000 to help fix cars, put a couple roofs on houses that were leaking, buy groceries, and a bunch of other things. This doesn’t mention all the things that happened within each of the Missional Communities in Redemption Hill. Mortgage payments were made, cars were given, childcare was provided, meals were cooked (probably hundreds of them!), rides were given, people were moved, and I could go on.
Above all of these earthly struggles that were helped, Jesus was delighted in. We still have a long ways to go and grow as we seek to be a people that are broken by Jesus and live as a family of missionary servants, but we are slowly moving that way. The Spirit has been doing His part and refining us, hence the pain and joy!
C. H. Spurgeon said, “Every year that the Church is kept a united church, is a year of miracle.” Of all the things mentioned above, this one truth is of most beauty to me. Grace has caused our little church family to still love and care for each other and have great unity. This is something that we cannot do in and of ourselves. It is done by grace and grace alone. The overwhelming thing is the grace that was extended in 2012 by Jesus is the same grace that we are privileged to walk in in 2013.