2022 – What a Year!
2022 – What a Year! Or something like that. We’re near the end and it’s not a bad idea to take stock of the year. What happened? What situations or circumstances dominated the year? Is it a year you’ll look back on with fondness? Or a year you’ll be happy to move on from?
My year has certainly been a mixed bag. Many wonderful things. And a handful of hard things, too. The hard things are easy to remember. Funny how that works. But the memories of some of the wonderful things, and especially the simple wonders that come about in the normalcy of life, often grow faint in my memory. Through the magic of technology, though, I can easily scroll my year in review through the picture app on my phone. Starting in January and scrolling through all the way up until last night, I can get a pretty good look at most of the events of the last 12 months.
The first picture of the year was of Leanne working on an oversized birthday card for Pastor Toby. As a family we walked it over to his house on the afternoon of the 1st to surprise him (we live in the same neighborhood). I’d completely forgotten about that! But that was a fun little adventure. A small thing, but meaningful, nonetheless. I also took pictures that night of a delicious looking tri-tip roast that I had grilled up for a New Year’s meal (it’s perfectly normal to take pictures of your meat-successes, right?). And then if I scroll all the way to last night, I see a picture of Uno Attack. It was a Christmas gift for Mabel, and we all had so much fun and a lot of laughs playing together last night and just being goofy with each other. The year is not quite finished, but so far those are my picture bookends. And in between, there has been a ton.
There were family trips, church events, positive covid tests, golf outings, home repair projects, bee sting swellings, soccer games, birthday gatherings, and a whole bunch more. It’s a little shocking how much happened in the last year. But it’s certainly been a full year for me and for my family. I bet it has been for you, too, whether you remember it all or not. There is so much to be thankful for!
As I think about all that has been from the last year, my heart is reminded of a profound truth: That I have a Good Shepherd and Savior who has walked through it all with me. I haven’t done it all perfectly. In fact, there are certainly a number of things that I wish I could have a do-over on. And through it all, even in my successes and in my foibles, the steady hand of the Savior has never been distant in leading and guiding me. I love the old hymn All the Way My Savior Leads Me. It is such a good song for both reflecting back and also looking ahead as we walk with the Lord. I particularly love the version of the song from Rich Mullins, and it’s worth a listen if you’ve got a few minutes and want to be encouraged. You can hear it here. Even if you don’t take a chance to listen, I want you to at least see the last two
lines of the song: “This my song through endless ages, Jesus led me all the way.” If Jesus is your Savior, then that has been true for you of 2022, and you have that promise as you look ahead to 2023, too.
Pastor Ryan Donovan