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Year Wrap Up…We Survived 2020!

by | Dec 31, 2020 | The Year of Restoration, Word Of The Year

2020. The year of Restoration.

I remember feeling the excitement of the beginning of the year saying “new decade, new life” just like everyone else.

But then, just like everyone else, this year turned out nothing like what I expected.

Here are some of the challenges my husband Joshua and I had to face:

  • We had to cancel/postpone our dream wedding/honeymoon, TWICE (the original date and the rescheduled date) and then we ended up getting married in a park with 6 witnesses and 36 hours to plan.
  • We both lost our jobs — within a week of our wedding.
  • Our apartment was flooded and the engine blew out on one of our cars.
  • I faced extreme medical challenges including a ruthless Crohn’s flare with multiple ER visits, bronchitis once, and COVID once. We also traveled to 12 hours to see my Crohn’s doctor only to end up firing him.
  • I had two family members who were diagnosed with cancer.

To look at all that one might wonder how anything was restored this year? You might ask “where was God in the middle of this mess?” Turns out He showed up in ways we could have never imagined. ?

  • We were humbled by the generosity of our friends, sending countless wedding gifts through the mail.
  • We watched God’s miraculous financial provision every single month. Seriously, it’s been INCREDIBLE.
  • We experienced the transformation of our new and exciting love-of-infatuation to an authentic love-of-choice that can only come from a deep, raw, fully-exposed, knowing of another’s soul.
  • I experienced a major shift in my faith, no longer impatiently waiting for God to completely heal me, but instead now trusting in the peace of His sovereignty.
  • My five year court battle with my former cult leader finally ended.
  • Both my my mother and I finally received a bit of justice through her divorce.
  • I found a new Crohn’s doctor who has more helpful to me than any other doctor I’ve ever had.
  • My blog and advocacy ministry, Thriving Forward, was officially established and it’s growing by leaps and bounds. I also became involved with two future documentary projects.
  • After 9 months of searching, Joshua was hired for a new job just this week and will start in January 2021.

I think more than anything what Joshua and I learned this year was that in order for something to be restored, something else must be torn down first.

We both entered this year with so many plans and goals. We figured if we did all the right things then our life would progress in the way it’s “supposed to.” Turns out all those plans and securities we were counting on had to be destroyed in order to open our hearts to fully trusting in the peace of God’s sovereignty.

All in all, it was a beautiful year — filled with both joy and sorrow. Will this next year be as challenging? Perhaps. But we are no longer afraid of what kind of future lies before us, for we know that no matter what, our God is bigger than anything that 2021 could bring. ?




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About the Author

Emily Elizabeth Anderson is a Christian blogger and rising activist for people who have experienced abuse within a Christian environment.

After growing up in a fundamentalist cult for 23 years and experiencing childhood domestic violence, Emily began her journey to recovery in 2015 and eventually found Jesus to be her ultimate healer. She soon turned her passion for writing into a blog and her story has since been featured on several media outlets including NPR.

She married her best friend, Joshua, in 2020 and together they are passionate about educating on the realities of trauma survival and recovery, as well as supporting survivors they meet through their online community.

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