Another year has passed, and I am here to worship. In 2021, I used tools to visualize how God changed my plans. In 2022, the theme was more like, “What plans?” Lol.
I’m quietly laughing at the title I gave last year’s summary, “A Year of Acceleration and Change.” If last year was acceleration, what was this year? In hindsight, I would now probably say that 2021 was about exploration and preparation.
2023 is Coming
In this section, I’m processing 2022 and preparing for 2023 in words.
Honestly, I’m in awe that God got me through as much as he did in 2022. It was an incredibly beautiful, incredibly hard year. When I look back, I can see how much worship as a lifestyle protected and strengthened me. When I look back, there was no point this year where I wasn’t pressing in for some kind of help. And no time when I didn’t receive a response. God always came through to be my most consistent help.
As the snow falls in Seattle and reminds us all of how God comforts the Earth, covering it with purity as a blanket, I’m excited for the promise of a new year. I’m hoping for a more settled 2023 with opportunities for strengthening and beauty. When I think about how God answered prayers for permanence that I’d struggled to articulate, I’m in awe.
The Lord’s love never ends; His mercies never stop. They are new every morning.Lamentations 3:22-23
For myself and for others, I’m believing that in 2023, we will continue to experience fresh mercies. I’m believing that the most important work I did this year was in secret, with the Lord. I know that he will continue to guide us faithfully into the unknown, honoring our hidden sacrifices.
For 2023, my goal is to be able to have a delightful time no matter what happens. To be able to look squarely in the face of increasing good and evil, unfazed by any of it because of the strength of my worship and God’s glory. To be that much more single-mindedly focused on Jesus: who he is, what he wants to do on the earth, where he’s at in situations, and how he’s calling me to respond. If 2023 has obstacles, I plan to game the system and use every last one of them as an opportunity to worship God.
2022 in Themes
In this section, I’m processing 2022 in thematic patterns across the calendar.
Across the calendar, the span of my 2022 could be broken into 5 parts.
In January – March, I experienced PREPARATION.
In March – June, I was TRAVELLING / SCOUTING (for the future).
In June – July, I was STUDYING.
In August – October, I was HEALING from long-term concerns.
In November – December, I was putting down STRONG ROOTS in a new community.
~2022 in Self-Portraits
In this section, I’m processing 2022 in pictures of me.
At the risk of vanity, I’m going to take a moment to reflect on how self-portrait photos tell the story of important moments from this year. In May, I compared how much I’d changed in the six months between October 2021 and my birthday…From left to right, each of these moments symbolized an important moment. I was in preparation for change, and I experienced who God was in the open place.
In the last ~6ish months, I have another set of 5 photos I’d like to share. Each of these symbolized another turning point moment. From receiving care, to being taken seriously as a leader, to reconnecting with family, celebrating the faithfulness of God in the face of obstacles, and being settled.
Today, I’m grateful to be in the right place and at the right time. I know what it is to follow God wherever he leads; I will do so in the future. But for now, celebrating Christmas with my family and getting to enjoy familiar traditions and renewing rhythms is just right. If so much can productively change in a year, I can’t wait to see what next year feels like.
In particular, the picture I took at seminary makes me laugh because I’m making nearly the same facial expression as a photo from when my sister and I were 18 months.
2022 in Places
In this section, I’m processing 2022 by places.
This year, I’ve decided to remember 2022 in Places. I’ve chosen this for my year because of an
- abundance of travel
- increasing dreams God has been sending me not just about nations, but cities
- being challenged by a prophet friend to record every single place I set foot
In 2022, God brought me from one Washington (DC) to the other Washington (State), from East to West coast and *everywhere* in between. While I’m hoping to enjoy safe pasture in one place for a while, next year’s geographical itinerary belongs to God. I know that he will find ways of giving me rest, but I also know that my life doesn’t belong to me.
January – March: Washington, DC USA
March – April: Glasgow, Scotland
April: London, England
May: Munich, Germany
May – June: São Paulo State, Brazil
June – July: Alexandria, Virginia
July – December: Washington State
Seattle, Washington USA
2022 in Worship
In this section, I’m processing 2022 in sound.
Lord, let me measure my year in sound. This year, I picked one worship song that defined each of my months. Generally, I sourced these from my monthly summaries, but for the few months where I didn’t track my monthly worship, I picked a song in hindsight that corresponded to that month’s themes.
If you want to explore how each song related to what God did that month OR other worship music that corresponded, I have the monthly summaries linked.
After I wrote this, I took a journey through the year’s setlist, worshipping Jesus using each song for all that he did this year. I’m pouring out all the oil from this last year so that I can receive the fresh oil he wants to reveal in the new year.
January – Trust, Jonathan Ogden, England
February – Congratulations, Ada Ehi, Nigeria
March – Thank you for the No, Rebekah Dawn, Kenya
April – In Your Midst, Allie Paige
May – Quen Tá Certa é a Maria, Minha Vida é um Viagem, Brazil
June – Do you Know the Way You Move Me?, Cory Asbury
July – He Understands, Chandler Moore
August – Where you Are, Leeland Mooring
September – Come Alive, Hillsong
October – Reckless Love with Spoken Section about Defeating Fear, Steffany Gretzinger + Bill Johnson
November – Miracle of the Mind, Amanda Cook
December – Show me Your Face, UpperRoom
Reviewing the Last Decade
In this section, I’m processing the last decade by timeline and by theme.
Very recently, I realized that 2022 marks exactly a decade since I graduated high school. As I was considering the amount of change between now and age 18, I decided I needed to make a timeline to visualize just how much change has occurred in my friendships, Church life, family, career, geography, and schooling. For every ‘x’, a significant change happened. As you can see, 2012-2022 was pretty nuts.
I remember a prophetic word I got in November 2021, where the speaker described God’s intentionality in moving me through so much transition in such a short period of time. “Even though it felt like being funneled through a tight place very fast”, he said, “God needed to move you through many different things so that you’d be ready for what is coming.” The word finished with the promise that God was bringing me into a time of rest and safe pasture, which is what it has felt like in coming to Seattle. I know it won’t last forever, but I’m making the most of the slow time while I can.
When I look back, I can recognize the extreme way that God moved me over the last decade, but *especially* in the last 6 years. Between multiple degrees and relocations, I became accustomed to living at such a pace that it became my norm. While I imagine that the next decade will hold a lot of change, I’m pretty confident that the way I internally process it will be different than in my teens and early 20s. As I survey the last 10 years, I’m actually pretty content because I know that even if there are challenging years on the horizon, I know how to press into God in the midst of disruption. I’m looking forward to all that God does in 2023 onwards!
2012: New beginnings
2013: Adventure + Salvation
2014: Re-integration, Old and New
2015: Pressing In despite Ennui
2016: Adventure Meets Endurance
2019: Nightmare Year + Fresh Mercies
2020: Techx-ploration, Reformation
2021: Depth but Change Looming
Epilogue: A Prayer for 2023
In this section, I’m preparing for 2023 in prayer.
Lord, in 2023, please just keep being as faithful. You already know what you’re doing, and how you will respond. You will comfort the Earth in the midst of shaking (Jer 30:17). You are a God of peace even in times of war, and you have what it takes to manifest your glory in complicated and sublime times.
Jesus, be the light of our lives. Glorify yourself in our lives and help us fully seek you. Give us enlarged hearts so we can run in the way of your commandments (Ps. 119:32). Help us live and move from you, from your settled peace (Acts 17;28). Father, reveal more of Jesus. Spirit, lead.