A Year of Grace

If you have been following my blog for a while, then you might know that I like to choose an anchor word at the beginning of each year. The idea is to focus on this word throughout the year, keep it in mind each day, and hopefully it will help bring growth in the months ahead. In 2020 I chose the word “grace.” As the year is coming to a close, I have been reflecting on where this word led me this year.

Initially, I felt like I did not give grace the attention it deserved. But as I thought about it more and more, I realized that God still brought grace into my life in a variety of ways. I will start by explaining the ways that I tried to learn about grace this year. And then I will talk about God’s amazing work to teach me about grace.

In the beginning of the year, I read a book called Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine by Max Lucado. I have never read a Max Lucado book that I didn’t enjoy. His writing style is easy to digest and entertaining as well. This book was no exception. Grace was insightful, yet also humorous. Lucado has a way of keeping one’s attention with fascinating stories that bring the point home. Therefore, reading this book was an excellent way to learn about and focus on the grace of God.

Another thing that I did to help keep my mind in the right direction was to write the word “grace” at the top of every journal page, each day throughout the year. I also put sticky notes in a variety of places with the word “grace” written on them. These two things helped keep the word in the forefront of my mind.

Also, in the beginning of the year, I tried to make note of “Grace Moments” in my journal. These were moments in my day when I saw grace extended. These were moments when life slowed down a bit and love took precedence. Unfortunately, I neglected to keep this up though, as the year moved on.

The items above were the extent of my efforts. At first glance, I felt that I failed to embrace grace. But as I dug deeper, I realized that I learned more than I thought. Thankfully, God showed up, and helped fill in the large gaps that I left empty. Ironically, I needed God’s grace to teach me about grace.

It is no secret that 2020 has been a year of upheaval. I don’t have to go into all the chaos we saw, because you saw it yourself. But through it all, God’s grace was with me and my family. I was fortunate to work remotely for three months when the pandemic hit. I was fortunate to keep my steady job, when many others did not. I was fortunate that God provided for us and protected us through so much chaos. All by the grace of God.

There was something that I thought might come to pass this year, but it did not. It was disappointing, but I held onto the the words of Romans 8:28. The Passion Translation puts it this way: “So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.” All by the grace of God.

This year actually turned out to be a very rich one in my spiritual walk. I have a newfound love of the Psalms. I learned the importance and the joy of Praise. I developed a stronger Faith and Trust in the Lord. I also sought a more intentional life and a more confident life. And I must say that I truly have had more peace and contentment on the inside. All by the grace of God.

I have also learned to extend grace to myself. I am learning the art of balance. I am learning to let things go. And I am learning it is okay to be me, even if the world wants me to be someone else. All by the grace of God.

To be honest, I did not want “Grace” to be my word for the year. I really wanted the word “Joy” instead. But I felt God nudging me to choose the word “Grace.” But the funny thing is that Grace has brought me Joy. God always works things out in a divine way.

I have much to be thankful for in 2020, thanks be to God. Looking back, I am amazed at all the ways He has been by my side and forever extending grace. Only God can work in such miraculous ways.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him. – Psalm 40:1-3

Photo by Pok Rie on Pexels.com

© 2020 Bridget A. Thomas

12 Comments on “A Year of Grace

  1. I’m thankful for the grace God has given us throughout 2020. It’s been a tough year. Many losses, so much death, But God! His grace is sufficient for me. He brought me through! He dried my tears! He put me on the mountain side. He restored my soul♥️ Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life! And one day, I will dwell in Heaven with Him 🙏🏽🕊
    I look forward to the greatest Family Reunion banquet table!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amen! So beautifully said, Renee! I am so happy to know that God’s Grace has helped you survive 2020. And when we allow Him to, He does restore our souls. One of the best verses in the Bible. I pray you cling to God and see abundant blessings in 2021. ❤️

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  2. My word for 2020 was Hope. I leaned hard on my word thinking one way but God turned it completely around. What i hoped for never came to be but things, feelings and realizations came to fruitation beyond measure and taught me a different and more meaningful version of the word I chose. Woo Hoo!! I love ending 2020 on that word and all God did for me with it!! Bridget…I love how God brought you Joy despite nudging you to choose Grace. Awesome!! This was my first year choosing a word. I will choose cautiously and carefully a word for 2021. Such a tiny thing…one word…but I found power in this year’s one word and pray God will be as mighty with my 2021 choice! God bless you richly in 2021 my friend. I look forward to walking through it with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you sharing your reflection on your 2020 word. Hope is such a beautiful word. Even when circumstances take a turn, we always have hope. In my post next week I will talk about my word for 2021. I am excited to see what God has in store for us as we walk though it together! ❤️ May God bless you always, sweet friend!

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  3. I love the idea of putting your word where you will see it and be reminded. I’ve been seeing a lot of posts where people talk about the word they held onto over 2020. Mine was surrender but I didn’t focus on it fully like I should have…your post motivates me to be all in!!

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    • I have had years where I wasn’t all that committed as well. But God still shows up and teaches us anyway. Surrender is such a great word and look at all the ways you had to surrender in the midst of the pandemic! I will be revealing my 2021 word in my next post (Tuesday 1/5). So stay tuned!!

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      • Ya I should probably go back and see just how surrender really did play in my life and did I follow well…
        I’ll be excited to see your new word!!❤️

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  4. Dear Bridget, this was so wonderful to read. As you might remember you are the one who influenced me to think about choosing an anchor word for the year. I usually never did it. So last year I was led to choose ‘prayer’. This past year I did spend more time in the word and with God. Being still in His presence was something I did more of and want to continue on. And I also learnt to spend time just praising Him and worshiping Him in my prayer time, which was something I did not do enough of before.
    Like you, even though 2020 was a crazy year, spiritually it was a rich one for me too.
    Spending time with God and just being in His presence really filled me with so much peace, joy and contentment. But the crucial thing is to keep doing it every day otherwise I find that my default mode is not peace.
    And I found some peace in being who I am not what others expect I need to be or do. I have struggled with that.
    So thank you my dear friend for walking the last year with me through this. I have been so blessed to have you sharing this journey with me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Manu! It is so wonderful to hear from you. I know it has only been 2 or 3 weeks, but I’ve missed you! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. It is amazing how similar our 2020s turned out, spiritually! God is so good and I am so glad we both drew closer to Him. I am honored that you chose a word for the year due to my post (last year). Prayer is such a beautiful word to pick any year. But little did you know that prayer would turn out to be THE perfect word for 2020! God is good, for sure! This year I too would love to continue to improve my prayer life and my praise life. Like you, I did not praise Him enough before. But the pandemic taught me how important it is. I agree, I need to be consistent with my time with the Lord as well. And I am glad that you are also finding peace in being yourself and not what others expect. Perhaps spending more time with God helps in this area too, because we learn to come in agreement with Him on our true identity? Thank you for your sweet words! And I agree wholeheartedly. I too have been so blessed to share the journey with you! Thank you, my friend.

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      • So true that prayer turned out to be such a crucial word for 2020. And you are right spending more time with Him did help me be more at peace with who I am and who He has made me to be.
        🤗💙

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