This may be a Christmas letter, but I personally feel that it’s far more than an update. I hope these words of mine, as I share my heart here once again, will connect with your heart and point you to Jesus.
A letter for 2020 – what a year!
Well, for us, it’s been a year of big transitions, hard conversations, persevering in prayer, and flourishing. All wrapped up together, totally messy, and not in a linear and neat order! The persevering in prayer doesn’t always yield a quick flourishing – for myself, the kids, or those I love. It’s painstakingly long…and good! We would never draw up these plans the Lord has for our joy and sanctification, would we? But they are the best, and He proves faithful again and again. I say all this because I feel like you may be in the messy middle of trust, doubt, hope, fear, and joy. And probably all at the same time.
If I had to sum up the last year in a word, it would be trust. And, maybe perseverance too. Okay, I need two words for sure: trust and perseverance. In more things than a letter can begin to describe. I bet you can likely relate.
We have built a lot…we’ve built trust and perseverance mostly. But we (Ryan!!) also built a sturdy and pretty backyard shed, a gorgeous treehouse, and are currently re-modeling a basement (again) that got flooded. We’ve built character, hope, and strong roots in trusting the goodness of God.
We decided last year, quite a bit before the pandemic, that I would transition out of homeschooling and we would send our kids to Providence Christin Academy, partnering alongside the teachers there in the development of our most precious gift! It’s been amazing. And HARD! Tatum and Caden had always been homeschooled so the transition was huge.
For Tatum, the transition was the biggest because 5th grade is middle school at PCA – so 8 different teachers, a locker, her own laptop, and all the middle school things! She is flourishing, amidst the change, with good grades and sweet friends. She’s starting to play the drums, is finishing a season of competitive cheer, and loves basketball, football, and all things UK and the Dallas Cowboys.
Caden (3rd grade) loves school – he truly loves the schedule, the plan, the rewards, the grades…everything! He loves all things UGA (to the dismay of his siblings and Dad, who are all huge UK fans), legos, Harry Potter, and reading.
Roman (1st grade) is thriving and growing tremendously in the new school environment and after some time, is learning to read. He loved playing flag football this year and really loves driving – with tremendous skill – his Papa’s diggers and working outside. It’s pretty amazing.
Maggie (K) is a fantastic friend to all – loving others and bringing them (and her teachers) a lot of laughter with her crazy stories, silly faces, and great imagination. She loves art, crafts, and playing with Roman.
As for me (Megan), I’m loving my official role as discipleship director at our church, New City Church, and some new opportunities the Lord has given me to lead others. Our church plant moved into an actual building, after 5 years of being in a middle school (and then live streaming because of Covid) right off the square in Lawrenceville – the city where we’ve planted roots and pray for flourishing! As I said, Ryan has built a lot of things this last year – he did have some extra time after all! Ryan and I LOVED our trips to Cancun last January and then to Glacier National Park in Montana this summer. Hiking at Glacier was especially incredible and a major highlight of our year. It taught us a lot about perseverance through the midst of the slowly progressing effect of multiple sclerosis on my body. And lastly, Ryan’s mom, Donna moved to GA and in with us this summer – what a sweet gift to have her here!
As I wrap up, I feel like, for all of us, this was a year of really being known – from fears to politics to loss to redemption and just the plain struggle to live in the tension of all of it. We’ve all been tempted or hide in someone or something – our own strength, productivity, or goals – and I think a pandemic and an election has brought all that out. The question is, what do we do when we see our sin, our fear, or misplaced hopes, our disappointments…or even better yet, those of our neighbors? Do we hide in ourselves or in Christ or cover with fig leaves like our first parents in the garden? I’m sure it’s some of both and God is gracious enough to provide opportunity after opportunity to hide in His son Jesus. My longing is that if you don’t know Jesus that you ask someone who does to tell you about him. And if you do, that you will lay down the fig leaves of hiding and trust more deeply and fully.
More than anything, I want to leave you with truth to hide in:
The same God who is sovereign over the creation of the world and of Jesus’ birth and death is sovereign over everything you’re in the middle of. He is sovereign over the start of a new job and it’s ending; He is sovereign over our perfect health and over our broken bodies; He’s sovereign over the end of Covid and its continuation. It’s our believing that – and in His perfect goodness – that changes everything. May you be filled to overflowing with Hope this season, and always – because Hope is more than a verb…It’s a person – Jesus.
With much love –
Megan (& Ryan, Tatum, Caden, Roman and Maggie)