It seems only fitting to end the year reflecting on 2021 – looking back on God’s faithfulness through a year of many changes, challenges, and milestones.
A year without social media
Within the first week of 2021, I chose to leave social media. This is something I had been considering for many months and wrestled with whether or not it was the right choice. On one hand, I had made so many great connections over the years and had a large following of kind people. But, on the other hand, social media became a big distraction, burden, and stumbling block for me. There were many factors that led me to step away. But, what caused me to finally make the decision was the realization that I was growing increasingly bitter toward the toxic culture on social media while simultaneously sharing the love of Christ. This didn’t sit right with me.
We cannot effectively proclaim the Gospel while harboring bitterness towards those we are ministering to. We must be filled with compassion and love towards the lost. Social media is a great place to reach lost souls, but it’s not for everyone. And I realized, at least for the foreseeable future, it’s not for me. I desire to go deep when I share biblical truth and to engage in genuine conversations with people. I have found that I am able to do this much more effectively through my blog and mailing list. I’m not limited by word counts and I engage with others over email which feels much more personal than likes and comments. And of course, I am better able to protect my heart from distractions that often lead to bitterness.
The impact on my business
Many have asked how being off social media has impacted my shop sales. There was a slight decrease, but that could have been caused by a number of factors. I hope for more growth in that area in 2022, but God provided more freelance opportunities which led to this year being my best yet on the business side of things! But, even if He hadn’t provided in those ways, I am so grateful for where I’ve settled in the ministry side of things.
As I continue reflecting on 2021, I see how God has so faithfully guided my steps in writing and creating content for blog posts and emails. He also led many of my social media followers to stay with me through the transition, while also bringing brand new people to my community through Pinterest, direct searches, and word of mouth. It’s a privilege to continue ministering to others online. And, to be able to do so in a way that has been so much more positive for me personally has been a huge blessing! I hope you’ll stick around for more next year!
Opening my website shop
Another change I made early on was opening my website shop. This was something in the back of my mind for a while, but it never made sense to add another shop to keep track of. (I love simplicity!) But, since I was essentially moving my entire ministry to my website, it made sense to add the shop. I am so grateful for how Etsy’s platform has helped me grow my business and reach new customers, but it’s so nice to have a shop of my very own to direct my loyal followers to. I can link products to blog posts with ease, I make more per order, and it’s much less busy from a visual standpoint. It has been a slow start, but so was starting on Etsy. I’m trusting God to use it in whatever ways He sees fit!
And of course, I just have to thank all of you who have made purchases directly on my website. Since the shop is still so new, I know most of you are coming from my mailing list or have been following me for a long time. Your support means the world to me and allows me to keep doing my dream job: creating and ministering to others.
Writing and releasing my first book with a publisher
Reflecting on 2021 wouldn’t be complete without remembering the book writing journey I have been on! My publisher approached me with the idea for The Bible in a Year in January. I wrote and illustrated it in the spring and it was finally released in November! I shared a lot about this experience with my subscribers in an email I sent out last month. You can read that here if you missed it! But in short, God used the whole process to grow in me a deeper dependence on Him and He wowed me with His great faithfulness!
Reflecting on 2021, looking ahead to 2022
These are just a few of the big changes, challenges, and milestones I think of when reflecting on 2021. But of course there have been so many more behind the scenes. I’ve shared here and there about my struggles with anxiety and the victories I’ve experienced through God’s strength… I finally got to respond to God’s call to lead in women’s ministry and I’ve had the privilege of discipling a young woman I met through this community. I became an auntie, gained a sister-in-law, grew in my marriage, and my relationship with Christ… It has been a challenging year, but one filled with so many things to be thankful for. Thank you, Jesus!
As I look back on the joys and challenges of 2021, I am hopeful for the coming joys we will experience in 2022. There will inevitably be challenges in the year ahead – Jesus tells us in John 16:33 that we will face great trouble and suffering. We should expect it. But, He also reminds us that He has overcome the world! Lamentations 3:22-24 says God’s mercies are new every morning – great is His faithfulness!
The past couple years have been challenging on a global scale and we all have individual struggles in addition to the challenges we share. But, we can rejoice, even in trials, with Jesus as our hope! He died and rose from the dead for unworthy sinners – for you and me. He paid the debt we could never pay. And, by grace through repentant faith our sins are forgiven and we are made right with God. In Jesus, we have eternal life and freedom from the weight of sin. He is our strength and sure hope.
It’s my prayer that we all will fall deeper in love with our merciful Savior in 2022 – that the new year would be one of salvation and greater surrender. I hope to continue to be used by Him in whatever ways He sees fit and that I’ll have many more opportunities to meet you here with biblical truth and resources to equip you to live out your faith.
I hope you had a Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!
If you have not yet joined my community, what are you waiting for?? You’ll receive free resources, starting with a free e-devotional, and will receive tons of exclusive content to help you grow in your relationship with Christ. Click here to subscribe!