Surprise!

written by Chris Hartenstein
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬


I think it is safe to say that 2020 wasn’t what any of us expected. Starting with the pandemic, and the weirdest political cycle any of us have ever experienced, then all the ongoing civil unrest, racial turmoil, lockdowns, quarantines, etc. 2020 was a crazy year.

A regular “end of the year” rhythm for me is to pray for “words” that describe the past year and words for the year to come. In doing so, my heavenly Dad gave me only one word for 2020- surprise. I’m not going to lie, it was disappointing and somewhat frustrating. “No kidding, God, last year was already a surprise! Full of stuff I would never have imagined and have a vision for from the book of Revelation.” But then I sensed Him asking me this question; ”Where have I surprised you, son?” This brought a wave of journaling, memories, some tears, joy, some sadness, loss, and yet redemption. My heavenly Dad brought me perspective with a simple question! It shifted how I saw last year. All while revealing a glimpse of what my Dad was up to in my life. I saw Him in the lives of my family, in my business, the ministry, and even the world around me.

He wanted me to see that while there was so much struggle in 2020, it was full of so much good. Not because of anything I did, but because “He is a good Dad and I am His beloved son.” He wanted me to see just how much He loves surprising me!

So as you start the new year, take note of where our Dad has surprised you. Where has He brought good from what seemed hard? Where did He knock your socks off? Take time to think and journal through these questions because the fruit of it is joy, peace, hope, a light heart, and a sense of being seen and loved. It will bring a heart of worship and gratitude. It also puts tomorrow in perspective and prepares us to be surprised! ‬‬

Happy New Year from all of us at The New Frontier!

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