“I will give thanks to Your name, O Lord, for it is good.” —Psalm 54:6b
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” —Romans 12:12
As I look over this past year, I feel that this verse has been my prayer.
Welcome to Hannah’s section of the Thanksgiving letter! 2020 has been quite an interesting year in many good ways and some not so good. If you’re interested in a little sneak peek into Hannah’s crazy life, then I invite you to keep reading. 😉
Be constant in prayer: In March Wisdom Builders chose to perform Acts: A City Rising, a musical based on the book of Acts from the Bible. I was surprised when I saw that I was cast as a thorn, a character very similar to a demon. One of the secrets to being a good actor is to become that character on stage in all situations (on and off stage) and to understand it well. Becoming a tempter of evil was the last thing I wanted to do, but I knew I could still play that role and honor God. The weeks leading up to the performance, I started noticing the thorns in my flesh were tempting me in ways I had never noticed, and those thorns seemed to really attack me more and more the closer it got to the performance. I became very discouraged leading up to tech week and found myself crying out to the Lord for His help. I learned that the more time I spent in God’s Word, the easier it was for me to fight off those thorns in my own life. My prayer life became my weapon during performance week and still is. Any moment I wasn’t on stage, I wanted to be sure that I was living as a servant of Christ and not a thorn. On the opening night of our show, we found out that we had to perform our whole show for a live stream instead of a live audience. It broke my heart and felt as if that thorn in my flesh had just won a victory point. Doing a musical for a live stream was hard, but it didn’t defeat us, and the message was still heard.
Be patient in tribulation: All I need to say is MARCH 2020. Okay, now that you know what I’m talking about, I have to say it wasn’t all torture. The first month of doing online school and not being able to see my friends was purely a nightmare come true. I’m SO glad that some of my older sisters came home, and I found myself more grateful than ever to be in a big family. Over quarantine I was also asked by a family to start nannying earlier than expected since their children were out of school. Without a doubt in my mind, I said yes right away as it gave me a reason to go somewhere and see new people. It was such a good experience for me and kept me sane during those few months of quarantine. Doing school and nannying kept me on my toes during those school months.
Rejoice in hope: Summer break was one of the best breaks from school I have ever had. I worked almost a full-time nannying job, which grew me in more ways than I expected. I didn’t expect to come in as a nanny and set up a system for behavior and then learn to follow through. I also knew that I needed to show grace but yet still be true to the standards I held for the kids. God gave me so much grace and patience as I messed up many times. I was thankful for all the flexibility I had while nannying because I was able to go to Idaho for the third time, help with my siblings’ shows, and travel with the family.
Idaho was a last-minute idea. Mid May I decided that if the airport was open and I could get on an airplane, I was all in for some traveling to visit my friends in Idaho, the Points family. It was a special week packed with lots of laughter, deep conversations, and adventure. The morning after my flight home from Idaho, Dad took me to a BMV to get my license. Thankfully, Dad did some research on the average wait times at the different locations so that we wouldn’t spend all day in line. We found the perfect place, and I got my license very quickly (within 30 minutes), and then I was off to nannying that afternoon. My life didn’t stop this summer, and I was okay with that especially after this spring. I LOVE driving and love my 30-minute car rides everywhere (since we don’t live close to the things I do, apparently). I also enjoyed the family trips we took and meeting up with friends! It was truly a refreshing summer!
This year at my homeschool co-op instead of just being a student, I became the K–1st and 2nd–3rd grade Bible teacher. I love teaching these young children about Jesus, and seeing their faith truly inspires me! Teaching hasn’t been easy, but it has been neat to learn from more advanced teachers and try different methods. This fall I enjoyed running on my homeschool cross-country team. I loved being on a team with other high school students who could really push and challenge me to train harder. I won one of the smaller meets towards the end of the season. For some reason when you are the first runner in a race, people pick up your name very quickly and remember you. I was shocked how many people knew my name and then at other meets would remember me!! I loved getting to run on a Christian team and bonding with my teammates.
This year I have grown to love Jesus more than ever, and I want to share Him with everyone. The Lord has become more than just a God to me, but a friend I can go to at any moment, and He understands everything because He is the creator of all things. Everything in 2020 was in God’s hands, and the future is all in God’s hands, too, so lean into Him because He is a firm foundation. #FollowJesus2020