What a year, right? For me, it’s been going out with a bang…literally. Lots of banging actually. I spent Christmas Eve eve under an MRI machine having brain scans done. I’d had (what I thought was) a severe sinus headache for about 10 days, but it wasn’t getting any better. On top of that, my right pupil was constricted, and my eyelid was drooping making my doctors concerned about the possibility of a stroke, aneurysm, or brain tumor. (None of which are good.) So while I was wedged inside a giant magnet for 90 minutes, with instructions to lay perfectly still, I had plenty of time to contemplate my mortality.
And I came back to the same phrase God gave me early this year that’s helped me countless times during this year of unprecedented uncertainty. “I either trust God, or I don’t. And I do.” Every time I spoke that to myself in 2020, it brought me tremendous peace. And as I spoke it one more time during that MRI scan on December 23rd, it brought me peace again. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble…But in me, you can have peace.” True that.
This year, perhaps more than any other, I have been reminded of God’s faithfulness. I realize it’s something I tend to take for granted because it’s so constant. But in a year full of interruptions and disruptions, I realized the constance of God, is our one true North. (Yes, it’s a new word I made up encompassing the steady faithfulness of God) Everything else in our life is a variable–health, relationships, career, money, country – only God is constant. He’s the only thing we’ll never lose and can’t be taken from us! 2 Timothy 2:13 is one of my favorite verses in Scripture and speaks to God’s constance. “If we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown himself.” No matter how faithless (or forgetful) we are, God remains faithful to us. We are literally IN Christ.
So here’s a little update on the constance of God in our family in 2020.
- After a slow start, we had one of the best years ever for B2BW. With the Appalachian Trail closed down because of the pandemic, we had to cancel most of our Spring trips. However, things picked up later in the year as people decided to get outside. We did one AT trip, 6 Walls of Jericho trips, 2 High Sierra Trips, and 1 trip on the Pinhoti Trail! Constance.
- I did two Valentine’s events in February. Little did I know those would be my last “live” events until October! The rest of my speaking events were cancelled or postponed. I had planned a Scars of Hope speaking tour this year, but the pandemic basically shut down “in-person” speaking opportunities. However, I was able to do two virtual conferences, create over 30 teaching videos, launch a podcast with my brother, and saw God at work, bearing fruit in each of these teaching mediums. Constance.
- Our son, Zach was in a near-fatal car accident on March 25th. Another car hit him head-on and he was ejected from the vehicle, sustaining 10 fractures, including his back, with multiple lacerations and abrasions. But miraculously his life was spared and God healed him in record time allowing him to go back to work 10 weeks later. Constance.
- I only had 285 counseling appointments this year, which is down about 40% from 500+ last year. (Thank you pandemic.) But amazingly, God actually provided MORE in counseling fees! Go figure. Constance. More importantly, through Gospel-centered counseling, I’m seeing God heal marriages, restore families, end destructive patterns, and give new hope to the hurting, abused and broken. Constance.
- And then there was the afore-mentioned MRI thing. My doctor actually drove to the imaging facility that night, wanting to know the results ASAP. After a nerve-wracking 90-minute wait, Marlina and I got the news. ALL CLEAR. Apparently, I had a severe migraine which triggered the nerves that connect to your eyes. But my eye and brain are completely healthy. Constance.
So as it turns out, 2020 has turned out to be one of the best years of my life and I’m looking forward to all that God has for us in 2021, should He give us another year. If the MRI scare reminded me of anything, it’s this. Tomorrow’s not promised, so serve God and love people well today!
Year-End Giving Opportunity
I believe that everything we do at Invest Your Life is discipleship – counseling, retreats, speaking engagements, book sales – and shouldn’t be limited to only those who can “afford” it. As such, we make all of our resources available to anyone, regardless of their ability to pay. We simply ask each person to pay what they’re able. In addition, I take every Gospel-speaking opportunity whether a group is able to pay me anything or even pay expenses. I’ve never said “no” to a speaking engagement based on finances and don’t plan to.
Your financial investment helps me counsel, write, teach, and preach the Gospel without regard to payment. So if you’d like to help support any of these ministry efforts, you can give a special year-end gift here. Or if you prefer to send a check, you can send it to the mailing address below.
Invest Your Life Ministries, 203 Eastside Square, Suite 10, Huntsville, AL 35801
Invest Your Life Ministries is a Gospel ministry and IRS recognized 501c3 non-profit corporation and your contributions are fully tax-deductible.
As you think to, pray for me this coming year. Pray that I will teach the Way of Christ clearly and boldly in every opportunity God gives me, whether speaking, counseling, coaching, or whatever. If you or someone you know needs counseling or spiritual direction, go to my booking website here.
Let me know how I can pray for you friend. Just zip me a reply to this email with your prayer concern and I will pray specifically with you about it.
I pray God’s peace for you in 2020,
I either believe God or I don’t! And I believe God! It’s amazing how many opportunities God gives us to affirm this decision isn’t it! So glad I still say yes! So grateful for all you do!
Thank you Debbie! Happy New Year!!
Bruce, God bless you my sweet brother. I enjoyed powerful preaching and teaching under you at Grace Adventures this past October when you lead the Mens Retreat. I am so grateful for Gods Sovereignty and sharing this story. I have been on MRI tables many a times. Interesting to say the least. The sounds that I hear are as an electronic dance music such as rave or trans. Looking forward to reading your book that I bought. I love you brother. Praying for you, your marriage, family and ministry.
John, so good to hear from you! Yes, I’m sure you know far more about MRIs from long experience! Thank you for your kind words and I pray blessing for you and your family in 2021.