Love and Gratitude in 2020
Updated: Jan 7, 2020
Each year, the Lord gives me a phrase for the upcoming year. In 2019, the phrase was “Pour In.” My job at Wings of Refuge is Development: building relationships, spreading awareness, and fundraising. The year prior was full of pouring out as we went from a questionable amount of funds to keep our doors open to a capital campaign and preparing to grow Wings of Refuge. We were ready to take a breath and pour in. For the development team, pouring in meant taking on fewer speaking events, spending time getting to know our strengths, and noticing how leaning into one another in our weaknesses make us a better whole. We read The Choice together and looked at how to follow the Lord in Kingdom ways and let go of man made systems. We made some changes and it felt risky.
How did it all turn out? In 2019, Wings of Refuge received more financial gifts in a year than ever before. How great and magnificent is our God?!! It’s not about the money - it’s about listening, obeying, and walking in faith when you hear the Lord speak. Pouring in was what He had for this season.
For 2020, “Love and Gratitude” is the phrase. The Father’s endless ocean of love is what heals. The Lord operates in one way: LOVE. Through adoption in Jesus, we get everything up front. There is no striving, no hoops, and no red tape in order to receive his love. It’s all there as much as we are willing to believe, receive, and take it in. His PERFECT LOVE casts out all fear. Performance-based systems crumble in his love. When the fear and striving is gone, we are free to simply enjoy God’s love. The response to God’s love healing a soul is thankfulness, gratitude, and a joyous desire to follow him. Healed pain must be shared. It splashes out and produces momentum. This is what propels the mission of Wings of Refuge forward.
I refuse to think that the women that choose to come and heal at Wings can only ever walk
around half healed - sure, the healing will be lifelong and the journey full of ups and downs - but in Jesus Christ it is all possible for her. I know this is true because I have personally experienced it. For decades, I was a woman full of constant shame, fear, control, performance-based mentality, worst-case scenarios, condemnation, and judgement. But I have been freed! I am over the moon in love with my Savior and have gratitude flowing every time I notice “Oh, that’s where I used to feel shame and it’s gone!” There’s no doubt that love and gratitude go hand in hand. Gratitude set me in the middle of this mission that diminishes hell’s grip on precious human souls and brings his incredible love into dark places. I want everyone to know this great Love of God. Where does the Lord want to pour in his love to you so that gratitude can pour out in 2020?
I recently spent time with some of the survivors at Wings. A friend of the ministry had wrapped up devotional books Healing the Soul of a Woman by Joyce Meyer. When they opened them their eyes lit up and they squealed, “Yes! We have been wanting this book! We just watched her last week and wondered how we could order this book! Wow, God knew our desire, tell your friend thank you!” The gratitude flowed out of their hearts like they won the lottery. May 2020 be filled with us opening the gift of God’s love and accepting it with gratitude and joy, knowing we have won the spiritual lottery of Jesus’ unmeasurable love.
Please join me in meditating on this beautiful prayer Paul wrote in Ephesians as we prepare for Love and Gratitude to consume us this year.
“I kneel humbly in awe before the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, the perfect
Father of every father and child in heaven and on the earth. I pray that he would unveil
within you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods
your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power.
Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you,
and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.
Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great
magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate
and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond
measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you
until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!
Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve
infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed
your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly
energizes you.” -Ephesians 3:14-20 (TPT)
Happy New Year, Wings Family!
Joy Fopma, Development Director