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Forty days of Proclamation: Stand

Tuesday October 20,2020

Forty Days of Proclamation

Janet Trefry

Day seven


“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be women of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

When I was praying about what word God was putting forth for me for the year 2020, I kept hearing the word STAND. I kept praying and praying, because in my mind that did not seem like a very Biblical word for my year ahead. But as the weeks went on, STAND was it. So, I began reading different Bible verses with the word STAND in them and 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 really stood out to me. Little did I know that 2020 was going to be a year in which I needed strong faith, courage and strength in order to stand firm in my Christian beliefs. I started the year off as our church’s senior warden. The rector of our church retired in January after 26 years and this left me with a new title…I was to be the person in charge of our congregation of 2300 people (until the new rector/priest was in place). My thoughts were consistent, that surely a lay person like me was NOT to be the leader of such a large church or really any church. I was blessed with a wonderful vestry team of 11 other people that helped me with the task of finding our next rector. We started the search by following the guidelines and as a team, we prayed very hard. All I could think of each day was “put on the full armor of God “and to trust that God was with me every day. As the year moved forward, we did finally get a temporary “priest in charge” and I no longer had the task of overseeing the daily functions of the church. However, we still needed to find the person that God was planning to call and to lead our parish community. Then came COVID 19 …and as you can imagine, we were closing down everything…everywhere. The year has brought about many struggles for all of us this year. STAND FIRM kept coming to me. When you are dealing with many different people and many different opinions, each day there were new obstacles to face. Again, God whispered, “stand firm in Me. I am here for you!” It seems like “COVID time” is a never ending time. People seem to have a different concept of reality and everything seems like it is taking so much longer.

What really has helped me each day is making sure that the Holy Spirit is with me along the way. I have felt the presence of the Holy Spirit and also

the prayers of so many people praying for us and our church. In one of our last meetings, the Holy Spirit was very SO present and all 12 of us had it in our hearts….the same person at the same time! Our decision had been made!

We spoke to the Bishop and it was decided that the “priest in charge” was the person God had picked for our new rector. What a blessing! It was so clear that the person right in front of us was God’s choice.

As I write this, it makes me reflect on this past year. I look back and think about how many blessings there have been along the way. My biggest and smallest blessing arrived on September 22nd. We welcomed sweet Nora Elizabeth Clancy into the world, my first grandbaby! When you reflect on your 2020, I pray that you also will see blessings-some big, some small. You may have had more idle time, more time to spend with the people in your households, more time to call on God, more time to listen to God, more time to STAND FIRM in your beliefs and on His word and these are all blessings.

Further verses: Ephesians 6:11, 1 Peter 5:9, Philippians 1:27, Philippians 4:1

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for always being there for us. We know we need to stand firm with our faith in You. You remind us that we do

need to put on the armour You provide, because our world is different than Your world. Thank You for reminding us to continue

praying to You all the time and take the time to listen to the words You provide us. I thank You that You keep loving us and keep

us on track to receive Your plan for our lives. You know each and everyone one of us and keep directing us in Your plan for our lives. Remind us

daily that You are the only one for us and You love us unconditionally and are always there when we need You. Bless all of

Your Soul Sisters with Your loving arms wrapped around us and the peace that You give to us.

In Your name we pray!