Welcoming the New Year with Hopeful Anticipation

By Kayla Sullivan

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You know the old saying, “If it comes in like a lion, it’ll go out like a lamb”.   Two weeks into the New Year, one can only hope that the same will hold true.

For most, 2020 started off peacefully.  Quickly, everything changed.

2020 in Review

By mid-March, America was beginning to feel the effects of COVID-19.  Soon, quarantine orders were issued.  Travel was banned.  Businesses shuttered, and people unexpectedly found themselves losing jobs.  Schools were forced to close.  In a short span of time, we had to embrace technology in ways that we never had to before – for school, work, and even weekly church services.

Summertime ushered in civil unrest that swept the nation.  Violence, protests, and riots filled the streets.

Even the Presidential Election was anything but ordinary.

Truth be told, the toll that 2020 took on people globally far exceeded what anyone had expected.

  • Fox News reported a 34% increase in the number of people seeking a divorce between March and June.
  • In a survey conducted by The Recovery Village, 55% of respondents reported an increase in alcohol consumption.
  • ABC News reported that the percentage of Americans struggling with depression tripled as a result of COVID-19.
  • According to a report from CNN, suicide claimed the lives of more individuals in Japan throughout the month of October than COVID had all year.
  • In the month of March, the National Sexual Assault Hotline reported a 22% increase in monthly phone calls from those 18 and younger.

As the pandemic drones on, the impact will continue to be felt across all walks of life.

Anxiety and apprehension, instead of great expectation, fills the air as we look toward all that 2021 may have in store.  No one can guarantee when, or if, things will change on a global or national scale.  But you can plan to make changes in 2021 that usher in peace, joy, and contentment regardless of the circumstances around you.

New Year; New You

For those accustomed to tackling life by their own strength, requesting help is the last thing on their mind.  The thought alone can be cringe-worthy, yet it’s necessary.  If you’re embroiled in addiction – drugs, alcohol, pornography, etc., – it’s important to note that you cannot overcome by your own power and might.

Healing is not a one-time event.  It’s a series of events that take place over time that result in the freedom that you never thought possible.  It does require having accountability and support, which can be found in your family, friends, and even strangers – who will become friends and brothers/sisters as you participate in a small group study.  But remember, true accountability requires absolute honesty.

The Conquer Series, a 10-week cinematic study, can help jumpstart the journey.  Combining science and Scripture, this powerful course explains the brain’s role in addiction and why trying harder does not work.  You’ll be guided through the process of identifying some of your most painful moments in life.  As you expose the hurt you’ve been carrying, you’ll gain a better understanding of the beliefs you’ve held about yourself and your circumstances.  Finally, you’ll be able to discover God’s Truth for your life.  Reclaiming your identity in Christ not only helps you overcome your struggles but positions you to help others.

Something’s Missing in Marriage

Surveys conducted in 2020 found that marital bliss is missing from many relationships.  Couples are quick to throw in the towel, calling it quits – maybe the result of added time together in quarantine.  Or maybe it’s the result of financial stress, the exposure of sin, or unmet expectations.  Quite possibly, husband and wife realize that something is missing from the relationship but struggle to identify what it is.  For those couples, they could be struggling with a condition called “intimacy anorexia”.

Simply put, intimacy anorexia is the intentional withholding of oneself spiritually, emotionally, and/or physically in a relationship.

Take for example the pastor who frequently prays with and counsels couples by day, but struggles to pray and connect with his wife.  She is often left feeling isolated, alone, and as if she’s taking on life’s challenges in isolation.  Or consider the husband who discovered his wife having an emotional affair – confiding her secrets in someone else.  Maybe she hasn’t taken it to the extreme of an affair but has simply gotten accustomed to discussing her failures and victories with her friends while excluding her husband.  He feels insignificant in her life, wondering why she cannot trust him with her entire heart.  And then, maybe more commonly, are the couples who live in either an entirely sexless marriage or sex lacks the intimate connection that marriage should bring.

Building a Marriage That Lasts

Whatever the case is, 2021 can be the year that you and your spouse find healing, redemption, and reconciliation for your relationship.

Stronger Together, a 5-week course for couples, explains the characteristics and causes of intimacy anorexia.  Hosted by Dr. Doug Weiss, Executive Director of the Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, this study provides practical tips and strategies that foster a more intimate connection.  You’ll learn the value of sharing feelings with each other, offering praise, and praying together.  Throughout the weekly questions and assignments, you’ll be able to implement changes that draw you closer to one another.

Together, you can learn to tackle life’s daily challenges and actually enjoy your time spent together.  While it may not be easy at times, it is worth it.

Hopeful Anticipation for 2021

Let 2021 be the year that you choose to fight for yourself, your marriage, and your family.  Thanks to a new digital streaming platform, SoulRefiner.com, you can now get access to a variety of studies that will help you with the struggles that you face in your daily life.  Most importantly, each Christian-based study can help you dive deeper into a relationship with Christ.  As a result of this deepened relationship, you’ll have the faith and hope to look forward in great anticipation for what lies ahead.

Pete Warren shares,

“The Soul Refiner platform is such an inspiration for taking the Lord’s Word to the world, but also to set people free from their burdens of addictions.  It’s a God-given genius system that will reach out to more of the brokenhearted and enable miracles of blessings, healings, and to draw closer to the Lord.”

Don’t allow the heartache and tragedy of 2020 to rob you of all that 2021 may offer.  Sign up at SoulRefiner.com and start claiming your victory today.

The Conquer Series is a powerful cinematic series which is helping over 1 million men conquer porn and walk in freedom.

Get started, and order the Conquer Series today.

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