Is it possible to lose sight of the victory through all this turmoil?

As we slog through the last three months of 2020, it’s important to keep our eyes on the prize.

Through unemployment, virtual learning, health and safety guidelines, cancellations, and quarantines, it’s nearly impossible to think about anything other than things returning to normal. We want desperately for children to return to school unmasked and for grocery stores to carry our favorite brands again. We want to attend festivals, concerts, and conferences. We want the surety we’ve always squandered. We want normal back.

What’s so great about normal, anyway?

When it comes to normal, a lot of our lives might have fallen short. Many of us were wondering complacently through our day-to-day.

When everything was normal, we may have been winning in our lives–but was Jesus?

Iowa-Missouri Women’s Retreat 2020

Women’s retreat is something the women in our family have held sacrosanct for many years. We put it on our calendar, register early, confirm lodging, find childcare, request off from work, whatever needs to be done to get there. This is a time when we unwind, relax in a hotel, swim, take walks, grab some coffee, and enjoy a little spiritual revival. It’s something we look forward to every year, plan for, and thoroughly enjoy.

This year Iowa-Missouri Women’s Retreat was canceled due to COVID-19.

As emails arrived discussing “virtual” seminars and Zoom workshops, I was not interested. After seven months of screen meetings, meet-ups, and classes, I’m over it.

Sometimes “not interested” actually means disappointed.

I was disappointed! I’m sure many women in our conference were, but instead of reaching out to them in community and solidarity (and participation), I was uninterested.

Jesus Wins

In event planning, participation, and relationship growth Jesus wins.

During disasters, pandemics, and travel restrictions Jesus wins.

There’s nothing wrong with longing for the normalcy of a women’s retreat, Pathfinder conference events, and even church worship.

It’s completely normal to long for the days when you could shop or work without a face covering.

What I’ve realized is that it’s important to not be bogged down in this longing. Keeping our eyes on the past, looking at other experiences, and hoping you can recreate them in this mess of 2020 is–impossible.

Many people are looking forward to 2021 like it will be a magic salve on the mess of today. I’m afraid these people are going to meet great disappointment in 2021.

Elizabeth Talbot, an author of Christian nonfiction and director of the Jesus 101 Biblical Institute, presented the main messages for the virtual women’s retreat weekend.

She did not fail to bring the Word!

Additionally, I was able to listen to a presentation about disaster preparedness by Angie Joseph. She is passionate about preparing for the unknown while also depending on the Savior. Her presentation was right in line with the theme of Jesus Wins! because though disaster may strike…Jesus wins!

This world is unwell, the earth churns from below and above, and we’re all at nature’s mercy to some extent.

We all know the saying “it’ll get worse before it gets better”. This is true! This is true!

This world may get worse, but the “better” to come is more than we could ever dream.

Jesus wins no matter how you were raised, what abuses you’ve endured, what job you had and lost, or marriage that ended. Jesus wins even if you don’t feel like you’re winning today.

Jesus will win, and Jesus wants you in His kingdom.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Praise him all creatures here below!
Praise him above ye heavenly hosts!
Praise father, son, and holy ghost!