“You were reaching THROUGH the storm, walking on the waters, even when I could not see;
In the MIDDLE OF IT ALL, when I thought You were a thousand miles away,
NOT FOR A MOMENT did You forsake me.”
The words to this song came into my head as I looked back on 2021 and thought about what to write for a Thanksgiving blog. Because as I reflect on this past year, that is what I am most thankful for: the fact that the Heavenly Father was RIGHT THERE beside us, helping us THROUGH it all.
The truth is that the past twelve months have been some of the most difficult, challenging, overwhelming, and just unbelievable I can remember. This year was T-O-U-G-H.
Filled with unexpected health issues for every member of our family, financial difficulties (including when 4One Ministries almost ran out of money), the residual effect of this crazy pandemic, and unexpected life changes that rocked our world, it is not a year I’d ever want to repeat.
And yet…at the end of the year, I can see another thread running through each obstacle as I remember the events. THROUGH every trial, every struggle, every single tear, the Heavenly Father was right there beside us. His presence and His hand were evident in every situation. Even though many things happened that I didn’t want to happen, that I didn’t like, and I would not have planned, I can see that THROUGH it all, we were never alone.
THROUGH IT ALL, our Father was beside us, comforting, guiding, leading and directing, providing, protecting, and giving us the strength to walk a very difficult road.
As I prepare my mind and heart to celebrate Thanksgiving, I am thankful that in every instance—every single one—we were never alone. The same God we follow THROUGH the victories walked us THROUGH the tragedies and helped us make it THROUGH.
I’m reminded of Isaiah 43:1-3, which says,
But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go THROUGH deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go THROUGH rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk THROUGH the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
As I reflect on the past year of my life, I can testify that this is true.
Just as it has been true for Jamie and me, I know it will be true for you.
One of the reasons I felt so led to write this blog is that I know there are so many people who are walking THROUGH difficult times right now. In just the past week, I’ve talked with a friend who is walking through cancer treatments, another who recently lost a child, several friends facing a significant health crisis, and a dear friend who lost her job because she stood for her beliefs. This is just within my circle of friends. I know there are many more who are going through hard times and suffering.
While I wish I could fix everything and make all hard times go away, I cannot. I couldn’t do it for myself, and I can’t do it for you. The reality is that we live in a fallen world, and we all walk THROUGH hard times.
Yet, the one thing we, as believers in Jesus Christ, can count on is His promise that He will never leave us or forsake us.
No matter the hardship, no matter the trial, He will be with us THROUGH IT ALL. As my friend who was facing a huge physical issue in her family said, “I've felt like I've been sitting on a couch with Jesus watching a battle going on all around me, but me feeling secure with Him.”
Another said, “It was unexplainable—the peace that passes understanding filled a situation where there should have been no peace at all.”
Today, I don’t know what battles or trials you are facing, but I pray that you will feel that same sweet presence standing alongside you, giving you peace, strength, and all you need.
Honestly, I do not know how I would have survived 2021 without it—without Him.
As we sit down this year to all the delicious foods and prepare to give thanks, that is what I’m most thankful for….that not for a moment were we forsaken.
Through the sickness, the financial struggles, the upheaval, and the fear, and the times when we weren’t sure we could go on.
The Heavenly Father was there.
THROUGH IT ALL.
He brought us through.
For His faithfulness, I am truly thankful.
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry.