So grateful for 2021. Yes, sounds weird for some, but I had such a fantastic year 2021. And I don´t want to take it for granted.

In some of my leadership teachings I refer to seasons in life. More than five years ago I entered a dark winter period in my leadership as I was asked to leave a much loved ministry I helped set up. It took some time, about a year, to get out of this winter and I experienced a very long spring. I knew there was something good coming and God would turn my pain into some precious tools he would use.

This year for the first time I have felt like experiencing summer in full blossom, bearing fruit and where things developed well, even within some challenging circumstances. A season where I was allowed to start new things, stop some and have loved spending time with God and people, seeing people impacted and changed. What a privilege to be part of this!

At the start of this year 2021, I received this verse:

 “So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11

To live a life worthy of his call. This surely has been my pursuit this year, living it worthy of his call, knowing that it is more about him than myself. And when I failed, running back towards him and what God has entrusted to me. And he indeed provided all the power needed to accomplish things. I have felt and seen His provision, overwhelming love, strength, ideas and other resources needed.

May I share some of my highlights with you?

  • Walked more than 4,5 million steps and had 267 active days. The highlight was walking 50 km for my 50th birthday in February and doing this in the shape of 50 in -11 degrees. J
  • Celebrating such a significant birthday in the pandemic led to no birthday parties but loads of little birthday treats. The packages and flowers plus cards received made the day extra special and fun. In the evening I hosted a birthday call and more than 60 people from many nations joined. I felt so loved!
  • A friend redesigned my website/blog for my birthday: www.evirodemann.com.
  • Finally, my new organization “LeadNow” got approved and started in February with an online launch in April welcoming more than 70 international friends, www.leadnow.center. I am in the process of team building, structure, fundraising… Already over the past 11 months we have connected with more than 1000 people from about 10 nations in Europe.
  • After 2 years of research and planning, I offered a new training for young female leaders in Germany called “she leads” and 19 wonderful women dared to be guinea pigs. It has been an amazing ride and we finish the first round in January. 10 months, 4 weekends, 4 webinars, a mentor for each. It will be multiplied in 2022 and Campus has become a cooperation partner, https://www.leadnow.center/sheleads/.
  • One of the fruits coming out of this “summer season” has been my first book which will be published in February 2022, writing on leadership and pain. It will be in German and is called “Scheitern erwünscht”, https://www.scm-shop.de/scheitern-erwuenscht.html. You can pre-order at SCM or I can send you one signed J.
  • Another project which has been on my heart is to launch a female speaker´s platform for the German speaking countries. I learned from the UK and after 1,5 years we launched it in September. My dad paid for the IT so the project was possible, praise God. The uptake has been great and 140 women have signed up already, going for 200, https://www.speakerinnenplattform.de/.
  • Though travelling was restricted, I was still able to be in Bulgaria, UK and Denmark plus visiting 12 places within Germany for various ministry opportunities.
  • Progressed on my PhD studies and undertook 14 interviews on youth mission conferences globally. From 300 to 120,000 participants.
  • Enjoyed holidays hiking in Saxon Switzerland, near to Dresden. Such a beautiful area and what fun hiking up these “mountains” via crazy stairs and ladders.
  • Undertook my first impact study for the German K5 leadership training and together with my colleague Nancy we produced an exciting 60+ pages report.
  • Have networked, collaborated, taught at… 20 networks and organisations this past year. Incredible opportunities serving across such a broad family.

I had many firsts this year which meant loads of adventures into unknown territories. Some difficult learnings and some adaptations. I love people and I very easily entrust responsibility. Normally it works out well and even better. This year it clashed with two people working with me. Getting to know and working only online together has certainly made this more difficult. As I was teaching the “she leads” participants on how to have difficult conversations and navigate conflict, I had to practice these principles myself. And once again, grace abounds.

With a grateful heart I am now looking forward to 2022. Not only does it feel cool to write such numbers, but it will also be a significant year of transitions and facing an unknown future. I feel I have been in this liminal space for 5 years and am really looking forward seeing God speak and lead.

In the summer I will be leaving the aluminium company after 18 years when my boss is going to retire. I plan on taking some time off to heavily concentrate on my studies and explore what God has next for me. Prayers for this process and space will be very appreciated!

This past year has been filled with connections, old and new friendships, wonderful cooperations and my heart can only say “THANK YOU” to each of you for cheering, reading, praying, commenting, advising, challenging and loving.

Wishing you a wonderful blessed new year 2022, experiencing God´s love, care and protection. And grace when things do not go well.