What a year 2022 has been! I am not sure how yours was, but mine has been so full, very engaged, productive, mind-blowing, inspiring and sometimes also challenging.

I had the chance of tasting Europe full load this year, more than ever in only one year.

But let me start from the start! :-)

Good bye, Aluminium!

2022 has been a year of transitions. After 18 years working 4 days/week in the aluminium production, I left TRIMET at the end of July and officially have gone into unemployment 1 October 2022. This has been a major shift. Though anticipated for the last 4 years (it was clear I will leave when my wonderful boss will retire) it still was an effort to finish well, say good bye to great colleagues and celebrate my boss.

Now I am in this transitional period, discerning where God wants me to serve next. I am also eager to progress on my PhD studies so that I can bring this much forward in 2023. I was ready to once again walk on water and would love to find out how to invest my life further, reflecting on having max. 20 years left to engage, God willing.

One of the books I am reading is “Half time – Moving from success to significance” by Bob Buford. Slightly late as I have surely crossed my half time but having felt too young when I was 40. Looking forward finding out what the significance might mean for me.

I am in that liminal space; the transitional period and while it is great it is making me a little nervous as well. What will be awaiting me?

Loads of engagement

In 2022 I was on the road a lot, meaning 149 days. Sometimes it was just washing, packing and leaving again, but my heart is full from meeting incredible people, especially in Europe and engage and support young leaders. I felt I have met heroes after heroes. People willing to lay down their lives for the sake of the Gospel.

Some of these opportunities I dreamed up, but most were actually entrusted to me. This is always humbling and so much appreciated. That God sees me as his partner entrusting me serve and mentor while also teaching young leaders is such a privilege.

My verse for 2022 comes from Ephesians 3:20:

“Now to him who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”…

I have witnessed that God is able to do immeasurably more than I can ask or even imagine.

Some of my personal highlights:

  • Launched my first book on “leadership and pain” in February and had book readings in different places, also teaching on it. It has been interesting to observe myself as I had to revisit my pain a few times this year as I shared my story and read from the book
  • Visited 23 countries (22 in Europe) and Bulgaria wins in having been there 3x this year
  • Three new countries for me this year: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova and South Korea
  • Led a Balkan trip of 3 weeks, 15 countries and 7000km (first time I could do this after my aluminium job); organised a 5-day Balkan trip in 5 countries with 9 youth ministry leaders as a side effect
  • God provided money from friends I had not even shared my concerns for the future with. God simply said, “I see you”
  • Visited Moldova, the poorest nation in Europe to plan building a house there in August 2023
  • Christival – I was part of organising this Christian festival for 14,000 teenagers in Germany (we cried when the gates opened and the teenagers came flooding in). Four of my nieces and nephews joined me in the fun
  • Got asked to become an associate congress director for the 4th global Lausanne conference in Seoul 2024
  • Became a certified Impact Manager in December 2022 wanting to assist non-profit organisations to define and measure impact
  • Made progress on my PhD and my ex-Aluminium-boss is so kind in assisting and asking critical questions
  • I have been teaching in places and for organisations in various settings, even doing my first webinar for the Catholic church
  • I have worked/collaborated with 26 different networks and organisations, mainly around young people and leaders
  • I have invested in young leaders and some of my mentees have surely outgrown me. God has opened wonderful paths for them and sometimes I was able to assist
  • At the start of the year I had told God that I would love to moderate an event again but wondered if I have become too old. God surprised me with letting me moderate the Willow Creek conference with nearly 5000 people
  • My organisation LeadNow has experienced its second year since the founding. I praise God for all the learnings, for progress, for a team happy to experiment, for open doors
  • Loved teaching at an Austrian youth leaders conference with 130 youth leaders. The youngest was 13 years old. At the end he came up to me and said: “I really loved your teaching. I even understood 90% and the rest my team explained in my small group”. This was the best compliment ever
  • Started my second intake of She leads-participants for a 10-month journey. This time, 32 female leaders in two locations, in cooperation with Campus for Christ
  • I have started to join an 18-months long journey of becoming a certified coach (I am a certificate junkie :-))
  • I published various articles. One extra special to me is an article in EMQ, an American missions magazine I had dreamt of publishing in but did not dare to ask. This year, the new editor asked me. God has a sense of humour! :-)
  • For the first time in 20 years, we 8 siblings (7 sisters, 1 brother) spent a weekend together exploring Berlin. This was awesome and so much fun!

Looking back over the year I like to analyse where I have done well, where did I fail, where did I learn something new or conquered my fears. There were lots of all of these! :-)

I had to let go of people who I loved but did not treat me well and at the same time got to know other people who simply expressed their love and care. I also had to tackle my fear of writing on my PhD diss as I often feel so inadequate and incompetent. Surely this is a huge learning curve for me.

New was getting Covid after having escaped it for 2 years. I am finishing off this year with chicken pox. Some new things I am not that excited about!

Thank you so much for having been a part of my life in 2022. Grateful for old and new connections and friendships, for the adventures, wonderful cooperations. I celebrate the grace of God, through my pain and weaknesses.

“THANK YOU” to each of you for cheering, reading, praying, commenting, advising, challenging and loving me.

With a grateful heart I am now looking forward to 2023. I wonder where God will open new doors and wanting to use me well for His Kingdom. In the end, it is all about him and running the race faithfully he has entrusted to me and each of us.

Wishing you a wonderful blessed new year 2023, experiencing God´s love, care and protection. And grace when things do not go well.

Evi