As 2019 is drawing to a close, my thoughts are consumed with what I want to bring into the new year and what I want to leave behind. As I’ve said in my blogs, Arms Wide Open and Wrestling with Relationship, building fulfilling relationships through hospitality and trust are at the forefront. I want my neighbors, friends, and guests to feel welcomed and loved as they enter our door.

Over the years, my husband and I have had opportunities to open our hearts and home to others. As YWAMers, we value hospitality and get calls from people all over the world that need a place to stay as they travel through Austin. Each time we get a call, it’s an opportunity to open our doors to some fascinating people doing amazing things. 

Other times, we’ve received calls from people who are suffering, homeless, and in need. As we prayed, we’d mostly hear a “Yes” to our question of whether we should open our doors. Only a few times did we hear a no or not now. 

Most of the time, fear surfaced in our hearts in both situations. It mostly sprung from whether or not we are hearing the Holy Spirit correctly. Could we be opening our home and ministry to an attach of the enemy? Or, are we saying no because we weren’t trusting Him enough? As we grew in our faith and trust in hearing His voice, these fears were easier to lay to rest.

The great thing we learned is that we serve a good God that watches over us even when we don’t hear properly. He teaches us in those times, provides as we give out, and restores our strength when we’re exhausted. The thing is, we’re the ones that receive the blessing in serving, He sees to that as we open our doors.

We still have relationships with many of the people we have opened our home to and are so grateful for them. It is precious to hear what God is doing in our city and other parts of the world when we hear from them. It builds our faith in Him and gives us hope for humanity.

I was challenged recently when I read this article, Vulnerability: The Key to Relationships. It has some great information that Brene Brown teaches on vulnerability being a key to connection in relationships. Without it, it’s almost impossible to have relationships where trust and openness reign. and hospitality and friendship thrive. Vulnerability leads to healing and hope as we connect heart to heart.

One way I love relating to others is to have honest conversations about things that bring confusion in our crazy world of social media, disturbing news reports, and entertainment that is so often offensive. By offering a safe place and willingness to listen to others, I have an opportunity to be honest and bring to the table what I have learned to be true. That there is a God who created them, loves them, and sent His son to die for them. 

I am so glad I am a child of this faithful God going into 2020. Every new year has its challenges and invitations. I want to offer a blessing for it, Numbers 6:24-26 from the Berean Study Bibile.

“May the LORD bless you

and keep you;

May the LORD cause His face to shine upon you

and be gracious to you;

May the LORD lift up His countenance toward you and give you peace.”

Happy New Year! May God give you many opportunities to bless others, as you are blessed. You can change this world one relationship at a time as you seek His face and open your door.