2021: Rediscovering Jesus (and each other) in Our Fallow Year

While we did not know it at the time, Terri and I entered into a fallow year beginning in 2021. As we neared the end of 2020, Sweet T and I sensed God nudging us to make some changes. I changed jobs and we left our home church. Sounds crazy, right!?! Maybe.

But, as we near the other side of this part of our journey, I am seeing our need for a fallow year to rediscover and revive our relationship with each other and our relationship with Jesus.

What is a fallow year?

The biblical principle of a fallow year is first introduced in Exodus. In order to keep the soil healthy, God urged the early farmers to ensure a year of rest for their land to give the soil an opportunity to recharge and revitalize.

“You shall sow your land for six years and gather in its yield, but on the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the needy of your people may eat; and whatever they leave the beast of the field may eat. You are to do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.

Exodus 23:10-11 (ESV) The Sabbath and the Land

Similarly, we see now that the Lord called us into a year of resting from the work we had been doing so that we could recharge and reignite our relationship with Jesus. A dozen years of ministry takes its toll. We needed rest and time to restart our relationship with Jesus and each other, too.

I got introduced to the idea of applying a fallow year to our personal lives by my friend Joshua. He and I were meeting to talk over some theological questions when he mentioned that he sensed the Lord calling him and his wife into a year of rest, prayer, and preparation. In other words, Joshua felt the Holy Spirit directing him to invest in a fallow year. After meditating on my conversation with Joshua for several weeks, the Holy Spirit helped me recognize that 2021 had begun a fallow year for Terri and myself. We needed rest. We needed to recharge and rejuvenate.

And make no mistake; It is definitely an investment.

I am more sensitive to the Holy Spirit, like I was when I first rededicated my life to Christ in 2007.

My quiet time is growing deeper, like it once was when I first chose to live for the Lord. I value my relationship with God.

Having been together nearly 21 years and spending a dozen years together in ministry, Sweet T and I needed time to reconnect, too. I don’t want to sacrifice my love for Terri, or my family, on the altar of ministry. She is the one He has given me to love most. I want to love her well, as Christ loves the church (see Ephesians).

We know that we reap what we sow. As good stewards of all God has promised and planned for us as believers, we must ensure we do our part to allow the Word to sow into fertile soil.

We do that through spending time with God, personally, on a regular, daily basis. We invest time in reading and meditating on God’s Word (Scripture). We focus our hearts and minds on prayer. We return our hearts to God so that He can satisfy our hunger and thirst for Him.

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

So you know, we don’t have this all figured out, yet. We are still going through it. Pray for us as we continue on our spiritual quest to grow more and more like Jesus every day.

How about you? Do you need a fallow year?

May the Lord shine His favor on you. I pray your time with family and friends will bring you great joy over the next several weeks as we celebrate the multitude of blessings we can be thankful for.

Please comment and like this post if it encouraged or challenged you. Be sure to follow this blog to be notified of new posts.

The Devotional Guy™


  1. What a blessing to see this early this morning. (Like you, I wake up a couple of hours before dawn). First, you are a great “song-picker!” The tune by Jordan St. Cyr made me think of the quote, “If you’re willing to stand forever, you won’t have to stand for long.” We have to make a deep, and total commitment to God if we expect to see His blessings.

    I know you’re talking about taking a year of rest and reflection with the Lord, but your post also brought to mind God’s word to Hosea:

    “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he comes and rains righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12

    Perhaps we can meet for a “virtual” (telephone call or FaceTime)coffee sometime? I’d love to talk more in depth with you about the things of the Lord, as this has been a fallow year for my wife and me as well.

    God’s best to you, brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing your encouraging thoughts, David. We can certainly meet virtually after Thanksgiving. Love the verse from Hosea, brother. Have a great day in the Lord!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds great, brother!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. pastorpete51 says:

    What a great idea! We have done this though more by accident than design (Or rather God orchestrated it without our input). Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. you&meinc says:

    I really like that I’m really stepping out of my comfort zone & in the process of starting a non-for-profit organization but I wasn’t thinking about that in the beginning.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “I don’t want to sacrifice my love for Terri, or my family, on the altar of ministry”

    That’s a basic truth, and wisdom, many in ministry would do well to let sink into their hearts…and urgently!!!!!

    Ministry becomes the god that replaces God, far too quickly and easily.

    So, well done, and good man on prioritising that ministry which matters most as a husband – in your wife

    May God richly bless your marriage, as He prepares you for whatever He has planned for you next

    Andy B

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Amen, Andy. Thank you. I am grateful for your encouragement and the insights you shared.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hallelujah! Yes, stepping out to do work that makes a difference is something to celebrate and be thankful for. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.


  9. Ranier, thanks for sharing the concept of experiencing a fallow year. At times, I think the pandemic flipped the switch on our lives here at home. With more time at home, my wife and I have grown closer. The Lord continues to lead us in our prayer lives, and we regularly spend time with evening devotionals.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That’s great news about how the pandemic has drawn the two of you closer to each other and to God. Yes, the last two years definitely flipped the world on its ear. Not sure how things will shake out in 2023, but it doesn’t look like we are ever going back to pre-CoVid times.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I agree that we will likely have to live with Covid for quite some time.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.