It’s December. If one had begun the pandemic finding out they were pregnant, the baby would be due any day now. Nine months of waiting. And here we are still waiting. Perhaps with a little more hope than we did a few months ago, but still living through uncertainty, taking it one day at a time.
But yes, there is a baby coming, and his birth reminds us once more that we must never ever lose hope.
From the very beginning, I have always believed, that although the road ahead would be a difficult one, there would be many gifts that we would find along the way. This December, I’ve decided to write down 20 reflections to close 2020. I want to look back and remember how we made it through, and give thanks for the gifts that we have been given. The gifts are mostly intangible, but they are gifts that would perhaps never have been found had the pandemic not happened. I’d like to encourage you to think about the past year this way. Let’s try to look back with eyes of gratitude. I know that is hard to do especially if you’ve lost a loved one, or lost your livelihood, or lost a relationship. It’s hard to grateful when you feel broken. But life has taught me, this year especially, that after weeping for my losses, it always helps to shift one’s heart, and come from a place of gratefulness. No matter what.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
Yesterday, a dear aunt of mine died. She was 86 years old. We would always joke about how we were exactly 30 years apart so our major milestone birthdays would always take place at the same time. My aunt devoted herself to her family, and had the deepest faith. She knew how to enjoy life and up to two years ago, still managed to travel. Though I was saddened by her loss, I took comfort in knowing that she had lived a full life right to the very end.
When she died yesterday, it gave me pause. If I live to 86, that only means I have 30 years left. That’s really not much in the grand scheme of things. And we aren’t even sure if God will grant me those 30 years more. How do I want to want out those remaining years? If we break life up in segments and decades, what is it that we want to accomplish and leave behind with every decade we are given?
Though 2020 was difficult, and challenging, my personal experience is that it still moved swiftly in so many ways. I suppose the secret lies in keeping equal parts busy and restful. This year taught us to pause, gave us lots of time to reflect, re-assess, recharge, renew. So many realizations have come to me in those moments of rest and quiet. I choose to believe that through the chaos of 2020, I have been given much more clarity and calm.
What is your 2020 story? What gifts have you found along the way? How have you been changed by the last nine months?