The year 2020 was, for all of us, extremely challenging and painful. The pandemic disrupted education and put additional stress on families. I think in time God will reveal to us that there were some good and beneficial things happening that year for everyone, but I am not sure we are ready to see that yet.
Most of us will remember the distancing from family, friends, and community, washing our hands constantly, wearing masks, learning how to use technology that we never understood, learning to teach children how to learn virtually, and not being able to give the support we so earnestly wanted to give to our family and friends because of the restrictions that were placed upon us as a community, state, and country.
We were, and are still, struggling with all the losses that we have had to face. For me it was the loss of my husband, who was my soulmate and my best friend; my father Frank’s death; and the death of my cousin Arlene who died of the virus without any family around at the hospital. I also had several lifelong friends die. It is hard to explain in words how the pain of separation feels especially when you have so many losses at once.
How about you? What are your losses? Did you lose a loved one or maybe you lost more than one loved one? Other losses can include job loss, financial loss, loss of relationships, loss of courage, loss of independence, and loss of faith in God, just to mention a few. You may be at a place right now and believe that you have no hope for the future, or you are discouraged and feel defeated. I can understand how you would feel like that. It can cause us to be fearful and filled with anxiety and anger. You may not want to admit that you have changed and are not the same person you were before all this happened in 2020. We are entering 2021 with a new identity and that takes time to get used to. Some changes were good, others… not so much.
The one thing I have learned for myself during this challenging time in my life is that I cannot allow my emotional feelings to dictate how I should feel and how I should do things. My feelings take me in all kinds of directions. My feelings bring me to a place of fear, isolation, weakness, and anger creeps in. What I have had to do is CHOOSE TO BELIEVE in the purpose and promise of this day that God had given me. I hear from Him through scripture and prayer. I hear from Him through others. God gives to me what I need when I need it and not before. I can choose to allow the year 2020 and all the losses I have experienced to destroy me, and it can, or I can choose to trust God in spite of what is happening around me. No, this does not mean it is not painless or easy. Loss produces much pain and suffering, but as we do the work that is needed to heal, we can come out on the other side better and not bitter. I choose to leave 2020 behind and go in to 2021 knowing that I am not alone. My Savior Jesus Christ and precious people who God sends my way walk beside me, guiding me and reminding me that I have purpose because I am still alive. I have God’s promises that I will make it. You can too. How will you choose?