As the days of December dwindle down, it’s natural to look forward to the year to come while reminiscing on all that happened the last 365 days.
The planning and preparing that goes on at the end of any year, season, or stage of life is expected and oftentimes expressed because there is a sense of opportunity and optimism in the air.
To many of us, this NYE has a more profound meaning. It is closing the chapter of an unpredictable year and signifying a fresh start.
But tell me, when the date changes, will you walk into the new year identifying and appreciating any of the lessons this year has given you or only focus on the losses?
When the clock struck 12:00am on 1/1/20 we celebrated with embraces, fireworks, and parties. 2020 was going to be different and we had all the confidence, gym memberships, and social media posts to prove it.
We were optimistic that 2020 had so much in store yet we had no idea what we were heading into.
We made plans and toasted to resolutions not knowing that the same people we surrounded ourselves with were going to be quarantined or gone in the upcoming months. We complained about jobs that we later prayed would be considered essential, in hopes that we could end up keeping them. We scheduled vacations for the summer thinking only weather conditions could cancel our resort stays.
We congregated at our churches and stayed close to our small groups without the consideration of distance or health.
This time last year, no one could have paid us to believe that we would have encountered all that 2020 presented us with. From Coronavirus, unemployment, and destructive natural disasters throughout the world to social unrest, the much needed racial injustice conversation, and the soap opera of a presidential election cycle—for lack of better terms—2020 has been a lot.
Beyond the Burdens
Like most journeys, we do an amazing job at planning the steps and even considering minor bumps, but it’s the detours and complete stops that lead us to question our direction and capabilities while stimulating our growth.
We didn’t plan to have our worlds instantly shifted yet there we were—puzzled and trying to put the pieces together after losing loved ones, jobs, entire industries and comfort.
It was difficult and it is still an uphill battle for some of us, but we know that God has a way of working all things together for the good of His children. Even whenever there doesn’t seem to be a way, we are reminded that it’s not what we see but how God wants us to see it.
2020 took many comforts but it left me with lessons. It changed the way I view world issues, the lives of others, and myself. It changed my perspective and shifted my focus to what’s truly important in life, and I feel it did the same for many of us.
This year hurt us but taught us the importance of appreciating all of our loved ones. 2020 taught us that we are the church and have to carry on even if there isn’t a building. This year revealed the importance of healing and dealing with our emotional and mental health and staying close to God.
2020 gifted us with the seeds of empathy, endurance, strength, gratitude, and faith that will be needed to make 2021 a great harvest.
So, this New Year’s Eve, I encourage you to think beyond your current circumstances and even the struggles of this year’s past. Recognize all that you’ve learned and apply it so that 2021 will be about more than resolutions. It will yield results.