The last few days of 2020 passed very quickly and the memories of the holidays faded out as the curtain closed on the year. My thoughts now begin to run haphazardly and I am left thinking that 2020 was a cruel joke. The hopes and dreams that lived in my heart as the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2020, somehow were crushed before they had a chance to take flight. Today I am asking myself and all of you, “is it possible to have hope and joy in 2021?”
Reflection is good for the soul. As we leave one year and begin another, let’s reflect together on hope and joy. Let’s take what we know and all we learned and carry it forward into the new year. Let’s never take for granted the gifts God leaves in the hard and the holy.
2020 at a Glance
I considered writing a month by month summary of 2020 but stopped when I realized that I, myself, didn’t want some of the reminders of 2020 staring at me from the page. Instead, let’s focus on the fact that we made it through last year and there is so much more to look forward to.
I imagine we all can agree that what we hoped for as last year began, somehow bottomed out as soon as the month of March arrived. I was hoping for the chance to travel as well as time with my siblings and families. It seems that hope was lost if I base it on those two things alone.
It is easy to give up when suffering from months and months of uncertainty, isolation, and tension cloud our vision. But I am the person who does not let herself remain in “that place” too long. Yes, it was hard. March through May left me weary and panting for change–any kind of change. Then, just as quickly as the lights dimmed, brightness began to return. What was lost was not gone. God redeemed my lowest moments and deepest heartaches. He graciously does the same for you, too.
Did you find hope and joy in 2020?
The question I began to ask myself and I pray you take time to ask also, is “Did you find hope and joy in 2020?” Did you glimpse God’s glory in the hard? Was there a moment when laughter filled the air rather than lament?
I can safely answer “yes” to each of these questions. Can you? Go ahead, take a minute and remember. The gentle shift from mourning to dancing for me began in June. The sun was a little brighter, my kids and I began to gather every Saturday just to “be” with each other. Time together was exactly what we needed. The day I woke up with a smile on my face was the day I knew I was going to be okay. Hope and joy slipped in the back door when I wasn’t looking and filled the space that was previously lacking.
The exact moment I felt more joy than grief is forgotten. What is encouraging is the memory of hope and the smile on my face. So, let me ask you again. “Did you find hope and joy in 2020?”
Let’s move forward into believing that 2021 contains promise, but more importantly that hope and joy are waiting for you and me.
What steps can we take?
We are now several weeks into the new year. Lots has taken place in our country and maybe the same can be said about where you live and who you hang out with. I have already felt a deep oppression and tension from the reactions to events that I had no control over. My mantra is to not let hopelessness settle into the fabric of my being. Or to let the loss of what once was overtake what God still has in store for me. Do you feel the same way?
If loss sums up 2020, let’s grab hope to carry us forward through 2021.
If despair, depression, oppression, (you pick your word) overwhelmed your days and nights last year, let’s choose joy to filter through the ugliness and hopelessness.
When dissension and tension filled your newsfeed and fed your anxiety, let’s trust and know that love always makes a difference.2021 is just a year with days, weeks, months. Will you claim hope and joy in this new year? #newpost #hopeandjoy Click To Tweet
God is who He says He is and He remains victorious through the sacrifice of His one and only son, Jesus. 2021 is just a year filled with days, weeks, and months. You can claim the hope and joy of our Savior or the untruths the world tends to feed you. The choice is yours. I am choosing hope and joy this year. How about you?
*** Hi friends! I am so glad to be back in this space. I took an extended break after launching my book, The Advent Narrative: The Life You Didn’t Know You Were Already Living, in November. It was needed and God knew that. I missed writing so here I am.
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