It has been a year of burnout, sadness, hopelessness, unprecedented depression and despair. Yet, on the opposite end of the pendulum, it has brought us a time of refreshing, opportunity to reassess priorities and has caused us to redefine the core values of family, faith and community. In a matter of weeks, a global pandemic redefined the offhand term ‘normal life’ into something we never anticipated.
Throw an emotionally charged election year into the mix and the character and nature of who we really are as a person was revealed. This year the division between political and religious parties topped the scale. Debates about masks vs. non-masks, face-to-face education vs. home-based and who deserves supplemental income were just a few of the heated dialogues broadcast on social media venues and the news. As the year comes to an end, I am focused on self-evaluation.
How have I (and you) weathered the storm of 2020?
As 2020 comes to a close, there is no better time to evaluate what motivated our reactions, purpose and pursuits in a positive way while immersed in adversity. Here are some of my thoughts on surviving battle-weary moments this year.
An unforeseen power is released when we pray to our Heavenly Father. It influences our mind which in turn influences our body and emotions. Our prayers don’t change God’s mind or will, but they do change our heart. In prayer we find hope to overcome life’s obstacles.
Rather than complaining about all the things you believe you deserve focus on what you have. We can all foster an attitude of gratitude and the easiest way to do that is to focus on giving. Giving of your time, money and resources takes our eyes off of self to better appreciate other’s accomplishment or needs.
An individual with a forgiving spirit experiences less hostility, anxiety and stress. You may not be able to reconcile with that person or release them from accountability, but forgiveness liberates YOU from emotions of hurt, anger and blame that discolor your perception of the present.
- Point of View
One thing this year taught me: Hopes to change opposing point of views will prove futile. Your persuasive argument, banter, rants, angry retorts and reported facts fall on deaf ears. It only fuels the fire; especially in regard to pandemic and political views. “Agree to Disagree” is the mantra for 2020.
Not an easy undertaking because acceptance must first start with self. You are not perfect, you don’t have it all together, you are flawed in many ways; you get angry and want to lash out to anyone or maybe everyone. Acceptance should be the ‘poster word’ of the year because that’s what we have been forced to do; like it or not. It has been a journey in finding ways to accept the unacceptable. There was no check box for living in a bubble of disillusion in 2020. Our daily struggles continue to be real and our ability to accept them is necessary for the sake of our own happiness and peace of mind.
I would like to share a couple of scriptures that have encouraged and brought hope to me this past year.
“The confidence of my calling enables me to overcome every difficulty without shame, for I have an intimate revelation of this God. And my faith in him convinces me that he is more than able to keep all that I’ve placed in his hands safe and secure until the fullness of his appearing.”
2 Timothy 1:12
“Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ.”
Heavenly Father, this year has taken a toll on so many in unexpected ways. Lost jobs, lost lives, family quarantines and lock-downs that prohibit gatherings in places of worship. I may not understand all that is happening; but I move forward in faith and confidence that you are in control of all things both on earth and in heaven.
I approach you with a heart of gratitude and thanks for the many blessings gifted me. Allow me to be still and know that the God who made everything is wildly in love with me and aware of my financial, spiritual, physical, social, and emotional needs. Conform the actions and motives of my heart to align to Your will.