We closed the door on 2020 and marched, face forward, into 2021 thinking, “surely this year will be better”. But with the changing of the year, one year slipping away, another entering, all that is hard, all that is challenging, even all that is good, does not automatically evaporate. Fresh starts are beautiful. It’s a beautiful and necessary thing to move forward, but the reality is, most of us were moving forward carrying the hard, the heartache, the grief, the exhaustion . . . into the New Year with us. It’s not as if the turn of the year magically erased all that had transpired in 2020.
2020 was not the worst year of my life. I actually refuse to give any year that title because nothing, no year, no month, no day . . . nothing . . . is all good or all bad. But 2020 cannot even get the title of “Most Challenging Year”. Although, I think it ran a very close second. Still it brought with it growth and sweet, precious moments that I will forever cherish, and because it brought me those things, even in the hardest moments, I wouldn’t change it.
Like so many of you, I carried some of the hard of 2020 into 2021. We didn’t get to totally start a new book or even a new chapter because as the new year entered there was grief and heartache and unanswered questions that plowed straight past December 31, 2020 and into January 1, 2021.
And you know what? That’s okay. That’s how life is. That’s where lessons are learned. That’s where growth happens. That’s where I get to stop, and turn, and say, “Jesus, this burden is too big. I need You to carry it for me.” This past year, and in particular, these past few months, have brought with them so many questions, so many prayers, and so much opportunity to lean into Jesus. Some resolution has come, but not every question has been answered. And I know that this side of heaven, I may not ever fully understand. Not every situation turned out the way I wanted. And not all the heartache and grief have completely lifted.
But still, I will continue to press into my Savior. I will continue to say that God is good and does good (Psalm 119:68).
Jesus . . . He also came into 2021 with me, and He’ll continue with me, sometimes walking alongside me, other times carrying me, always my ever present help, as long as I walk this earth and straight into eternity.
I will ask hard questions. I will seek His comfort. I will trust Him to heal the pain, and bring peace when it doesn’t make sense. And I will praise Him and thank Him for all the good He brings even in the challenging times. Because, as I said before, nothing is all bad or all good, and 2021 will be no different. It will hold it’s hard beside it’s beauty. We will find sweetness in grief and joy in heartbreak. We will make beautiful memories and laugh and love in the midst of the imperfect, and we will carry all of that forward with us as well.
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