Welcome to the year 2021! A new year full of hope that it will be better than the last. I enjoy milestone moments that make me think back to all the things God has done. There are so many things lessons that caused me to learn more about myself and living the life God has called me into. So I thought it’d be good to share some reflections on the year 2020.
As I think about the year ahead of us, I think about all the possible opportunities and adventures ahead. There is so much to look forward to and anticipate. It’s only because of ALL the things I’ve seen God do in the past that causes me to have hope and excitement for this coming year. Remembering what God has done in the past helps us hold tightly to the hope of all He will do in the future.
Here are some of my reflections on the year 2020 that are great lessons to take with me into the next year:
Surrendering to God’s plan is better than my plan
Wow this year stretched me to be openhanded with our lives and plans in so many ways. Surrender is not easy, but it creates a massive growth spurt of faith. A concept we often discussed in our family in 2020 was about learning to hold things loosely. We had plans that got cancelled over and over. We quickly learned that there was no guarantee we would do or get what we wanted when we wanted it. Holding things loosely is about surrendering to God’s plan and the things out of our control in a way that doesn’t derail us significantly when things have to change. This helped us adapt and move on rather than getting stuck in major disappointments.
Remember that hardships bring growth
There were many hard moments as I look at my reflections of the past year. So many tragedies that changed our world and society. Facing hardships head on causes you to rely on the Lord in a totally different way. It also reveals a lot of your weaknesses, sin tendencies, and character defects that need improvement. Once these areas are brought to our attention, just ignoring them and sweeping them under the rug is not a healthy option. Once it’s revealed, it’s time to get to work to make some changes and grow by relying on the Lord to renew our minds and hearts.
Having community matters
So many people felt the sting of loneliness this year. It was painful and brought much heart ache. We were not meant to live such isolated lives, but under the crazy circumstances, many had no other choice. Having people in our lives to care for and connect with is good for our soul- even if you have to get a little creative to make it happen.
Control what you can and trust God with the rest
There are so many parts of this past year that are completely out of my control. It was overwhelming at times. So I had to keep reminding myself of the tiny little bubble of what I could control. My actions, choices, and reactions are all I get to control, so I had to let go of all the craziness that I couldn’t. This helped me stay sane through the roller coaster of 2020.
Getting too comfortable can make faith stagnant
Have you ever felt your faith get lazy and stagnant? One lesson I’ve learned from my reflections on the year 2020 is that being too comfortable can cause us to get more self-reliant and less God reliant. It’s easy to get into a rhythm in my little bubble and stay there. Being quarantined made it easy to do. I had to actively choose often to challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone, and lean on God for the strength to do so.
These reflections of the past year are ones I can take with me from year to year regardless of the circumstances around me. I am so thankful for all God has done even in this crazy roller coaster.