2020 in Review
As a writer and blogger, I kind of feel obligated to write about 2020 now that is coming to an end. Although I feel obligated, I am not doing it begrudgingly.
Let’s just own it. A lot of things that happened this year sucked. But that doesn’t mean the whole year sucked. I can’t say I want a repeat of 2020, but I also don’t want to take back the things that I learned and the blessings in my life that happened because of 2020.
When I was asked how I was spending New Year’s Eve, I was tempted to say that I was just celebrating by watching 2020 die a slow and painful death. That is definitely how I felt with some of the things that happened. I think it is safe to say that we all experienced loss in one way or another. I lost several of my friends to death and one of my friendships ended, I lost the experiences to travel to Israel, Romania, Austria, the UK, and Albania, I lost the experience of getting to show my mom around the beautiful country I live in, and many other opportunities were lost. And some of you may have lost family members or your job…or maybe you just lost your mind! It’s okay to admit that…you aren’t alone.
But when we dwell on the many things we have missed out on or lost, our mental state starts spiraling. Being focused on ourselves is one of the most harmful things we can do. That’s when anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses start creeping in. The enemy has a foothold when we are solely focused on ourselves; that's what he wants. One thing that has helped me through this time is to have an attitude of gratitude - focusing on the things I am thankful for in my life, on how I can help other people in this time, and worshiping God through it all.
Like many of you, I was forced to slow down. I was in literal isolation for almost two months back when the first lockdown was in place. The curfews were strict, and we weren’t meeting in person as a team. In our (Western) culture, a busy schedule is almost glorified. And what I found is that being busy was a coping mechanism for me to cover up hurts and traumas that I had not dealt with, not at the root, anyway. Being alone with no one to see and nowhere to go forced me to face those things head on and work on true healing and restoration that only Jesus can provide. This was probably the biggest blessing of 2020 for me.
Instead of celebrating the end of 2020, I am celebrating the things that 2020 has taught me. And looking forward to the year to come! I kind of feel silly for doing this, and even sillier that I am sharing this with you, but here is how I am celebrating New Year’s Eve this year: I cleaned my entire apartment top to bottom, changed my sheets and duvet cover, took a long, hot shower, played worship music, prayed in all the rooms in my apartment, turned on my air purifier, and watched a conference that glorifies the name of Jesus! And let me tell you, this is the most peace I have felt all year. I want to start 2021 with a clean slate, and everything we do in the natural reflects something in the spiritual realm.
I know that 2020 was much more difficult for some of you than what I dealt with, and I empathize with you for that, and I am not trying to downplay the hurt that has been felt. This was just my personal experience, and if you are in a similar boat as I was, I just want to encourage you to grow closer to the Father in this time. And have an attitude of gratitude; it changes more things than you think!
How are you spending New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day?