Weathering a difficult season of life often feels like treading water in rough seas. You do pretty well for a while and then suddenly a huge wave swamps you. Undertow pulls you down, and as you struggle to reach the surface, you wonder how much more you can take.
For many, 2020 felt like unrelenting waves of hardship and illness coupled with fear and uncertainty. As is often the case, it is only after we have weathered a life storm that we can look back and see what we learned in the process.
The following buoyed us in 2020:
The definition of resilience is the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change. While it might not have been easy, most of us managed to adjust to the multiple changes 2020 brought. We learned to do without favorite foods or brands, to adjust to working and schooling from home, to wearing masks, and to changes in life events and familiar routines. We learned to “roll with the punches,” even when those punches seemed to hit us with increasing frequency.
2020 was not without an inordinate level of complaining on many levels and from many sources, but those who were wise learned to find positives in this unusual year and focus on gratitude. For some, thankfulness centered around surviving COVID or other health-related situations. For others, the continuation of jobs and financial security topped the thankful list.
Personally, I am thankful our home is a haven from the commotion and stress of the world beyond its walls, and I am thankful I experienced God’s faithfulness and presence. Perhaps more than ever, we have learned to value and cherish family and friends and give thanks for little things we often take for granted.
In a year of uncertainty, happiness was often elusive. Fear knocked at the door and negativism spoke with a loud voice. Yet, we learned to find joy in nature, accomplishments, and family. Contentment is a choice. When life storms arise, contentment is a solace to those who choose it.
Sometimes we forget this is not the first time people have faced difficulty. Past generations weathered hardship, uncertainty, and change much greater than what we experienced this year.
In recent days, my husband and I have been watching a series set in England during World War II. Bombings, rationing, shortages, and fear of enemy invasion were part of daily existence, not just for a year, but for years. During this time in history, resourcefulness and innovation allowed people to survive.
This year required many of us to move beyond our comfort zones regarding technology and learn new methods and procedures. We also discovered ways to circumvent shortages and make adjustments for inconveniences. What we faced doesn’t come close to wartime experiences, but like those before us, we found ways to cope and move forward.
While 2020 brought many distractions and disconcerting changes, it also taught us to shift our perspectives, focus on positives of the present, and cling to hope for the future. Hope propels forward motion and keeps us looking ahead instead of retracing previous steps. Hope is an anchor in life’s fiercest storms.
As 2020 grinds to a close, let hope keep you afloat and help you chart a new course for the coming year.
Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble, but commune with God at all times. Romans 12:12 TPT
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving beyond difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House) and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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