As we near the end of 2020 and with an array of emotions, we pause and glance back. If you are like me, I would rather not reflect on this year, but it will be forever embedded in my mind and in every part of my being. This year has impacted me, my friends, and my family in ways that we have not experienced before, as it has everyone. No one has come to the end of 2020 unscathed by the unexpected harsh realities of this year in one way or another.
Many of us rang in the new year of 2020 with great hopes of new adventures, wedding bells ringing for those in love, and new babies’ arrival in the family. We expected to attend proud celebrations of graduations, joyous Birthdays, & anniversary parties. We planned on going about our lives of working, shopping, and gathering together for events or just a simple meal.
We came into 2020 with plans of living life as usual.
If you had told me in 2019 that for most of 2020, I would:
Be working in the corner of my guest bedroom.
Unable to see family or unable to hug those I did see.
Stand in line to buy toilet paper.
Not be able to see friends or coworkers.
Accessorize my wardrobe with a mask.
Cancel my vacation and all travel.
Sanitize EVERYTHING all the time.
Be unable to attend my sweet uncle’s funeral.
Be eating most of my meals at home.
Organize and participate in drive-by birthday celebrations.
Watch our nation spiral out of control.
If you had told me all that was about to transpire in 2020, I would have laughed at the thought and probably thought you were crazy.
Never in even our wildest of wildest dreams did we ever imagine what 2020 would bring.
We came into 2020 without a thought in our minds of all these things. But reality ended up greater than fiction.
Our expectations have been stretched, challenged, and even shattered. Life hit the pause button on our “normal” as we knew it. Life has been drastically altered, and the uncertainty about the future makes 2020 the year of “hope deferred”! The kind of deferred hope that makes our hearts grow sick. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12
This makes me want to cry.
Over 2000 years ago, times were just as chaotic, if not more. There was chaos, backstabbing, murder, and intrigue among Leaders of that time. That led to a call for a census. Thousands of people going back to the land where they were born. What chaos! I am sure Joseph and Mary thought this is not how we planned on bringing our baby into the world.
Can you imagine the crowds of people coming from all parts of the country? Can you imagine the chaos, the pushing and shoving their way as they poured into the cities for the census? That chaos took the Holy Family from Nazareth to Bethlehem, where the prophets foretold the Messiah would be born. The powers think they rule the world and do what they will, but God uses all of their plotting and planning to bring about His own plan. Amidst all the chaos, noise, and filth, in conditions hardly fit for animals…HOPE was born.
Be very confident that God is working out HIS plan throughout 2020 and beyond. Nothing that has transpired this year has taken God by surprise. God is and will always be the one and only Great I AM! God brings beauty out of ashes, He brings purpose out of pain and suffering, He brings hope out of hopelessness, and He brings joy from sorrow. Our God reigns supreme over all of the heavens and earth.
This makes me want to shout!
He is at work and working out His plan to bless us and give us hope and a future!
If you had told me in 2019 that in the next year, I would be extremely grateful for:
FedEx & UPS guys and gals.
First responders, nurses, & doctors.
All those who continued to work outside their home to keep our country going
A mask that fits well.
Spending every single day and night with my hubby
My deck and backyard area.
Birds that come feast in my yard and show off their beauty.
But most of all, I am grateful to our God! Our God who is ALL-KNOWING and GOOD and MERCIFUL.
God who is alive and well and working out His plan.
God who gave His only Son to bring us peace, joy, love, salvation, & hope.
He makes me want to share!
There have always been trials and troubles throughout all time but rest assured, they have not been meaningless. Nothing that has transpired throughout history has taken God by surprise. He is always working even in the chaos and the upheaval. Our God is a God who reigns over all. He is working, and His plans will prevail!
Our hope is not in the things of this world. Our hope was born in a manger, and that hope now lives within us each and every day. Jesus is our hope and our salvation.
He is the light of the world, and He shines bright through our lives when we live fully through the power of His Holy Spirit.
We shine with His Love.
We shine with his peace.
We shine with his joy.
We shine with his contentment.
We shine with his truth that flows freely and powerfully from our lips. We shine brightly into the darkness.
He makes me want to shine!
Going forward this Holy Christmas Season, with a heart of gratitude that is filled with hope, express thankfulness, and shine brighter than ever before. Be the light in the world!
~ Marsha Sites McKeegan