If there was one word to describe 2020, I would have to go with uncertainty. Between a global pandemic, an impeachment trial, a controversial election, murder hornets, and many more formidable events, we have quite a year to reflect on. It was like a very long season of a TV show that should’ve ended but keeps throwing in random plots and ridiculous situations just to keep itself on the air.  We never knew what the next day or week might throw at us.

But when our family talked about this past year, everyone was in agreement that despite the chaos, we learned and grew a lot. My daughter pointed out that difficulties typically produce growth (if you let them). When you reflect on 2020, don’t let the stains of 2020 overpower the growth that occurred: 

We learned perseverance. 

When we learned Covid wasn’t going away quickly, we all had to adjust to a “new normal.” That term now makes my stomach churn, I have to admit. Many weeks felt as if we were in a boxing ring with our hands tied behind our back and all we could do was dodge punches. But however exhausting it was, we persevered…together.

We learned to embrace uncertainty.

2020 has helped us recognize we truly do not know what tomorrow holds – in 2020 or any given year. We are not guaranteed a tomorrow and our lives can change in a single moment. If we merely let life happen to us and react to our circumstances, many opportunities to love, serve, and celebrate will slip through our fingers – day after day, year after year. The quote, “I don’t know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future” became our motto and reality.

We learned to be creative and intentional.

We celebrated and learned together in new ways. We spread love through beautifully colored windows and sidewalks. We held banners and balloons outside windows. We sat in driveways and parking lots 6 feet apart in lawn chairs and the back of parked cars. We mastered Zoom calls and communicating and working in creative ways. We can allow these lessons to change us – our values, our relationships, and how we spend our time, and we can look back and recognize what we can do better in the upcoming year, no matter what lies ahead. Social media posts are all saying goodbye and good riddance to 2020, but the truth is, we don’t know what the future holds. 2020 gave us a startling wake up to recognize the fragility of this world. No matter what is behind the door to 2021, let’s have a “firmly planted mindset.”

Psalm 1:3 says, “He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers” (Psalms 1:3 NASB).

Maybe this will be a season to reap what was planted, or maybe we will have to stand strong while the winds continue to blow. But when we are firmly planted, anchored to our God and His Truth, we will yield fruit when our season comes.

– Mel Anderson

Photo by Victoria Palacios on Unsplash