If you’re reading these words, you made it. You may be crawling across the finish line, banged up and battle weary, but you did it. Somehow, we survived one of the craziest years ever, and for that alone I want to give you a high five across the computer screen. Well done, friend.
Whether you feel as though you accomplished anything in 2020 or not, I can promise you did.
If you’re a mom or parent, you navigated a life and classroom that looked nothing like anything you ever imagined. You made more meals than you ever thought you’d make, cleaned thousands of dishes, clothes and countertops, and tried to make sure your kids stayed healthy. Both physically and mentally, which is no small order. You became a teacher, counselor, and coach. You explained the unexplainable. So if you think you didn’t do much or do it well, take a look back. The evidence of the love only a parent can give is there.
If you’re a pastor or ministry leader, your church expanded beyond the walls of a building. You pointed us toward the hope we all clung to during this time. This time when we often felt isolated and alone, weary and discouraged. You made tough decisions you’d never faced before, and faced criticism no matter what decision you made. Without knowing what the future held, you led us and delivered encouragement when you yourself needed encouragement more than anyone. You are essential. You matter.
If you’re a nurse, doctor healthcare worker, I know you’re bone tired. You pray for an end to this virus whose victims seem to multiply by the second, and you need space to breathe. You stepped into the line of the fire, and you did what needed to be done with or without a thank you. Your work does not go unnoticed. You saved lives, and delivered kindness to those who needed it.
If you’re a teacher, you became a trailblazer this year. You may not feel like one and I am certain there are days you want to yell at the screen, but your heart for your students is evident in your selfless work. You navigated new technology, calmed kids and parents through meltdowns, and imparted the knowledge of a six-hour school day in half the time. You’re amazing, and you don’t get paid enough.
And to anyone who was a needed friend, who sent a note, who delivered a meal, who put one foot in front of the other, you have something to celebrate. This year, we realized how much we need each other. Community is not something we should take for granted. It is vital to our health, our being, and purpose.
I don’t know what 2021 has in store, and to be honest I’m a little wary as we walk into it. But I don’t want to pin my hopes on a new year. I want to put my hope and trust in the only solid foundation we have in this life, Christ Jesus. He is our constant foundation when the world falls apart. And no matter what the future holds, I know he will point us to our purpose in it.
Keep looking up, friends. Trust me when I say, it’s the one way we will survive a new year.
If you need further encouragement that God is moving and working, even when we don’t see the answer, I encourage you to pick of a copy of my book, Shift: Changing Our Focus to See the Presence of God. I talk more about those seasons when it doesn’t seem as though God hears us, and how to see that he is working, even when we life doesn’t look the way we anticipated. Many people have sent me messages saying it is a timely book for this season. This encourages my heart so much. I pray that God continues to use it to touch lives.
Here’s what one reader said:
“Abby’s gentle approach to life’s more difficult situations will be a healing balm to the aching reader’s soul. Filled with both prescriptive hope and a realistic understanding of what life is like when all does not fit within tidy, easy answers, Abby writes with an kind voice. Shift provides a respite to the weary traveler and a light with which to dispel the confusion.” – R. Hopkins
You can pick up a copy of Shift by clicking the image below.