Suffering with hope

What the Year 2020 Has Taught Me

STEADFASTNESS.

This has been the theme of the year for me. 

~Steadfastness in persevering and seeking to honor the Lord in my days, despite a body of pain. 

~Steadfastness in circumstances that carry a level of stress that has taken a toll on my body, mind, and emotions in countless ways. 

~Steadfastness in parenting through the ups and downs of daily life, e-learning, navigating complex special needs, and trying to give, love, and serve the children God has given us – even when I feel like I have nothing left to give. 

~Steadfastness in starting over in a new state, job, community, church, school, and doctors. 

~And as we can all relate to – steadfastness in this complex, divisive, mentally straining state of living through a pandemic where everyone falls on diffident sides of the spectrum. 

But as we come to Thanksgiving in an environment that is difficult for everyone in one way or another, I keep being led to the words of James – 

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and compete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4

So this Thanksgiving, I’ve been challenged to focus on the ways that God has used the unique challenges of this year to grow, change, redirect, or draw us closer to him. If nothing else, the challenges, disappointments, and losses that have come from living through 2020 have provided circumstances to shake us from our stupor and lukewarm living to ask hard questions, remove distractions, and open our eyes to what we are truly living for. 

This Thanksgiving, I’d encourage you to join us in spending time as a family (or with a friend or family member) discussing how God has been faithful through this year. How has he provided in the ways we needed most? How has he removed good things in order to show us something greater and more lasting? How has he taught us to appreciate the little things? How has he opened our eyes to sin in our life that was hidden under comfortable circumstances for the purpose of sanctification, growth, and healing? How has he grown us in steadfastness?  

This year has been incredibly hard on SO MANY LEVELS. But sometimes “hard” is the path to greater blessing in ways that are lasting and eternal. Let’s remember that through Christ, we truly can “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.” 

God has always been good and faithful, but sometimes it takes losing our sense of control and comfort to truly grasp the depth the goodness, faithfulness, security, comfort, and hope that can come from nowhere else but him. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

~Sarah

4 thoughts on “What the Year 2020 Has Taught Me”

  1. Sarah,
    This year started out with my inability to walk because I needed a new hip and since my other hip is weak from my stroke in 1975 I was in a very bad place. The pandemic hit days after I saw my surgeon so my hip replacement had to be postponed until the beginning of June.
    Through many prayers and a good support team I managed to wait until June 8th when I regained some quality of life thanks to a talented surgeon and his staff. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel in January but I put my trust in God to the test and He didn’t disappoint!
    God Bless you for your honesty and encouragement and have a very Happy & Blessed Thanksgiving!!
    Lynn Abbott

    Like

  2. I am so thankful for you, Sarah! Many days your writing helps me put perspective on the pain of Lyme and gives me hope! God bless you today, sweet lady and Happy Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so thankful to hear that! I’m feeling pretty badly today as well, so I know it can be hard to continue to fight for joy when weariness sets it. But we press on one day at a time with the hope of what’s to come. ❤️ Happy Thanksgiving!

      Like

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