An Ode to 2020: Hope for Whatever Comes.

I’m going to be honest, the first time I sat down to start writing and drafting this post, I had no idea where to begin. I ended 2019 with a plea for 2020 to be better. After spending the last 6 months of 2019 in a really awful place I wanted some kind of hope to cling onto and for the new year to be “my year.” I remember praying simply: “God, I hope 2020 doesn’t suck.”

I don’t think anyone saw what was coming in 2020, and I don’t know a single person who hasn’t experienced stress, at the very least.

I consider myself lucky and privileged to be in the position I am: working part-time, living with my parents, and healthy. However, it would be foolish of me to not acknowledge the fact that the pandemic has severely impacted our world for the worst. People in our world are experiencing death, loss, loneliness and difficult changes that have been unlike anything we have and will probably ever experience. The political polarization of racial injustice and the pandemic have caused unrest and division around the world as leaders try to lead their countries, for better or worse. Being determined to be “right” has clouded hearts and what it means to partner truth and love.

2020 has been dark, scary, uncertain, stressful and full of so much heartache. If you made it through this dumpster-fire of a year, I’m so proud of you. I’m glad you’re here and you are so wanted and loved.

I want to talk about hope. The kind of hope that loosens our shoulders, relieves the tension in our chests and is the light at the end of the tunnel. This is what we need to experience. But let’s also talk about how, as one of my favourite writers and speakers Jo Saxton puts it:
Hope still wins, but it often has scraped knees because it keeps crawling forward.”
Choosing hope is being in it for the long-haul and waiting for the healing. Hope is healing. Hope isn’t toxic positivity. Hope is sometimes the only thing we can cling onto.

Hope is vital for our walk with God, let alone for facing a world that is filled with darkness. I am learning to embrace hope instead of settling for temporary happiness; the hope and joy that the Lord offers forever surpasses my flesh just merely wanting to be “happy.” Life, even post-pandemic, won’t give me joy. Denying myself of processing the big and “bad” emotions isn’t healthy! I have to allow God to work in my heart in order to come to terms with all of this and realize how lucky I am.

Because of hope:
I’ve seen truth turn to power.
I’ve seen the brightest light in the darkest moments.
I’ve seen people (myself included) change their perspectives and check their privilege, leading them to become kinder, healthier and more compassionate towards people of all walks of life.
I’ve seen people choose truth, hope and love over lies, bitterness and hatred.
I’ve seen Christians ditch legalism for freedom in their relationship with God.

There has been good in 2020. This year I took the time to figure out how to take better care of my ADHD and overall mental health, and started paying true attention to what my brain can and can’t handle. Choosing hope has also been about choosing to find ways to connect with people. I’m grateful for the friendships that have grown in 2020! I also had the beautiful opportunity to connect with other neurodiverse people around the world who get my brain. A few of us ran an online event for people with ADHD to create and facilitate community. (Learn more about Camp ADHD here). I also had a beautiful oppourtunity to participate in Power to Change – Student’s writing mentorship and have an article published! (Check it out here)

Look at you, friend! Look at how this year has been a part of making and shaping you. We’re neither ahead nor behind on our journeys.

Take a moment to read and be encouraged by John 14:27:
“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful.” (CSB)

So, whatever comes in 2021, we can choose the pursuit to have hope beyond our biggest dreams through our Lord and Saviour.

What are you hoping for in 2021?

Until next time,

Abby

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