Most people are ready to “kick 2020 to the curb.” But if it was the year of 20/20 vision, let’s learn to see through the hope of redemption… even in the face of suffering.
My friend Tammy calls the lock down “The Great Shut-In.” She says she hopes it sticks; it’s stuck with me.
I like it.
It’s like The Great Depression. The Great Recession. We kind of felt it all this last year.
By adding “the great” it’s like saying, yes. What you just made it through was hard. And yet, by God’s grace, you made it.
(This meme gets me every time!)
In December, I noticed most polite and passing conversations were about the weather or about how we’d all like to just forget 2020, get it over with, and move on.
But I firmly believe that if we don’t healthfully process what sucked in our past, we get stuck there. It’s why our inner child comes out at family gatherings. We need to let places of pain heal so we can move forward as whole, healthy, healed adults.
We need to find the Hope of Redemption in 2020 so we don’t get stuck there.
2020 made it easier than ever to be Light in darkness, to model peace instead of panic, to be a friend to the lonely, a steward and a giver.
I wrote these upside back at the end of March 2020. The height of “uncertainty and panic.”
(Fun experiment: I invite you to pay attention to your body language as you read through this list.)
The Great Shut-In of 2020: 20 Upsides
- People are calling to talk again, not texting.
- People are actually checking in on each other.
- People are being neighborly: “I’m headed to the store, need anything?”
- There’s more grace in pretty much everything- utilities, rent, license renewals, school testing, financial requirements.
- Families are spending time together.
- People are no longer taking each other for granted.
- Unsung heroes are being made known.
- Generosity abounds.
- We’re valuing community over individuality.
- People are fasting and praying and worshipping.
- Jesus is coming soon.
- People are softening… more mercy and empathy for the bereaved.
- We’re stewarding better and wasting resources less.
- The tax deadline was extended! The tax deadline was extended!
- Chalk, bubbles, and baking are on the rise.
- People are resting more, slowing down.
- We fell back in love with the outdoors… hikes and bikes and trampolines.
- We reassessed what really matters.
- We’re sacrificing comforts to protect more vulnerable.
- We are hungry for Good News!
As I reread this list of upsides, I think my eyes rolled once. And I’m reminded of Newton’s words, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” I feel it. For every heart that softened, I know others hardened. Where generosity abounded, so did hoarding.
I get it.
I ended 2020 sitting on the floor, in the dark, weeping again, with communion in front of me. The beauty of communion is that when we take it alone, we are still not alone. The bread and the wine. Flesh and blood. Emmanuel. God with us.
I think it’s a true picture of what we’ve all had to learn to embrace in 2020.
2020 was not all roses, and yet, there were roses.
We get to choose what we focus on.
Wasn’t that one of your words for 2020?
This December, I began waking up with literal visions of pages and writing and scriptures. What to say and how. Even on December 31, I woke to one more! I’m not saying all this is “thus saith the Lord” but I KNOW His hand is in it. I’ve been doing my best to write down everything He gave me in those mornings and to commit this to Him.
After hours upon hours upon weeks, I began feeling the urgency of Holy Spirit. Including resounding word-for-word confirmation out of the mouths of two advisors. And so what began as an article, transformed into an ebook.
I’m calling it “Redeeming 2020.”
I pray it leaves an impartation of hope and a deposit of peace in those who read it.
I believe 2020 offered more hope and healing than we’re giving it credit for. Contrary to popular opinion, 2020 marks the year where we experienced nationwide waves of renewed socioeconomic respect, racial reconciliation, sabbath rest, and community restoration.
Part one is available now:
Redeeming 2020: Vision Correction. How to Find Redemptive Hope in the Midst of Suffering.
This is my gift to you with an option of adding a donation if you like.
“This is so refreshing! If Danita, a recent military widow with two little girls can have this perspective on 2020, we all should! It was very eye-opening for me.”
-Judy Dunagan, editor and author
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