What I’m leaving behind: Ten Lessons Learned from 2020.
At the end of every year we try to look back and evaluate the good, the bad and the ugly. This year put a strain on our lives that none of us good have predicted. While we strive for our old way of life, things still look quite different. For instance my kids have been able to play quite a few sports, but there is no handshake at the end congratulating your opponents on a good game. Yes we are meeting for church but whether it’s outside, or inside with masks, there are many who still aren’t ready to darken the doors. It is a year of mixed emotions within ourselves and with each other. Friendships have been stretched and pulled. It is year I hope we never have to experience again.
Why we must spend time reflecting on lessons learned from 2020.
One thing 2020 has forced me to do is take a closer look at myself and the world around me. If our goal is Christ we must keep running the race towards Him as well as reflecting on where we have been and what we need to leave behind.
- The world is more broken than I ever realized. Between riots, social media wars, the election, and the overall degradation of our culture the pandemic has exposed the brokenness of our world. The ONLY thing good in this world is Jesus and anything good in the world comes from Him. [Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17]
- Being a Christian on Sunday only is over. The pandemic has exposed everything especially the superficial Christian. You can no longer skate by as Sunday only Christian. The church will forever be changed by the Pandemic and our culture will continue to watch and judge as this unfolds. The brokenness of the church has been exposed to everyone not just congregants. [For the Lord sees not as man sees, man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7]
- What does it really mean to be empathatic. For most of us there has never been a time in our life when everyone around the world is being shaped by one event. COVID is happening everywhere to everyone. How we experience and our affected by it is vastly different but it is everywhere. We are joined by our humanity. As believers we should be leading the way in showing true empathy and compassion. [Be happy with those who are happy and weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15]
- You’ll never make everyone happy. No matter what you do someone is upset and people pleasing is for the birds. I’ve struggled with this my whole life and go through seasons where it’s more prominent than others. COVID exposed all too often that my desire to please others is sometimes significantly greater than desire to please God. [Obviously I’m not going to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. Galatians 1:10]
- Boldness comes from the Holy Spirit. Speaking without thinking isn’t boldness. I’m great at speaking “off the cuff,” but true boldness requires courage, intention and vulnerability. Boldness is a learned characteristic that is developed over time and always proves to be challenging. I have much work to do in this area. [For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7]
- It is impossible to find JOY without Christ. That people can talk all the want about trying to see the positive and find the joy, kindness and goodness, BUT unless you have Christ you’re never going to find it. Many of us were pushed to the edge to find this in our daily lives. [You love Him even though you have never seen Him. Though you do not see Him now; you trust Him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 1 Peter 1:8]
- I’m remembered who I truly am not what depression tells me I am. That I’m an extrovert who is fueled by being alone, but loves people. That I have strong opinions and I need to work on my delivery. That medicine is powerful. That no one knows me better than Jesus. That I can trust my gut and I do know what’s best for me, but only through the lens of TRUTH. [If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and will know the truth and the truth will set you free. John 8:31-32]
- That I am brave. Courage doesn’t mean you aren’t scared, it just means you do it anyway. I’ve spent 2020 stepping out of my comfort zone and listening to what has for me no matter how uncomfortable it makes me. Launching Hope and Laughter has been one of my biggest acts of faith. I’m completely trusting in Him. [Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6]
- That I can’t go through this world alone. Isolation, the lock down, etc., reminded me how important relationships are. They are a necessity to survive as much as food, water and sleep. We are created for relationship. [Since God loved us we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another God lives in us and is made complete in us. 1 John 4:11-12]
- Grateful. Never have I been more grateful and understand the hope that we have in Jesus. There is no other hope without Jesus. Jesus is hope and love. I’m so grateful I know Him and He knows me. [I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. Ephesians 1:18]
Your fellow warrior,