depth of despair for depth of joy

It’s time to say goodbye to the year everyone can’t wait to say goodbye to. 2020… what a year. This stretch of time marked our world more than we’ve ever seen in our lifetime. The first few weeks were somewhat normal… and then the world seemingly stopped. Our planet experienced a pandemic, racial unrest and much more. It’s hard to even begin to comprehend all that this year held.

Pandemic aside, this year was one of the most turbulent, constantly changing, decision fatiguing, and shocking years I’ve experienced. Honestly, I thought 2019 was a rough year. I had no idea what was coming for me in 2020. I remember so clearly this day one year ago. For a few months prior, I felt God stirring something in me and prompting me that something was about to change in my life. I stood on a hillside with some of our youth group and friends, sparkler in hand, watching fireworks all across Zagreb explode in the sky. The days, weeks and months that followed were filled with sorrow, pain, loss, grief, joy, heartache, confusion, clarity, purpose, goodbyes, loss of identity, lack of security and so much more. I lived in three different countries and called many apartments home.

When I look back on this year, I don’t think I’d want to relive the events again. The sudden panic that came over our world as COVID first started, the utter darkness of George Flloyd being killed and systemic injustice, the uncertainty of the future… I wouldn’t want to relive those events. But when I think back on how this year brought a great depth of despair and pain, I realize how, only in that process, was I able to reach a greater depth of joy and faith.

As I look to the year ahead, I feel myself holding my breath and ready for a big exhale. While I know a new year is not an automatic reset or magic switch, I do anticipate God will do great things in this depth of joy. I have a lot of hopes for 2021. I’m moving to a new city, putting down roots and pursuing a long time dream of becoming a counselor. I hope to read at least one book a month (maybe even two!). I hope to continue working toward my health holistically and healing my body from all the autoimmune diseases. Let’s be honest… I hope to fall in love! I hope to start the process of putting down roots & having a place to call home. I hope to continue to pursue emotional and spiritual health, healing and in turn, walk with others in seeking redemption.

We live in a broken and corrupt world… there’s no denying that after this year. A new year signifies hope and anticipation for the future. Although the clock striking midnight will not wipe away every tear, we know that this upcoming year is held by the One who will soon wipe away every tear. He holds us. He is with us. Whatever 2021 holds… whatever our hopes and dreams are for this new page… He is with us.

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