Seriously, nothing like the year 2020 to change your life, am I right or am I right? I’ll wait.

Ok, since we are all 100% on the same page, lets dive in together for a nice little recap.

The year 2020 started out like all the other years – New Year’s traditions playing out and some people still making resolutions. All of us who where waking up January 1, 2020, most likely realized that a new year meant new things, good and bad, but I know most of us weren’t aware we were walking into the year that would collectively change all our lives all at the same time.

Change is like the thorn in our sides. Sometimes we want change because another thorn is digging so invariably deeply that we feel like we are hemmorraging our souls – other times we are clinging to the dirt, facedown, being dragged by our feet by change itself.

Nothing is so unpredictable as life. That false sense of security we give ourselves when we have expectations that the very next day will play out in reality exactly as we have it set up on the story line production of our making in our minds. I suppose so often we do see the reality of what we see first in our minds that we continue to assume life will go on as we see it.

I could feel change personally coming in 2019. Almost everything I tried to start, or changes I was making were not overly sticking. I’d work hard looking into new opportunities for my girls and my family – youth groups, new schools and new life groups, making work travel plans with my husband and searching out new leads for this little ditty that is Pursuing true North. But, as I said, nothing was sticking.

My husband traveled a fair amount and my kids were happily enjoying public school in Tennessee. I, a work at home mom with a side gig of writing and small cleaning company, had our share of change rolling in.

The change of 2020 rocked my crew a lot harder than it did me. I’m used to being at home and finding ways to interact with the outside world by a whole lot of my own efforts (and of course those of the beautiful souls who cared to dance this life with me). I’ve known lonely and isolated with young kids as a mom focusing all my life’s detail on my children. Those young years of my kids – by far my loneliest years. I cannot tell you how many times I have been grateful my children were 10 and 13 at the start of this new life we are all dealing with. Had I been in my life’s journey with young kids – with where I was mentally/emotionally when this all hit – I shudder to think. And all my hats are off to the mom’s out there who are in that phase of life – especially my special needs moms. Oy.

My heart hurt watching my husband, and many other corporate professionals, adjust to having their lives flip upside down and learn how to work without all the personal ways they were before. Going from traveling and meeting new people, seeing new places and doing new things – working with their other family in person to being shut in a room that doesn’t even have a comfortable work chair and kids books thrown on the floor and hearing the dog barking while trying to sound professional, did not seem to be an easy transition.

Even harder to watch was and currently is seeing people be affected by a new virus in devastating ways. Watching the fear of this virus take over people’s lives is equally hard to see. People losing their work, losing their ability to pay their bills and struggling to feed their families – breaks my heart. 

I suppose my perspective is one that is set up to be less afraid because the chances of me or my immediate family members being sick and dying from this new illness is relatively low. Of course I have older relatives that could get sick and die and I would be very sad to watch that happen and I know there are plenty of people burying their loved ones right now.

My father is dying, although not from Covid. Early Onset Alzheimer’s with Primary Progressive Aphasia. He’s in his last stage and we placed him in a home because his care was just too much to handle. So, all that to say, I do actually understand having a close older relative I love be on the doorstep of eternity. He gets to join his parents, his brother and sister, and two of my children. It’s hard to have those around us leave us for now, but for those of us who believe, we have an undescribable eternity on the other side of our breath.

None of us gets to leave this big ball – or flat earth, however you see it – without leaving our bodies. No better time than to take inventory on where your soul’s peace is. If there is no peace, it can still be found, but only in the atoning blood of the Sacrificial Lamb that is Jesus Christ. This peace – and the hope of heaven – grounds us believers no matter when our death should find us.

Back to the issue of change – we all had to do it last year. Some people moved (holding mine and Jenny’s hands up), some lost jobs, some had some time off jobs, some got new jobs (holding my hand up again), some changed schools (my kids smirking here as they hold thier hands up), some had unexpected family losses and so much more.

Explaining all of the changes to my children was probably ranked in the top most difficult conversations to have. Mine are older children, but I never really know what all my youngest (now 11) with special needs truly understands about non-concrete conversations. How do you explain that you don’t know when toilet paper won’t be back on shelves? And if you were one those toilet paper persons – not cool. How do you assure your special needs child who thrives on routine and consistency, that truly homeschooling is more predictable and better for her peace than going back to a place she loved? How do you explain when your 13 year old asks all the same questions you have in your own head?

You tell them that God knows. God knows what is going to happen, God knows what we need. God wasn’t surprised by Covid. No one is dying a minute earlier than was ever determined by a loving God who gives us each appointed travel times here on earth. What we do with our time, who or what we care to worship, how we love – those are all choices we get to make during our travels here.

You tell them what you tell yourself – God is on the throne, He’s the only One who ever has had true control, life is full of changes that are good and bad, and everything works out for the good to those who love God.

Nothing like all of us having the same year to drastically have our lives change. Takes the question, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” from a “I see myself _________,” to,  “I have no idea but that’s ok.”

 

Nothing like the year 2020 to change your life.

~ C. King