I thought I would encourage myself, and possibly someone else, with a little good news! There have actually been some great things that have happened in 2020.

I got really good at home haircuts this year. We had communion at home in our living room for the very first time at Easter. I began the practice of kneeling in prayer at least once a day. I read a few excellent books. The kitchen turned more into an active coffee house full of lingering conversation rather than a busy commuter’s station. We’ve watched some really good movies. My family has been exposed to more Christian music at all hours of the day. I’ve seen my kids for almost every meal. I’ve delivered lunch to my husband’s office every day, only needing to commute downstairs to see him. My kids have played outside more than ever before. I’ve gotten more creative with cooking and meal planning. I’ve set better boundaries around work and play hours, and I’ve genuinely started to honor the Sabbath.

Doesn’t this sound great? We’re a perfectly happy family that has thrived during the pandemic and calamities of 2020 — except I left out the part where I almost had a panic attack the night before school was cancelled for the rest of the year because I realized what was about to happen and that all my kids would be home in each other’s face fighting forever. And I left out the part where screens, newsfeeds, and sweatpants took over the daily routines of our household. We all tried to keep our hope alive, catch our breath, get our space, and maintain our individuality despite the constant togetherness. At some point, we experienced every emotion, and we did it without the ability to hide it from each another. We all broke in ways we wanted to deny. And we all fought the pressure to learn and grow because we were uncomfortable enough already.

By far, change was the hardest part of 2020. But in some ways, it sparked some great things, necessary things. But the very best thing of 2020 was that Jesus didn’t step down from His throne. He didn’t get thrown off, shaken off, kicked off, and His footing didn’t slip either. Nobody could cover His face, and I know this because I felt it continue to shine on me. Nobody silenced His voice, and nobody succeeded in censoring Him. His believers may have been shaken, stirred, and some may have even fallen — but He stayed steady. He didn’t waver whatsoever with the changes in 2020. And I know that because He’s the only One who kept any of us steady at all.

If you’re a believer in Christ and you haven’t seen His immense provision this year, it’s not because it’s not there. It may be because you’re looking at the changing things instead of the power of that which is unchanging. And no matter what 2021 brings, Scripture still confirms that Jesus will continue to be the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Friends, that means 2021 is already set in a foundation of spiritual growth for those who believe. And maybe if we look back with the right perspective, it won’t look so bad in hindsight because He was there through it all. And truly, it wasn’t all bad. The best thing about 2020? His lack of change and His whisper to me to continue to grow through mine.