Fond Farewell or Good Riddance?

Today is the final day 2020. The final day of the second decade of third millenium CE. We are about to bid adieu to one year and greet a new (hopefully kinder, easier to navigate) year. As we close the door on 2020, we will open the door on the third decade of the 21st century.

Wow. I suddenly feel older than usual. Anyway…

I woke up this morning thinking about what has transpired over the past 10 years and realized a few things. I thought it might be fitting to chronicle some of it here. You may be doing a bit of reminiscing yourself today.

Actually, I want to go back one more year—all the way to 2010.

Much like this year, 2010 opened uneventfully for my family. We approached the year as most do. Full of positive expectation. But as with 2020, after just a few months, things began to take a turn for the worse. The events that began to unfold in March of that year would take my family on a journey that none of us could have foreseen and which would (for me anyway) become a life defining marker. Much as the world divides time into BCE and CE, my reckoning of family events became pre-2010 or post-2010. There is a good possibility that 2020 will become just such a marker for the modern world.

To say that 2010 marked the beginning of the darkest days my family had ever encountered would be an understatement. But as I sit here, just over a decade later, hindsight renders the decade powerless. I can see the answered prayers, the victories, the twists and turns that were navigated and that finally brought my family to a place of peace. To be sure, while we were on the journey, there was darkness, blind alleys, stops and starts, fear, anger, despair, doubt. There were so many days that I absolutely could not see God’s hand or feel His presence that my faith would waver. We were trapped on a roller coaster from which there was no escape. This period lasted the better part of seven years, but light did begin to shine on us gradually after a couple of years. The first couple of years were intensely isolating. This taught me the value of friendship and fellowship.

Because of those dark days, I can look at the events that smacked us all in the face in early 2020 with a much more hopeful outlook. I know for certain that when we put our faith in God, He is working on our behalf even when (maybe especially when) we can’t see or feel His hand. I know that Romans 8:28 is absolutely true for those who love Him. I know that Philippians 4:13 is also absolutely true.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

The good things that have come to my family because of the journey through the valley of the shadow of death are all the sweeter and my faith is stronger because of it.

There have been many good things that happened in the years between March 2010 and today. They are each celebrated and cherished and are remembered with gratitude. There have also been other dark days in that decade, but we weathered them as they came, because we know that our God is faithful.

So as I sit and ponder on this closing day of 2020, I look forward to this new year and new decade with expectation that God will again show Himself faithful. He will show Himself powerful. He will show us His love, His grace, His mercy. He is Wonderful and He is Worthy.

Your Turn

What are you pondering on this final day of 2020? How has God shown Himself faithful in your journey? If you are in the midst of a dark journey and have no hope, please know that Jesus is waiting for you to reach out to Him. He will walk you through the darkest valleys and stay with you until He brings you out on the other side.

If this post has touched you or resonated with you, please consider liking, commenting, and sharing it with a friend.

Feature Image by Mehmet Hilmi Barcin from Canva.

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