I have been contemplating the word that best describes 2020 for me. Many words come to mind when I reflect on the world events that took place last year. A few of them being: Covid-19, Corona, masks, lockdowns, election, black lives matter, big tech, vaccines, storming the capitol. The word that described them all was fear.
Even though those words might have been broadcasted repeatedly, those were not the words that described 2020 for me.
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:2)
I made the decision early on to not allow fear to creep into my heart. When a person is in fear, I truly believe it hinders their ability to make rational decisions and think clearly. It definitely does not produce peace and calm. When we are fearful, our first instinct is to look at the world for help. Well, the world is in no position to help anyone clear their mind or calm them down. No, I needed to stop listening to what was out there and choose to be thankful for the time I had at home. I spent my time doing things I enjoy and focusing on the good and beautiful in my life.
Restoration. My word is Restoration.
At first, it took me by surprise when restoration kept coming to mind as I reflected on the past year. How can a person feel restored at the end of an unprecedented year in which a pandemic was included? So, what does restoration mean?
The dictionary defines restored as:
To bring back into existence
To bring back to a state of health, soundness or vigor
2020 allowed me to be still. There was no packed schedule of sports, playdates and field trips for the kids. My consulting jobs were put on hold, and I “ran” most of my errands online. My husband worked from home, which gave us more quality time together. We worked on the house as a team more than ever. We communicated more than ever, and it was great!
I read my bible more, played more board games and spent more time with family. In this time, my spirit healed, healing that I didn’t even know was needed. I realized that for the past few years, I was running on a low tank of joy.
I realized that my joy tank filled back up when I felt peace and joy at another level. I smiled because I wanted to smile, and not just in response to someone else’s smile. I thought, where has that feeling been?
I had been just going through all the motions without feeling the whole range of emotions. Even when I look at videos that I have taken in the past few years, it was like watching a dimmed version of myself. Like my inner light had been set on low, compared to now. I had no idea, and I would still not if I wasn’t restored.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
It’s no wonder that God tells us to Be still. Sadly, it took a year like 2020 for me to finally listen. Ordinary life is full of opportunities for fun, work, advancement, education, social outings, etc. The possibilities for stillness get pushed aside.
I am thankful for 2020. I think it was through the spiritual healing that my family could handle the loss of my husband’s grandmother with peace. She went home in December, we all miss her so. But with restored hearts and spirits, we can still look forward to the future and to God’s blessings every day.
My heart goes out to all the families that had a loss during 2020. My prayer for you is restoration so we can keep moving forward.
Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. (Proverbs 4:25 ESV)
My encouragement is to not take this time for granted, do not let fear steal this time of stillness away from you. The world does not define your inner being.