Going into 2020, some people saw the year as “The Year of Perfect Vision.” A person with 20/20 vision sees the world around them in perfect focus, and some people believed that in the year 2020, the focus on their vision for their lives would become crystal clear and set their sights and goals accordingly. As the ball dropped at Times Square in New York City, people cheered and celebrated what they thought was going to be their best year ever.
The same was true for any woman who conceived unexpectedly in 2020. No matter how varied the lives of women in this situation are, they share one thing in common. As they looked ahead into the coming year, none of their plans included pregnancy.
For all of us and the people described in both of these circumstances, the events of 2020 caused an abrupt and radical change to our daily lives.
Early in the year and after our first stay-at-home order was issued, phrases like “social-distancing” and “flatten the curve” became common place in our vocabulary. For the woman dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, life became doubly complicated. Not only was she complying with the restrictions of the stay-at-home order, now she was thrust into the prenatal/birth world with the introduction of its own set of vocabulary terms including “gestational age”, “expected date of confinement”, and “fetal age of viability.”
As the days turned into weeks, all of us were forced involuntarily into a waiting game to see if normalcy would ever return to the life we had imagined for 2020. As for the life of the pregnant woman, she was involved in her own time of waiting. Yet her waiting period was more fixed and certain. When the set time had come, she would give birth to the baby growing within her womb.
Now that we’re looking back on 2020, we are are faced with the same dilemma. How will we choose to remember the year? If you were someone who saw the year as “The Year of Perfect Vision”, will you fill your memory with the frustrations associated with the interruption of your plan? Or will you choose to focus on the blessings that came forth as a result?
One thing we can be sure of is that 2020 did not catch the Lord by surprise. Romans 8:28 says, “All things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are the called according to His Purpose.” Here are some of the ways that He used this time for our good:
The forced slow-down caused the frenzy of modern life to come to an abrupt halt, allowing a chance to pause, breathe, reflect and become closer to Him.
Families, unable to entertain themselves outside the home, worked together to create ingenious ways to pass the time including the restoration of the family meal time.
Individuals and families alike found time to become more active, leaving their home daily to take leisurely walks around the block.
Projects, books, and studies that had been shelved due to lack of time, were taken out, dusted off and completed.
People, once separated by distance, were brought together in cyberspace through avenues like ZOOM.
Churches, once confined to ministering only to those who entered their sanctuaries during church services, found a broader audience through conducting online services.
Workers, once taken for granted, such as grocery clerks and health care worker became known as “essential workers” and were recognized as putting their lives on the line to make sure that those at home had their needs met.
The list could go on and on, and would show how wonderfully different the Lord used this time for good in the lives of individuals and families.
As we leave 2020 and enter 2021, let us not focus on the things that we did not accomplish nor the frustration or anguish it sometimes brought. Instead, like a expectant woman who soon forgets the long days of the pregnancy once she gives birth, let us fill our memories with the unexpected blessings we received in a generally difficult year. Then as we boldly enter the new year, let us approach it with a renewed trust in Jesus. He who saw us through the darkest of days will remain faithful to carry us through 2021 and beyond.