Christmas is over and the countdown to the new year has begun. So long 2020. Hello 2021.

Typically, there is a hope and an anticipation of better things to come that we carry with us when the countdown begins. 10. 9. 8. 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1.

Happy New Year!

What will this year bring? What new and good habits are we carrying with us? What are we letting go of? What are we going to improve? What’s our word for the year? What are our resolutions? Last year, at the start of 2020, the excitement for the new year felt greater than years prior. There was hope and expectation as we entered into a new decade. This new beginning was filled with promise.

We had no clue what was about to come our way.

And as this year comes to a close, we are hopeful for a better year on the horizon, but realistic that when the clock strikes midnight, all of the hardships this year brought aren’t going to magically disappear. This is not a Cinderella situation. While we can hope and pray that our situation with the pandemic will continue to improve, this is still a part of our reality. We still need more time until we come to the other side of this.

And until then, we need to hold on to hope.

This was not the year we expected. It wasn’t the year we anticipated. But it is the year we had.

And I know people are tired. And weary. And feeling lonely. And longing for some normalcy. We are missing family members and wanting to gather with friends and neighbors like we are accustomed to over the holidays. If anything, the holidays seem to be highlighting the things we are missing even more.

I know personally, I have been in a bit of a fog today. I haven’t felt quite like myself. I am wandering around from here to there, fiddling with this and that, finding things to do, but not really feeling that excitement I typically feel right after Christmas. Instead of being so excited that we have all of this time off together, I am finding myself longing for things. A trip the movies. A bite out to eat at the restaurant. A get together with some friends. The kids friends running in and out of the house and asking to sleep over. I am going through the motions today, but feeling a little blah. I think part of it is the excitement, and adrenaline, of Christmas has passed. Fatigue is setting in.

And somewhere in the back of my mind is a faint whisper, “When will all of this end?”

So I decided a little bit ago, while I was reflecting on what is going on with me today, that I will cling to hope. I don’t know when this will end, or when the feeling of normalcy will return, but I believe it will. I don’t know what the new year will bring, but I know God will give me the strength to face what comes my way.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is to have a new appreciation for the things that really matter in life. And that we can handle hard, and unexpected, things.

Today I have felt off, and that’s okay. This is a different kind of year, and moments of feeling off, or experiencing grief, are to be expected. I will acknowledge these feelings, and then move forward.

I will cling to hope.

I don’t need to worry about what tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that, will look like. I just need to focus on what is before me today. I will pray for God to give me a heart of gratitude. To be able to see, acknowledge, and engage with the blessings that are all around me. To find joy in this time, and these days. To be able to see this time between Christmas and New Years with new eyes. To take advantage of this time when we are home together. And to acknowledge the moments when my heart is hurting. The moments when I am feeling a little blah and a little off. And the moments when I am missing things.

God works all things out for His good, and this time is no exception. And that is what I will cling to. That is where my hope will be found.

In a few days, we will say goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021. And as the clock strikes midnight, we will all carry the lessons learned, the trails we faced, the joys we experienced, and the hope in our hearts for better things to come into the new year.

We will enter into the new year with expectation. We will enter into the new year as people who have faced things we had not expected. And as people who have grown from walking through hardship. We will enter into the new year with hope.

So long 2020. Hello 2021.

I would love to here what you think. Please feel free to comment below.