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And the Prize for Most Eventful Year Goes to 2020!

Calm. That’s what I was trying to be when I heard certain news last December 31st. A request to pray had come out of the lips of the person standing in front of me. One of my worst fears in life might possibly come true. After they left, I sat by a warm light, processing, praying and acutely aware once again of the fragility of life.


Photo by The Blowup- @theblowup



I kept my promise to keep what had been shared to myself and silently carried a very personal burden for months while I waited, surrendered, and petitioned to God for his will, for our desires, for strength and for trust in God no matter the outcome.

In January 2020 at a youth retreat in gorgeous Muskoka, while my grade 12 youth girls and co-leader sang songs to God, I worshipped as I privately wept. Fear, love, and surrender rained over me. Once again, I vowed that whatever would come I would remain faithful to Jesus and love him with all my heart.


Photo by John Price - @johnprice


What came was something completely unrelated to my private battle and unexpected. COVID-19 blew up in March 2020 and the implications of the disease affected every area of life. What can be said that hasn’t already been said about 2020? What’s rolling around in my head is that I’ve seen the best of humanity and the worst of humanity. I’ve seen fear and trust. Kindness and greed. Despair and optimism. I felt like I was crushing it at the beginning of the pandemic as I cooked up a storm, started playing the piano again, read, took blogging and writing courses and started this blog. And then weariness crept into my heart in summer. I only launched my blog in August because I had already announced the launch date. I stopped cooking and ate pizza for an entire week. I felt sad and I looked like a slob.

I want to say to you what’s been said to me. It’s okay to feel what you’re feeling. Whatever that is whether it’s joy or sadness or even anger. Our emotions can be like a roller-coaster going from one emotion to another, sometimes within seconds. Feelings aren’t bad and it’s good to be aware of them and not suppress them. But it’s also extremely important to analyze them and understand why we’re feeling what we feel and comprehend the root causes of them. It’s only then that we can learn to manage our emotions and that is what will determine the kind of people we’ll become and the type of lives we’ll live.

To say it’s been a hard year would be an understatement. But I sit here grateful. That fear I had last December 31st to some extent came true, but God was there every step of the way. He takes care of people and I witnessed his care. This pandemic hasn’t ended at all, but we’re getting through it together. There’s been beauty in the midst of ashes and more beauty is yet to be seen. I want to challenge you to reflect on these past 12 months and look for the good. Search for the gems. Find those things that made you grow, laugh, cry tears of joy and dream. There is always good in the world as long as God exists. He gives us gifts like families and friends that make life not just something to survive but something to enjoy. We can soar and I can assure you that the view is pretty spectacular.


Photo by Happy Films - @happyfilms


I know tonight might be tough not being able to hug people you wish you could, but you’re not alone. All of humanity is going through this pandemic together. And friend, God sees you. He loves you and if you open your heart to him you might be surprised at what he will do in your life. Life is always worth living.

Photo by Jude Beck - @judebeck

Happy New Year!

Raquel

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My weary soul needed this encouragement. It certainly HAS been a hard year. I'm grateful to have shared many of the highs and lows of 2020 in both of our lives together! Here's to a new year and a fresh start. xo

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