I think we can all agree that this year has brought with it many disappointments and challenges. We've had to adapt to so many changes, engage in tough realities, and learn how to take the hits life throws at us. There have been plenty of days where I have felt so discouraged and find it hard to remain optimistic about anything in the future. On the contrary, there have also been a handful of days where I have found myself being thankful for this season, even with all the mess it has caused. I’m thankful because it reminded me to slow down and enjoy the small things in life. I’m thankful because it reminded me to focus on and pour into relationships that were right in front of me. I’m thankful because, even though it was rough, it brought me closer to God, like most storms in life.
When the pandemic hit back in March, my junior year of college was cut short. I packed up my things, left school, and moved back in with my parents in a short span of 48 hours. I can sincerely say, the time I had with my parents this summer was so special. Our family has always been close, but the hard we each experienced in this season has brought us even closer. From my sister’s canceled wedding to my dad’s unemployment, we went through the ringer this year. It was hard. There were many tears and frustrated conversations. But, throughout this strange time of COVID we made it a point to do new and fun things together. My mom and I baked so many delicious treats. My dad taught me how to play chess. We watched movies, went on long walks, and had some really awesome deep conversations about life and Jesus. They were my people this summer, and while I spent some days feeling lonely and missing friends, I am so grateful for the time I had with my them during the pandemic. It was a sweet time we wouldn’t have had otherwise.
COVID-19 isolated me from a lot of people, like it did for many others, but thankfully I did not let it isolate me from God. This summer I spent an incredible amount of time in the Word and being present with the LORD. I found myself so hungry for truth and light in a time that seemed so dark. The world was scary, but when I got in His Word I was met with encouragement to keep moving forward. This was a testament that even in the chaos, God is still good. He is the only one that can satisfy us. What a wonderful feeling it is when you are at the end of your ropes and you sit down with your Bible, only to be met with an abundance of love and admiration for the Creator of all things. The world is a broken place, but when you choose to make time for God, you will experience a peace that surpasses all understanding. The time I got to spend with Him these last few months were pivotal in my faith walk, and I know only made me more awestruck by the wonder of my God.
It’s a strange thing to walk through something hard, yet come away being thankful for some of the things it brought you. There will always be tough seasons in life. God did not promise us a life without suffering. The walk is not easy, but it is completely worth it! When we have Jesus we have a reason to look for the good things in a not so good season. Even when life is a mess, God is still good and there are many things to be thankful for. Keep your eyes open, friend.