Saying Good-bye to 2021
Updated: Apr 1, 2022
2021 was a difficult year. Understatement? Maybe the king of all understatements! We lost both of our dogs; we lost friends; we lost family members; we have had family illnesses. And for every friend of mine that lost a loved one, their year was insurmountably more difficult than mine. 2021 was a difficult year.
Last January, our Peter and Brandy were staying with us to take a break from New York City. One night at dinner, I casually asked, "If we could know what it would be like a year from now, would we want to?"
I can answer that question now with certainty.
The pain of loss is real. Equally powerful, if not more so than love, especially if the person you lose is someone you love. Everyone deals with this pain of loss and sadness differently. Another understatement? So where does that leave us?
As I have said my prayers this year, I have found I am at a loss for what to pray for... for myself, for others, and for those in need. It seems as if the same prayer requests continue to come to me.
Wisdom - I have been asking for wisdom; wisdom for the right words to say if they exist. Wisdom to be silent when they don't. I also pray for wisdom for the person experiencing the loss. Sometimes the prayer for wisdom and hope get all mixed up until I can't differentiate where one starts and the other ends.
But wisdom can present itself as hope if you are willing to believe that better days will come. Happiness can co-exist with loss - in time. It must be a matter of perspective even if perspective takes time to bloom. (James 1: 5-6) 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
Strength - Somewhere down the road to perspective, strength will be required to make the conscious decision to move forward . . . not to forget, but to keep moving forward. When your own strength fails you, there are your friends that you can lean on and can hold you until your own strength returns.
Most importantly though, strength is available to all who ask . . . that special kind of strength that defies understanding. (Isaiah 40:31)
31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Peace - Finally wisdom and strength won't get you home unless you can find the peace. (Philippians 4:7) I think that I have prayed for peace for me, my friends, my love ones, and my family more this year than all my other years combined.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
It was never my intention for this to be a "preachy" blog. I was going to blog about those things that are on my mind. It just so happens that many of the things I think about tend to move in this direction. So where does that leave us? I am going to look forward to 2022. If it is better, great. If it not, I guess I will lower my head and continue to plow forward. I have faith. I have good friends. I have hope that this year will be better.
So bear with me when I am more serious than normal. My silly side is still alive and well.
p.s. I was listening to Joni Mitchell when I wrote this blog so I was a little down! I have to add that a lot of great things happened last year as well, and they deserve equal time. Another blog for another day. But every day is a blessing!