by Seneca Moraleda-Puguan
Finally, the year 2020 is over. The Time Magazine has declared 2020 as the worst year ever. The cover of the magazine showed an ‘X’ over the year 2020. There was also a meme on the movie ‘Back to the Future’ where Scott was telling Marty, “Whatever happens, don’t ever go to 2020.” The past year will definitely be unforgettable and will be forever etched in history books. I pray that despite the terrible things that the past year has thrown at humanity, we will leave behind the memories of pain, grief, lack and loss; and bring with us the traces of grace and goodness we have experienced.
In the midst of the tragedies and disasters that shook us, what glimpses of grace are you thankful for?
The past year had limited our movements and thwarted our plans but gave us more time to reflect on the meaning of life and spend our time with the people we love the most. It made me more grateful for the air that I breathe, for the blessing of good health, and the gift of covenant relationships.
On the last day of the year, I couldn’t help but be humbled looking at my children dancing and jumping for joy. I am truly grateful that in the year 2020, our family didn’t just survive, but we thrived. I praise God for sparing my family, loved ones and many of our friends from the pandemic, and supernaturally provided for all our needs every single day. Aside from this, I have seen many opportunities and testimonies of love at work. Compassion was clearly evident, and generosity overflowed. Stories of selflessness, courage and bravery especially of the frontliners surely stood out.
But maybe this is not your story. Maybe you lost a loved one to the virus, you lost your job or your business, your dreams have been shattered or you have lost hope completely. I speak comfort and joy. I pray for the eyes of your heart to see traces of goodness and grace in the midst of your pain.
As we turn the page again to a new year, may we look forward with hope. Life ahead may be uncertain but there’s a rock by which we can stand and a firm anchor that holds our life together. We may not see the whole picture, but we are offered glimmers of hope that things will get better.
Yes, 2020 was challenging but certainly not worth cancelling. It had taught us valuable lessons in life. It molded our character and taught us where and who to anchor our souls. It made us realize the most important things in life, let go of those that are temporary and fix our eyes on the eternal. Every one of us, no one is exempt, has faced silent battles. Cheers to the battles we have won and grace for the ones we continue to fight.
A friend of mine who is a pastor wrote this on his Facebook wall, and it spoke volumes to me. What happened to us – limitations, sickness, pain, fear, panic, anxiety, hate, lack, sadness, uncertainty, loss and death. What happened in us – opportunities, healing, comfort, faith, rest, peace, love, abundance, joy, hope, recovery and life. The coronavirus may have been a threat to our physical bodies, but it will never be able to steal the spirit of joy and hope in us.
I declare that 2021 will be a better year for you and your family. I pray that whatever has been taken away from you the past year would be restored and multiplied a hundredfold this year. I speak protection upon your body, provision upon your needs, healing upon your heart, restoration of your soul and fulfillment of your dreams. May you face the new year and the new decade with confidence knowing that the God who is certain and constant, good and gracious, faithful forever still reigns and He holds your world in His hands. So be strong and courageous, do not fear for He goes with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Just as the song ‘Leaves’ by the Filipino band, Ben & Ben goes…
“Leaves will soon grow from the bareness of trees
And all will be alright in time.
From waves overgrown come the calmest of seas
And all will be alright in time
Wounds of the past will eventually heal
And all will be alright in time
‘Cause all of this comes with a Love that is real
All will be alright in time.”
Indeed, all will be alright in time. May you continue to see glimpses of grace and hold on to glimmers of hope. Have a blessed 2021!