Truly, 2020 was rough, probably for all of us, in the whole world. For many people, it may really have been the worst year of their life. For this, my heart goes out to them.
However, when I reflect back over the year–and previous ones–I realize that personally, 2020 was not my worst year ever. I’ve had worse years by far. As I look back now, I see many blessings that I don’t want the overall tone of the year to cloud out from my memory.
Even 2020’s Christmas was not my worst ever. My worst Christmas happened in 2019.
I got sick then. Really sick. For two weeks running, followed by continued weakness, shaky unsteadiness, and a lingering cough. I came down sick on December 22nd and missed everything I’d happily planned. I was also all alone. It felt different, this sickness, and one weird thing about it was… I lost entirely my sense of taste, and smell.
Yes. In December, 2019.
I also got a horrible case of hives (probably a reaction to the virus), accompanied by angioedema, which frightened me more than the sickness itself because it included my face, head, and neck, and threatened my throat with anaphylaxis.
I’d already developed chronic hives in that epic year, 2019 (epic to me), and had struggled with several severe bouts. A couple of times they were bad enough to make me go into hiding because I looked like a monster and might have scared the little kids, and maybe even the adults, who encountered me.
2020, however, brought with it many blessings. One was the wearing of facemasks, because a facemask adequately covered my face when the hives struck so badly. (Which they’ve not been doing lately because I think, and hope, Through 2020 I finally developed a strategy that seems to be keeping them at bay.)
Facemasks also helped shield my breathing from allergen-laden air during my high allergy times, and bitter cold, come winter. I could go walking and do other outside activities, face covered, and not look like a kook.
As far as health goes, in fact, 2020 may have been my best year ever. For me to go months and months without coming down with the latest whatever’s-out-there, was pretty phenomenal.
There were a lot of other things that were good about the year, as well—things that made it stand out in some ways as one of the best. I grew. I healed from things other than physical. I learned a lot. I saw God’s hand in many ways.
How about you? How was your year, personally, really? Was it your worst year ever, or did you have other years just as challenging?
I don’t want to make light of a year that spelled tragedy and loss for so many people. And the isolation surely has been trying. I have to admit that I was never so glad to see the clock reach midnight on any previous New Year’s Eve. I’m glad 2020 is over and a new year has begun. It gives us a sense of new beginning. But let’s not forget the good that the bad might have obscured in the old one. Let’s look and see clearly. For a year whose number we associate with perfect vision, that seems only appropriate.
So if you haven’t done it already, why not join me in taking stock of the past year’s triumphs as well as trials, of the new learnings, maybe even epiphanies, of the new better habits and areas of personal growth, of the times of seeing God’s hand of provision, help, and maybe even palpable presence, and… maybe you can think of some other areas to add.
And truly, with a thankful heart for getting through this past year, I wish you a happy, healthy, and hopeful new year!