Around this time last year, I wrote these words on the chalkboard in my kitchen:
God is in control.
Towards the end of last year, my Son thought it would be a good idea for me to write about the events that took place throughout the year. As I thought it over, it was clear how difficult the year was for everybody. No one last year was spared from the immediate or after-effects of this pandemic.
As we left 2019 behind, I was hopeful and excited about the coming year. As the start of a new decade, I used “Happy 20Plenty!” as my greeting instead of “Happy New Year!” And like many people, I was optimistic about the new decade, “Twenty-Twenty” had a nice friendly ring to it.
My Son wanted me to write about the year we had as a family because he felt we had survived a particularly tough year. But, in a year like 2020, where every citizen of the world was thrust into a forced state of mourning, it would be self-indulgent. After some thought, I decided to revisit the year, only seen through the lens of what I know now.
There are a few times in life where we can learn, or grow, exponentially faster than normal. Many junior soccer players that take part in an intense professional football clinic for a few months, come away with skills and techniques they would never have encountered otherwise. Their level of competitiveness is raised, and they become more confident on the ball. You will find many of the young footballers that climb the ranks into the upper leagues, took part in one or more of these high-impact clinics.
I was seeing a psychologist after my divorce, and after a few sessions, she suggested hypnotherapy. I had no problem with the concept, especially when she explained it would be like having 8 sessions in one hour! She was right. The progress was profound beyond measure. My treatment was fast-tracked, and I could start healing sooner.
Last year my “treatment” was fast-tracked again.
There were many times and incidents throughout the year where I threw my hands up into the air with despair asking, “Why me?” Amidst the pandemic, I felt battered by a barrage of misfortunes. But my family and friends rallied to respond with all the support and encouragement I needed. Even the world around me seemed to respond in kind. And while things around me looked desperate, inside I felt comforted.
Sickness and death have come close to us all by now. But so have new babies been born, and couples got married. People have moved into new houses or got a new pet. Students graduated and people got promoted at work. Young people got their first car, and toddlers learned to speak. Church services went online and many tuned in. People looked inward and turned to their close family, forging new family bonds.
In a way, last year can be summed up in my Brothers passing. I bought my Brother The Message by Eugene Petersen on Kindle as a gift last year. He had wanted that version of the Bible for a while. He died of cancer before he downloaded it. For a short while, I thought how tragic that was. And like God has always done, He put a smile on my face with an image of my Brother now being tutored by the original author.
A friend of my brother dedicated this song to him by Eva Cassidy.
Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄
As always, thanks for reading 🙏
Originally published at https://www.leapfirst.co.za on January 15, 2021.