Goodbye 2020

I think we can all agree that 2020 hasn’t exactly been the best year ever. Everyone has their list of things gone wrong this year. My list includes many things, but I only have space to list a few. Most recently I went through a health scare which required several tests and trips to several specialists. It caused me much stress for almost two months due to not being able to get in with the specialists I needed and having to wait so long for answers; not to mention the hefty medical bills it racked up right here at Christmas time.

Last month, our chocolate lab was tragically killed. She was 5 years old and my son’s best friend. To say it has been devastating for us is an understatement. I know that only people with a dog who is a member of their family will understand this. It has been a struggle explaining to an 11-year-old when he questions why God had to let his dog die. It has been heartbreaking for me and my husband to have to watch our son’s heart be shattered by her death. It has been over a month now and it doesn’t seem to be getting much easier yet. We talk about her and cry most nights. We miss her so.

And let’s not forget COVID. It has brought many changes. My son chose the traditional learning path at school, but shut downs throughout the year have meant some remote learning for him as well. I’d be lying if I said I was fond of working all day and then having to go home, cook supper, and help my child with all of his work for all of his school subjects for the day.

But, there is a flip side to all of these things. My health scare turned out not to be the scary diagnosis that was originally thought. As hard as it was to go through, God meant for good to come of it. It has brought me closer to Him. It taught me to have the right perspective on what is important in life. It taught me how much I need my friends and my church family who prayed for me daily. Having a group of prayer warriors who carry you through when your own strength seems like it just isn’t enough is a powerful thing to experience.

Losing our dog has been hard, but her death has also put perspective on what truly matters in life. God reminded me of how appreciative I need to be for one dear friend that He put in my life, who was the one who found her on the side of the road and had to make the call to let me know. She and her husband have shown me great kindness more than once throughout this year. Her death also brought me a wonderful act of kindness from an unexpected person, and it brought to light how important it is to do nice things for others when we can. We are all here for a short time and we never know when God will say our time is up. But while we are here, we are called to love.

And as for the school shut downs due to COVID, it has meant more time that I have been able to spend with my son. He has also been able to spend more time with my parents since he stays with them on the days that I work, which has been a blessing to them since he is their world. It has been time together that we otherwise would not have had.

So goodbye 2020. I can’t say that I will miss you. And honestly I am not very convinced that 2021 will be much better. But I do know that as 2021 starts, my priorities are in order. May God bless us all.

-Jenna Wood