2020 was a year of significant life-altering decisions, not just due to the pandemic; but for me personally. Every special day was hard to celebrate without an overcast of memories to wade through. New Year’s, birthdays, Valentines, anniversaries, and even what used to be my favorite times of the year, Thanksgiving and Christmas, were sprinkled with uncertainty, grief, and regret.
Putting on a smiling face was hard sometimes; often feeling like I had to set the tone, so those around me could enjoy the day. It was exhausting, but on the other hand, also helped take the focus off what once was.
There were many days that I thought I’d never truly experience happiness again. I couldn’t see how I’d go from going through the motions to get through the day, to actually enjoying the day.
I hated the nighttime because everything was quiet and the only noise I heard were my thoughts; but on the other hand, nighttime was the only way to get to a new day; although just to do the same thing again. It was dark and lonely, but no one really knew.
Many nights I prayed that I would feel differently; and while I didn’t experience anything miraculous, I did feel God’s presence. He became my closest friend, my confidant, my counselor, and my comforter. He was always ready to listen, no matter how much I lamented. He never got tired of wiping my tears. He was just with me.
The Bible says that God will never leave us or forsake us, and I can testify to that.
Those feelings went on for several months, then all of a sudden, I can’t pinpoint when it seemed like day by day, I began to feel better. There was now light where there used to be darkness all around. Tears were falling less and less, and the smile that was plastered on was exchanged for a genuine one. I experienced what the Lord meant when He said “I am that I am” -because He was everything I needed. Provider, protector, healer, deliverer, Father, friend, comforter, advocate, and a promise keeper.
This past Thanksgiving I took a trip with my children to visit my parents, and as I was dancing and laughing with my family, I reflected on last year’s tears; what a difference a year makes! The Lord has turned my mourning into dancing and I thank Him for it.
“You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” Psalms 30:11-12 AMP