• Lori Somerville

A Brand New Year

I don't think many of us will be sad to see 2020 go and a new year full of promise arrive. Isn't that why we celebrate the new year after all? The new year arrives as a blank slate just waiting for us to fill it in with our lives - our moments, our memories, our laughter, our joy, our pain, our disappointment, our hope.

But before we shut the door on 2020 and leap into 2021 I have a question - what did you learn? I think 2020 taught all of us something. Some of the lessons were more painful than others but there were certainly opportunities to grow and to learn this year. One of the things I learned was how very much I need people. I need my community, my tribe, my family, my friends - I need you. Before 2020 I would have probably told you that for the most part I do okay by myself but when 2020 threw a pandemic into my world the reality of how alone alone is really struck home.

I found myself lonely. Almost overnight it seemed as though the whole world had gone crazy. My workplace emptied out as many people were sent home to work. My chuch closed and went online. It was great to have that online presence but after a few weeks I realized it just wasn't the same. Nothing can replace human interaction. Relationships. Friendships. Your Faith Family.

I found myself taking a good hard look at what I was doing. How I was spending my time. Did it really matter? Were my hours being spent doing the things that God had called me to do? Was I really making a difference? I re-discovered a passion for prayer. I have always prayed but God took me on a journey in 2020 that has re-ignited my prayer life. Instead of being a thing that we, as Christians, are supposed to do God has revealed it as THE THING. Every one of us is called to prayer. Our prayers unleash the power of God into our circumstances and the circucmstances of those around us. Our prayers can do anything that God can do - they can create, they can bring life and hope to the hopeless, they can change your church, your family, even your community.

I fell in love with God's Word all over again. I clung to my Bible like the lifeline that is is intended to be. It is what got me through the times of loneliness, of despair and hopelessness that I faced throughout the year. It filled me with hope, it gave me peace and it reminded me that I had a purpose.

As we begin our leap into a new year full of hope and promise, I plan to bring the lessons of 2020 into my new year because I believe God will continue to build on what He has started. As a matter of fact, the Bible promises that very thing. He will complete what He has started in me and in you too. If we will stand on His word and wield our prayers like the weapons He intended for them to be, I believe 2021 can be the year of His church. It's time to reclaim our rightful place as His army and begin to take new ground and re-take any ground that has been lost.

So what were your lessons in 2020? What is God speaking to you for 2021?

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