Grim realities vs. hopeful circumstances

As we reflect upon 2020, most of us can make a list of dismal, scary, and tragic events that occurred, both in our own lives and throughout the world. “End 2020; put it behind us. We are over this year.” These might be phrases we have all heard, or have spoken ourselves. Isn’t it easy just to focus on the negative and say how terrible the year was without considering any of the good things that happened? I’m guilty of it at times. I tend to forget that God uses some of the most trying times to teach us the greatest lessons, and more importantly, to draw us closer to Him. So as I write this blog, I’m going to be thankful that each of our tough circumstances comes with something (even if seemingly small) to be thankful for.

Some grim realities of 2020 for me: 

I was pregnant during the first seven months of the pandemic, which was lonely and difficult.

There was no track season, and a part of me just felt lost. 

I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and had emergency trips to the hospital, which were scary.

My grandma passed away over the summer and I was devastated.

Family get-togethers were minimal, and when we were together, felt different.

Having a baby during a pandemic was tough. Our newborn son was in the NICU for several days after he was born. 

I was diagnosed with chronic hypertension two weeks after he was born, and the diagnosis was unexpected. 

Holidays felt a little empty this year because not everyone could be there. It was the first Christmas without seeing our grandmas. 

Our family had COVID in December, and it was lonely. 

The world around me seemed to downward spiral with fear, depression, hostility, and sin—almost everywhere I looked.

Well those realities weren’t the easiest to write, and if I look solely at the circumstances, they flat out stink. However, if I look at each circumstance listed, I can view each as a loss or look for the good. 

Some hopeful parts of these 2020 circumstances: 

I was pregnant during times of quarantine, a slower pace of life, and more time to rest. I had fewer working hours, which allowed me to take better care of myself and the growing baby. I also was pregnant at the same time as one of my close friends, and it was fun to go through it together.

 I didn’t have coaching to stress about, so I had more time to spend with my family. Afternoon walks became a fun habit, even if they weren’t around a track. 

I had many trips to the doctor and hospital for both pregnancy and high blood pressure, but the doctors monitored me closely, which put my mind at ease. 

Grandma fought through many physical struggles for years. She lived a good life, and she passed away peacefully. She was able to have my parents there with her, and was able to say goodbye over the phone to each of us.

Our immediate family lives in town. We still got to see each other every so often and weren’t states away from each other. The weather was beautiful and we spent creative time outdoors together. 

The hospital was quiet when our son was born, but we had excellent care. Experiencing a glimpse of the NICU world was humbling and we learned so much. We experienced positivity, thankfulness, care, and love from all who took care of us. Not to mention, our little boy is an absolute joy!

 According to doctors, I’ll be on medication to regulate my blood pressure for the rest of my life. It’s funny how medical technology can show numbers that scream, “Warning! Caution! Fear” yet God has allowed my heart to feel a peace and hope more often in 2020 than I ever have in my life. I can feel physical effects of high blood pressure numbers, while simultaneously having a calmness in my soul that I cannot understand. Maybe God is giving me this reminder for the rest of my life, and that’s ok. I need reminders about a lot! 

Feeling different around the holidays, even if a bit sad, really put things into perspective in a positive way. Watching my parents experience Christmas without their moms was really tough, but made me so thankful for the quality time we’ve had with our parents, and how they’ve kept such a positive attitude. Our immediate families all live in town too, which is a blessing. We haven’t been states away from each other during the pandemic.

Yep, we got the virus. Being sick isn’t fun, and combating unwanted guilt and fear due to media, opinions, and the tendency to not trust God was a pain, however, things were ok. We had time to rest, and when we were feeling well, have fun together. We baked a lot of cookies and spent a lot of time celebrating Jesus’ birth with our two sons. The dog liked having us home too. Staying in, watching church online, and having more time to reflect on life wasn’t a bad thing at all. 

Well those were much easier to write. Notice that the circumstances didn’t change, however the perspective did. It’s easy to focus on the negativity of each—none easy at all. If I had chosen to focus on the negative, I would be one depressed, fearful, controlling mess. I still have those tendencies. I’m human. Focusing on the positive though, and what God may be doing to teach me or use the circumstances for good, is a way better use of my time and energy. Each are reminders that God is good, and He doesn’t change! He keeps his promises and commands us not to fear. He asks us to trust. When we trust Him, He gives peace and joy, even during hard times. The world can scream fear in our face, but we have a God with open arms that calmly says, “It’s ok,” and “I love you.”

Here we are on New Years Eve of 2020. Tonight we celebrated a tough but good year and are looking ahead to the next. We cooked one of our favorite meals for dinner, played Mousetrap with our son, watched Charlie Brown, had two dance parties with a disco light, and ate snacks together. We did our countdown at 8 pm and had a relaxing night. Thank you, Lord, for 2020–for loving us, for staying with us, and for your unwavering promises.


Escape 2020


Seven Months


  1. Stephanie

    Thankful for your reminders and honesty. It was a challenging year for everyone, but there were so many blessings in the middle of it all. Thanks for helping us focus on God’s promises and encouragement to keep a good perspective.

  2. Arielle Berg

    You have such a gift for writing! Thank you for encouraging us with your perspective!

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén