I can’t even count the number of times I’ve thought, said, or heard the phrase I can’t wait for this year to be over. Every unpleasant, frustrating, or annoying thing over the past eight months has been blamed on #2020. And I don’t know about you, but in my world, there’s been no shortage of hard. 

We’re all left craving a fresh start, a do-over. And the hope is that it will be found in 2021. Collectively, our nation is holding its breath as we wait for the last day of December to fall away, and along with it, all the world’s troubles. 

But friends, can I be brutally honest here? January 1 doesn’t come with a magic spell that ends the curse of 2020 at 12:01.

The turning of the calendar page will open a blank slate and lots of empty little date boxes. It will feel fresh and new and promising. But feelings fade and truth remains. And the truth is this season of hard will very likely remain hard.  

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I know. Not the encouragement you came looking for. But hear me out: You. Can. Do. This. 

You have already proven you can do hard things.

You’ve homeschooled, worked from home, kept your distance, cleaned, cooked, organized, made countless hard decisions, cried, laughed, maybe threw a thing or two, and created unforgettable lockdown memories—simultaneously. I know you don’t want to do it again, but you can. 

You have adapted and made the best of bad situations.

You’ve turned quarantine into quality time. You’ve taken breaks in a closet or bathroom and opened the door back up with your best attempt at a smile. You’ve become the CEO of the lemons into lemonade stand. Though 2021 will not lack its own storms, you have proven yourself ready to stand strong in the midst of them.  

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You’ve built the endurance needed to face a new year with new challenges.

Like a runner training for a marathon, you’ve built your stamina day by day. Though you may not have even been aware of it in the moments, you went a little farther each day. Take a look back at 2020 and see how far you’ve come. Do you see all those miles logged? Each step was training your heart, mind, body, and soul for the next leg of the race. And you know what I think? In 2021, you’re going to go farther than you ever have before.  

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Friends, I don’t want us to walk blindly into January, naively believing a new year will leave behind the troubles of the old. No. I want us to march resolutely into this new year with determination to make the best of whatever is thrown our way. We’ve proven that we are stronger together even at a distance. And that’s exactly how we’ll brave 2021–together.

Kelsey Scism

Kelsey is a former language arts teacher, mother of five, principal’s wife, and most importantly a Christian loving our Lord. As a teacher, she loved inspiring and encouraging her students. Today, she finds inspiration in the everyday moments as a stay-at-home mom and hopes to encourage others along the way. You can check out more from her at https://lovingourlord.com or follow her on Facebook and Instagram @lovingourlordtogether.