Very few of us will disagree that 2020 has been a difficult year. We are looking forward to the start of 2021, so we can all put 2020 behind us….forever! Trust me, I share the same sentiment. But, if I take hard look at my household and family’s day-to-day life, very little of it has been affected since the onset of COVID-19. Physically, we are healthier than ever. I’ve remained employed with no hiccups financially. My wife and I home school our kids. So, 99% of our life takes place inside the home anyway. Life pre- and post-COVID are not that much different. So, why do I feel this way about 2020?
Adversity acts like a mirror
For me, the biggest struggle in 2020 hasn’t been COVID-19. It has been what COVID-19 exposed about my own heart. I once heard a pastor make an analogy using an orange. He said if you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out. Adversity has the same effect on humans. It squeezes us. When we are squeezed, the essence of who we are comes out.
What came out of me in the spring and summer of 2020 wasn’t good. Out came fear, anger, self-pity and a severe lack of faith. The cracks and impurities in my faith, marriage and the ways I deal with life came gushing out. So much so, I thought packing up and moving was going to fix all of my problems. It didn’t fix anything.
My mind is my own worst enemy
Before COVID-19, I was installing new baseboard and trim in my home. Each day I would come home and immediately begin working on the trim until nightfall. Several times during this project, one of my wife’s friends would visit our family while on a neighborhood bike ride. On one particular evening she stopped over and said, “Jerrid, do you ever stop?” And without hesitation, I jokingly responded, “If I stop, I have to listen to my own mind.” While I said it sarcastically, there was some haunting truth in that statement.
My wife will attest that it is difficult for me to just be still. I have a type-A personality. I like structure and production. The week that COVID-19 entered the scene, my busy schedule came to a screeching halt, literally overnight. Business slowed down. Everyone went into a holding pattern. And everyday I was left alone to endlessly peruse Facebook – not good! I’m beginning to realize my desire for life to go back to “normal” is because the rhythm of life has kept my mind occupied and my core issues buried; likely for decades.
Dealing with myself
If I’ve done anything right in 2020, it has been exponentially increasing my self-awareness and willingness to deal with the root of my problems. For the first time, when I’m scared, angry or unsettled, I’m asking myself “why?” Before 2020, not only would I not ask this question, I would immediately come into agreement with unrighteous thinking.
We are called to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). We have not been given the spirit of fear; but rather that of love, power and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). I'm realizing the enemy knows how to get me derailed mentally and emotionally. His desire is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). For me, it’s a mental and spiritual fight each day. Some days are better than others. But, now I'm actually fighting. This is the reason 2020 has been so difficult for me. I used to blame coronavirus.
Now, I’m not so sure.
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