20 Reasons Why 2020 Has Been My Best Year Yet

We want to say, “Good riddance!” to 2020, toss it in the dumpster and set it ablaze. We would like to turn our backs and walk into the new year of 2021.  If we do that, we will lose all the treasures hidden in darkness, all the lessons learned from challenge, all the wisdom gained in hardship, all the promises fulfilled in ways we didn’t expect.  At the beginning of 2020, God was telling us that it would be a Good and Blessed New Year, and it really has been! All His words and prophecies were true.  In fact, it has been our best year yet.

I hesitated to write this article, because I didn’t want to make any of my readers feel bad if they didn’t have a year as wonderful as mine.  But it is simply a matter of perspective.  I think that God would like all of us to concentrate on His blessings rather than the trials. If I made a list of all my heartaches, fears, doubts, and hard times in 2020, you would most certainly pity me and be glad you didn’t have my life.  Yet in every life, the blessings and the trials dwell side by side. And the trials actually turn into blessings if we let God have His way.

I used to live in a state of perpetual self-pity.  I spent a lot of time feeling sick and tired and grumpy, and every new hardship was confirmation that I was a victim.  I didn’t realize that I had taken on an orphan identity that was in opposition to God and the Bible.  It just felt like normal life, and normal life was incredibly hard!

It took years for God to renew my mind, peel back the layers, and reveal my victim perspective.  A victim mindset produces victim thoughts and victim thoughts produce victim decisions.  Victim decisions would lead me away from God’s goodness and into deeper darkness.  I didn’t need a change of circumstance, I needed a change in perspective.  I was an eagle living in the dirt, but God has taught me how to fly.

I do sometimes forget to fly.  So I proclaim over myself, “I pursued my enemies, and I did not turn back until they were destroyed (Ps 18:37)!  Fear, you have no hold on me!  Victim spirit, orphan spirit, you have no place in me!  I am wonderfully well and blessed and highly favored of the Lord.  I am his favorite daughter!  He has put a crown on my head…” and on and on until I have confessed every good scripture that I can think of.

If you are beholding the LORD, then you will go from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:18).  Each year will be better than the last because you are drawing nearer to Him and He is drawing nearer to you!

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp really helped me change my thought patterns and grow the joy center of my brain. I started keeping a journal of all that I was thankful for, writing a few things each day.  At first it took some thought, but pretty soon the blessings would come to my mind faster than I could write or keep track of.  I got to one thousand and beyond with no trouble.  Now I am in the habit of falling asleep thanking God and waking up thanking God.  Some days I must force myself to do it just to push out the discouraging thoughts, but most days it flows naturally.

I decided to write down all the amazing things God had done for us in 2020.  Then Chris reminded me of additional blessings that I had forgotten about.  We talked about it as a family, and the children remembered even more.  It really was the best year yet!

You don’t even have to read my list.  The main point is for you to compile your own.  It may take days or weeks, talking to family and friends, and reviewing journals and photos, but it is worth the effort. It may just take you from the valley to the clouds and beyond.

Why 2020 has been My Best Year Yet

  1. I have been singing truth over myself every morning. I have been filled with more confidence and boldness and spent less time in discouragement and lies.
  2. I have been waiting on the Lord almost every morning and there is nothing better than hearing His voice.
  3. I have renewed strength and energy – not as tired or overwhelmed.
  4. I have taken a walk almost every morning and I have never been so immersed in the beauty of my own neighborhood in every season.
  5. I found renewed joy in homeschooling. The children got better nutrition and better spiritual discipleship since their schools closed.
  6. Two of my adult children have been home for most of the year.  They helped me without being asked and I loved their company.
  7. We spent a week in the best vacation rental we have ever had.
  8. Chris and I fulfilled our 24 year desire to return to Cape May.
  9. We were able to save money in many different ways.
  10. My daughter Ashlyn had a better-than-expected experience during and after spinal fusion surgery.
  11. No sickness in our home except colds.
  12. My boys have wanted to go to church.
  13. I was able to start making kefir and taking supplements again.
  14. After living many years with a leaky roof, we were able to get a new roof with no debt.
  15. I hiked Hawk Rock with the family.  I hadn’t done it in 27 years. It was definitely challenging but it felt easier than when I was in my teens!
  16. We finally got a membership to the State museum and used it many times.  My dad used to work at the museum, and it was there that I spent many happy childhood days.
  17. On our porch we had yellow mums for autumn and festive lights for Christmas for the first time.
  18. We grew closer to a wonderful group of friends and have never felt more thankful to be able to spend time with them.
  19.  I have never been more excited to attend church! I have watched many church leaders rise up in a new boldness. I have witnessed the Ekklesia work together like never before.
  20. I have lived through an amazing year that history will look back on as the beginning of the Second Revolutionary/Civil War, a precursor to the Third Great Awakening when America turned back to God!

2020 is Still Going to be a Great Year!

Chris and I both felt excitement as the New Year 2020 was approaching.  We had more hope for the future than we had experienced for several years. 

Chris kept saying, “This will be a good and blessed New Year!”

               I was hearing the same message in my own heart and from others in the body of Christ.  Brian Simmons visited our church at the end of January, and his wife said that 2020 was going to be a year of redemption and a year of “a flying eagle company.”

                I loved that word!  I have been searching the skies for eagles for the past two years.  In February our family took a day trip to Gifford Pinchot State Park.  It was 55 degrees, sunny, and beautiful.  The children were fishing, playing on the playground, and throwing football.  I was sitting in the sunshine with my eyes closed, letting my mind wander.  I began to wonder what 2020 had in store for us.  Would Ashlyn get surgery to correct her scoliosis?  Would it go well for her? Would we be able to take a family vacation?  Would we experience prosperity this year?  Or would an unexpected tragedy befall us?  I didn’t know, but I felt safe in God’s hands.  Peace surrounded me.

                I stood and opened my eyes and there it was! 

A bald eagle was flying right above us in the perfectly blue sky. It was so close.

http://Photo by Frank Cone from Pexels

                It was my eighth eagle sighting.  Eight is the number of new beginnings.  That same week, God had given me three different chapters of Isaiah to read.  These are the verses that jumped out.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up: do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland…” Is 43:18-19

“From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you.They are created now, and not long ago; you have not heard of them before today.” Is 48:6-7

“Pay close attention now: I am creating new heavens and a new earth. All the earlier troubles, chaos, and pain are things of the past, to be forgotten. Look ahead with joy. Anticipate what I’m creating: I’ll create Jerusalem as sheer joy, create my people as pure delight.” Is 65:17-18 (MSG)

                LOOK AHEAD WITH JOY, God said!

                All that has happened since February is something new and unexpected.  I never anticipated this “pandemic” or how governments and people would respond to it. Yet I am still looking ahead with joy.

                Our lives have been restricted.  Many businesses had to shut down and many people can no longer work.  We can’t gather or attend church in person.  Yet necessity is the mother of invention, and I see inventions and innovations coming out of this time. 

I see new perspectives, new systems and new ways of doing things.  Businesses, our economy and our country could emerge from this crisis better and stronger than ever. 

                Most of us are told to stay in our homes with our families.  Forced to be with our families: to eat together, talk together, work together, and experience every moment of every day together – wow!  What a novel idea for most modern families!

I love having 9 of my children home with me every day.  Reason # 1002 to have lots of children: you will never be lonely, isolated, or bored during a pandemic.  Reason #1003: you have an instant party to celebrate any birthday or special day that might come around. (Reasons #1-1001 will have to be the subject of another article since they are too numerous and too wondrous to discuss here.)

Families are getting closer and stronger.

We are no longer taking our families for granted. They are our support network, our community, our church, and our greatest mission field.  The family is God’s glory center, and it is the foundation for His next move, His next awakening, His next revival.

It seems as though our enemy has us trapped, yet all the enemy’s plans will be used by God to destroy him (Ps 54:5).  Darkness is being exposed and the light is shining brighter than ever. 2020 is the year of clear vision and things are starting to come into focus. 

It is becoming very evident who trusts in the Lord and who doesn’t.

“There is no peace for the wicked.” Is 48:22

“One who trusts (in Jesus) will not panic.” Is 28:16

“The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” Pr 28:1

Many non-believers and believers alike are realizing that they need to repent.  Many people are seeking peace and seeking God.

Many Christians are moving out of the ordinary into something new…a baptism of fire!  We are letting go of comfort and happiness and pursuing the kingdom.  We are moving away from self-preservation and learning about the wisdom of the cross; to lay down our lives to gain true life, to surrender ourselves to obtain true liberty.

I am praying along with Lou Engle that God would pour out his Spirit on us.

It will be something that only God can do and something we have never seen before!

How glorious for multitudes to turn to Jesus!

How earth-shaking when every Jesus follower confidently declares,

The Spirit of the LORD is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim FREEDOM for the prisoners and recovery of SIGHT for the blind.” Luke 4:18

And then not just say it, but actually do it!

As I was formulating this article in my mind, I randomly opened up my Bible to the second chapter of Joel.  The entire book is just perfect for this time in history.  What God highlighted to me was His response to his people after their fast. Tens of thousands of people all over the world have just finished a 40 day fast. Perhaps God is saying this to us right now.

“I am sending you grain, new wine and oil, enough to satisfy you fully…Rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you autumn rains in abundance…the threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.  I will repay you for the years the locust have eaten…

And afterwards I will pour out my Spirit on all people.”