I took an unexpected break from my blog in the last month and a bit of 2020. So please forgive my lateness but Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I am not being sarcastic but it is a sincere hope and wish.

2020 was brutal. We all know that, but there were moments of joy as well. 2021 has most definitely started with a bang. Brexit, Lockdown 3.0 and watching America veer further towards scary levels of unrest, certainly have our attention. Fear levels are rising and that I think that is the cruelest thing. Out of fear people can do horrible things to one and another.

Personally, I am working from home and homeschooling. Each day brings new challenges and what worked yesterday doesn’t necessarily mean it will work another day.

So what does all this mean?

It means that once again, we are living in the unexpected. That uncertainty has become our new normal. The things that were have been replaced with a big question mark. It means that it seems like our world has shrunk and yet we are more aware of the wider world than ever.

There are aspects of our lives that we rightly miss and should come back sooner rather than later. For us, we have a nephew that was born last year. We have only met him once face to face and soon he will be one.

And still, I have hope that this year, will be better than the last in may ways, personally, nationally and globally. People are working hard to bring each other hope, touching each other’s lives with kindness and providing for each other in ways that are profound.

There is a long way to go in our society, many battles are being fought. For social justice, for climate change and reforms that will better the lives people across the world.

I am not going to lie, when I think about the year ahead, I am nervous. However, I am also choosing to look forward and to declare that this year will be hard but also will be one of significant change and progress. Lets encourage one another for when moments are dark to look to the good things. For me it is my faith, family, books and writing-exactly what this blog is about; with the added bonus of my work and friends that bring much needed fullfilment and joy.

I very much do wish you a Happy New Year in the midst of all the pain and fear that we have already experienced collectively. It is ok if you don’t look to the year ahead with much positivity, the beginning of this year means different things to different people. There is grief and hardship all around us. I do acknowledge that some may not even want to hear those words.

Today I would like to end with a prayer:

Thank you Jesus that you are with us, in the pain and fear. Thank you for your presence and I ask Lord that you would uplift those who have been battered by the previous year. That you would comfort the broken hearted and carry the burdens of the heavy laden. Thank you for the hope you bring and the hope that this year will be an improvement on the last. Help us Lord, to continue to stand with one another and love one another well, even when it’s hard.

I lift up 2021 to you and I thank you in advance for your goodness and faithfulness that will see us through.

In you name Jesus, I ask and pray, Amen.

As always let me know how you are feeling and what this coming year means for you. Together we are stronger!

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