The year that’s transpired has been nothing like what we anticipated. From COVID-19 to race relations, quarantine and endless Zoom meetings to a divisive election season, the effects of these events have permeated every facet of our lives. As if being a grad student wasn’t already stressful enough!
We’ve experienced a variety of losses—a sense of normalcy and control, major life events that were dampened or postponed, as well as the lives of friends, family, or neighbors. We’ve wrestled with heightened levels of fear and anxiety, anger, grief, depression, and even apathy. While we place trust in the Lord, there have admittedly been times when “rejoicing always” in the Lord (Phil. 4:4) doesn’t seem possible.
Perhaps at the same time, 2020 has been a year of reflection and re-orientation of our perspective. In a year in which it can be hard to find joy, it is helpful to acknowledge the pains, and at the same time, consider how Christ is making all things (and yes, even 2020) new.
As such, we as the Student Leadership Board wanted to send a year-end reflection to guide you in the process of your personal lament, to identify areas of personal growth, and to dream up a fresh start in the coming year.
As we wrap up finals and enter into the Christmas season, we encourage you to take time and space from the hustle and bustle of life to reflect on the year that was. Get away from your phone and computer. Find a space outdoors or go to the mountains. Discuss this over dinner or journal personally as a quiet time. Feel free to contemplate these questions in one sitting or spread out over a few days, however they may best serve you.
The Christmas season may not have the same joyful glimmer as in years past, but we take hope in the Christmas story—the coming of a Savior. Whether or not you are able to enjoy the company of family and friends, we pray that this break allows you to rekindle connection not only with yourself (mind, body, soul), but also with God.
Whether in-person or online, we cannot wait to see you soon.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!