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Heart Issues

Winning in the Year

Moonlight breaking through and a quote on hopeIt’s been a rough year.

We’ve had a tumultuous time filled with civil unrest, political discord, a worldwide pandemic, a crushing economy and extended quarantine. This year was a stockpile of loss, leaving me longing for a win in the new year.

Late December is a time of reflection: of what really mattered this year, what brought joy, what left a scar and what still bleeds. Lord knows, there is a lot of grieving following 2020, and I understand grief.

I enjoy writing and have journaled for years. Each evening, I’d jot down a brief account of the day, describe triumphs and trials and pair it with a prayer request and a praise. But after filling the pages with the suffering I experienced throughout my every day, I resigned to my chronic illness and made the tough decision to stop.

Being immunocompromised, I’ve been instructed to socially distance and quarantine for the past several years, long before it was the trend. I understand the pain of staying away from those I love. It makes it very difficult to socialize and hurts not to attend family gatherings.

Now I try to make every effort to strip my mind of the negative and focus on my blessings. Click To Tweet I won’t lie and say it’s easy. But I’ve been blessed with two amazing children who have been incredibly graceful as they watch their mom become disabled.

Looking at them reminds me a lot of when my brother and I were kids.

Growing up, my brother loved to play basketball. Despite not being a great player, he always seemed to make the winning shot. It had nothing to do with skill and everything to do with his attitude.

We had a hoop in the backyard, and he’d spend hours there. He’d dribble the ball, take a few steps back, look up at the net and shout, “It’s down for the count! He shoots … and three, two, one…”

If by chance he’d miss, he’d just dribble the ball, take a few steps back and yell out again and again, until he could finally scream, “He scores! Ladies and gentleman, he does it again … and the home team wins the game!”

It didn’t matter if he was outside for hours, or how scraped or bruised he was. My brother simply refused to take the loss. He wouldn’t come into the house until he made the game-winning shot and brought home the championship title. His attitude taught me a lot about triumph.

2020 has been daunting and, if we’re not careful, defeat can keep us down.

While journaling has grown too difficult for now, I still find comfort in Scripture. The apostle John captured Christ’s words in John 16:33 when addressing the disciples who were themselves grieving. “‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (NIV). Click To Tweet

The truth is, defeat is optional. Like my brother, we can reject loss with the right attitude.

Life makes it easy to focus on the darkness of this world, and this year has been no exception. The next time things don’t turn out the way you hoped and your brightest days seem consumed, remind yourself that staying down is a choice. For He has overcome the world. Click To Tweet

Let’s discuss this:sunrise over a frozen river with the words of John 16:33

  • How would you describe 2020?
  • What are your prayers for the New Year?
  • How can you keep a winning attitude?


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April 16-17, 2021

Additional resources:

30 Days of Emotional Health Bible Reading Plan by Wholly Loved


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3 thoughts on “Winning in the Year”

  1. I am saddened at the physical battle you are facing and how it restricts your writing but so inspired you still share God’s word and I am even more motivated now to write , knowing I can still take pen in hand. There was a time when I was too weak with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to write very much and I had to have a notetaker the first year of university. It is a privilege to be able to journal and to write and your post reminded me not to take it for granted.

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