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A Letter to 2020…

What a year YOU have been. It is so easy to say that BY FAR you have been the WORST year…the STRANGEST year…the year that felt the most like fly paper! Indeed, it would be easy to just forget you even happened and throw you into the garbage heap of memories lost. It would be SO easy to say that you gave NOTHING but pain….

But….the truth is that there is no appreciation…without struggle! There is no value found in light, unless coming from darkness. There is no true success, without a journey through failure….and there is no depth of spiritual intimacy, without experiencing an absolute desperation that comes ONLY from reaching the end of yourself and so reaching out to God.

Yes 2020 – you have truly been a LOT…but BECAUSE of you – we have and continue to feel, see and experience the very presence of God in such a way that hope, joy and love abound where it would otherwise not be found! Because of you, my husband, (my love and best friend), and I have grown so much closer; Because of you we see God so much clearer; Because of you our hearts explode with pride in our girls and gratitude for all God has done in their lives; Because of you we are closer to our families; Because of you, I’ve grown in my job and been so BLESSED to have so many new people in my life; Because of you we’ve seen that Gods faithful provision abounds; Because of you, we have the experience that could ONLY have come from surviving this year, and the knowledge that INDEED, we can make it ‘one day at a time’.

So 2020, I won’t say that we will miss you, but I will say that we have gratitude for you and joy as we face this New Year!

GOODBYE 2020 and HELLO 2021!!!!

Sincerely, Rebecca Balko

Authors Note:   While this was a personal note, as this year came with a significant and painful diagnosis in our family, I believe anyone can make this ‘Letter to 2020’ a personal one for yourself. Perhaps you have wrestled with addiction and COVID only made it worse – or you have a loved one that you’ve watched self-destruct. Perhaps this year has just worn you down until you can’t see where there is reason to hope. I want to tell you most assuredly, “You have EVERY REASON TO HOPE!” There is no darkness, only the absence of light and there is NO hopelessness – only the absence of hope! A tiny match eliminates absolute darkness and the smallest glimmer of hope, destroys hopelessness. My prognosis at 19 was to be put on disability, placed in a group home and told I would “never function independently”. It didn’t change quickly, but friends…after finding a Power greater than that prognosis, 34 years have passed, with a life beyond my imagination. If it can happen for me…it CAN happen for you!