2020 is over. (I’m so glad!) The news is full of difficult stories. Suicides are up, Covid outbreaks are on the rise, unemployment is still relatively high in certain sectors. Foreclosures are set to reach record levels next year and food lines are as long as this country has seen since the Great Depression. With many federal food programs expiring or already expired, food insecurity for children is climbing at a staggering rate. I’ve seen all this before, just not in America. Not this widespread.
So, it begs the question, “how do you keep going in the middle of hard things when you can’t see the ending?” Here are a few things I’ve learned while working in desperate situations.
Don’t go alone. Isolation is a major enemy of a healthy perspective in the middle of a mess. I cannot overstate the importance of community in your life. In our field of work, we often see that children are the greatest risk when they are isolated and not a part of a healthy community. The same is true for you and me!
Help others in need. I find that when I focus my resources and time on serving others in need, it helps me endure a tough season. Helping be the answer to someone else’s prayers helps me to stay focused on the important things in life. A life spent giving is much more fulfilling than sitting around worried about some lack or struggle in my own life.
Live with gratitude. Focusing and being thankful for what we do have is better than being transfixed on what we are lacking. Seasons that are tough, and never seem to end, have a way of sucking all the gratitude from our heart and words. Sometimes, I just have to sit and remind myself of all I’m grateful for. That little exercise changes me. Not my situation, but me. If you want to endure hard seasons, don’t lose your thankful heart!
Focus on the Eternal, not the Temporary. Bad things will come and go, but some really amazing things are coming and never leaving!!! That knowledge helps me to keep going no matter what is happening around me.
As we look at 2021, I am hopeful that things will be better! Maybe not easier, but better. I hope you are encouraged today. The work you do to help secure and protect at-risk children all around the world is bringing hope to desperate situations. You are making a lasting impact! I am so thankful to get to do this good, hard work alongside you.