Looking back and looking ahead — Vivienne Solomons

As I glance back at the year that (almost) was, I am grateful. Not because it was the best year I can remember. But because in the midst of personal loss and many tears, there has been cause for much celebration too.
When I was younger, I saw things very differently. My world was very black and white – it was either this or that, all good or all bad, with not much room for the many shades of grey in between.

As I have grown older (and hopefully, wiser) I have come to realise that life and my experience of it is neither all good or all bad but a mixture of both, and that God does indeed work everything together for my good (Romans 8:28) – as only He can.

I have also come to realise that it is important for me to face whatever situation I may find myself in and ‘take stock’, if you will. How else will I learn and grow, grieve and remember, forgive and or be forgiven? Indeed, how else can I live?
It is with this in mind, as the year draws to a close that I look back and look ahead.

2021, like 2020 before it has been a year of great uncertainty for all of us, leading to financial insecurity for many of us. Not to mention loss of every description. Then there’s the juggling of personal and professional responsibilities, with many of us working from home while also managing online school for our children. What a year it has been!

PHOTO: Ross Sneddon/unsplash.com

On a personal note, the year started with my husband in the intensive care unit having been admitted with Covid complications just before Christmas. But before we knew it, he was discharged and making a slow but steady recovery.
My father passed away unexpectedly in September and while the United Kingdom’s Red List restrictions at the time put paid to any short notice travel plans I may have had, I am now looking forward to travelling to the UK with my family in the new year so that we can all pay our respects and say our goodbyes, which is what he would have wanted.

As the year ends, we have settled into a new home, thoroughly enjoying how it suits our needs as a family, and after a wait of almost three years, I am excitedly looking forward to a new career opportunity in January 2022.

I share this snapshot with you to explain how in many ways, it has been a ‘mixed bag’ of a year for my family and I, filled with both moments of deep despair and moments of overwhelming joy, and everything in between. I am sure you can relate.

Through it all, my Father in Heaven has been my constant companion and friend, the Comforter of my soul, my Counselor and the Firm Foundation on which I stand. Of all the things for which I am grateful, I am most grateful for Him.

As we enter the Festive Season, and turn our attention to what Christ’s coming has meant for us, may our hearts be full of joy and peace and our hope for the future renewed (Romans 15:13).

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