Blessings in disguise

This year has admittedly had more bad than good. 2020 was such an exiting year to look forward too, who knew the start to a new decade could be so rough.

However, in a typical year you start to see social media flooded with “give thanks”, “Be thankful”, “Count your blessings”, etc. This year it may be hard. This world had expeienced so much hatred, sadness, fear, hardship, and deceit.

You may say, I lost my job due to Corona, which made us behind on our bills and we’re on the verge of losing our car or home. It’s almost winter, I have kids. We can’t be on the streets. How can I be thankful?

Or I’m still laid off due to the shutdown. My extra unemployement is running out and Christmas is coming. It’s already ruined.

Or the one that hits my local area…My business took a hit from the shutdown, and the whole building flooded from the 500-year flood. I’m a small business, it’s my life’s work and the dream I made a reality.

Or my family that lost their home and due to the shutdown, construction companies were 2 months behind already and can’t take on any work, so, we have nowhere to go, nowhere to stay and it’s getting cold. The tent or camper in our front yard just isn’t cutting it anymore.

There have got to be hundreds and hundreds of people thinking to themselves that they wish this year would just be over. That there’s nothing to be thankful for, and that there’s been absolutely nothing good that has happened this year.

Since March, I have to agree. This has not been a very fulfilling or fruitful year for the vast majority.

However, let me tell you how my year started. On Monday January 13, I got to meet my first little cousin on my mom’s side. Lincoln Hayes was a little bundle of perfection, and I was able to hold him the very night he was born. Within that same week on Saturday January 18, I got engaged to my best friend. After more than 3 years of dating we finally took the next step. Needless to say my family sure did have an exciting week, and seemed this year was going to be picture perfect.

The end of February I was able to go to a Garth Brooks concert with my future mother in law, one of the best nights of my 2020 for sure! A week later we had an engagement party and I’ll be honest the engagement still didn’t feel real…

In March I said goodbye to my teens and welcomed my 20’s with 60 amazing people in the mountains of Tennessee. Most of whom were strangers. I was able to go on spring break with them, and it was one of the best weeks I’ve had. Within days of us getting back quarantine happened.

You’d think after that day I’d say life was a horrible mess after that. Don’t get me wrong my life got tossed upside down with the rest of Michigan. I couldn’t go to work. My schooling went all online for the rest of the semester. I went stir crazy at home, so I started donating plasma again just to get me out of the house for a little while. I couldn’t get onto unemployment and figured I was just outta luck, which is not a good spot to be with bills and now a wedding to pay for.

However, even in the bad God continued to bless me. All of the off time gave me ample opportunity to basically plan our whole wedding. I made a good amount of money from plasma, the official wedding fund. I spent a lot of time just relaxing and watching netflix (sadly not FRIENDS cause it got taken off at the first of the year). Which is time I don’t usually get when working and/or in school. My professors all made the best of it and to the best of their abilities made it possible to still continue on and pass.

On the day I went back to work I finally recieved my unemployment check. Which was an extra boost to my bank account, that I wouldn’t of been able to achieve working that whole time. So even though I was bored more times than not, it helped my future of a wedding and saving to move out immensly. This in turn allowed us to save up even more money and pay off everything up to this point in our wedding. Blessing #1.

I talked to my boss and expressed interest in office work. First, to get experience in the management side. Second, to help divide the load knowing he needed it. So over the summer I did quite a bit of office work as well as my usual stuff. It pretty much rounds me off for a little bit of everything on a job applicaiton and my resume. Blessing #2.

Blessing #3 really has everything to do with so many wedding plans that God has just set in my lap. First, I found my wedding dress (the second day of being engaged, not intentionlly but when ya know ya know) the first place we went to, less that an hour, on sale, and first one I pulled off the rack. I have been reconnecting with my childhood best friend over the last few years, asked her to be my maid of honor and she accepted. Also, another best friend that I’ve only known two years, but has been a rock for me ever since, agreed to be my bridesmaid. I feel so honored these two ladies are standing next to me, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I struggled to find just the right song for me and Jason’s song for our dance, it just recently showed itself and couldn’t be any more perfect. Lastly, and probably something I’m most excited about, my grandpa is going to marry us. All of these parts of our wedding are a few of the moments I look forward to the most.

This summer we took our first round of engagement pictures and camped a lot. Making so many great memories and stories we will talk about for years to come. Also, lots of visits to Lincoln, who is growing like a weed.

On Septmber 18, I shot my very likely once in a lifetime bear. I still can’t put into words how I felt when I saw him laying there. Also, Eric was right next to me, and my uncle Buck (who has always been like a grandpa, even before my dad died) was my guide just like always and led me right to him.

Salmon fishing was a bust, but again memories I wouldn’t trade for the world. Duck season the same at this point with Wixom lake now being a creek. In october we took our second round of engagement pictures that I’m obsessed with. Eric shot not one but two stud bucks. One being his biggest to date. I registered for my last semester of my Associates at Ferris and applied for graduation.

I know that was a lot but stay with me…

All of this happened in 2020.

Some of the best moments in my life happened in the mess of 2020.

The flood in May, was devastating. But I’ve never seen communities come together like we did. I’ve never seen love and help for people you didn’t even know.

The 2 month quarantine was financially devastating for a lot of people. But I’ve never seen families pull together like some were forced to do. We don’t often sit at home all at once, all day, everyday by choice.

So much bad this year. But, my list of blessings are just off the top of my head. I’m sure there are more. I actually write them down weekly so I can go back over all the good of the year.

I really didn’t think 2020 had a chance after we were in august and still so many bad things going on. But that’s just when my year started to look up again. If it hasn’t happened to you, it will. The year is not over yet, and it’s not over till that ball drops.

It’s easy to get caught up in the negativity, especially this year. It’s been tough on everyone, some more than others. But God is working in you one way or another. God taught me a lesson over this year. And it’s to give it to him, give it up. Just let it go. And he has blessed me in more ways than I can count or even claim to have done myself.

So as thanksgiving approaches, dig deep for those blessings to be thankful for. In the grand scheme of things this year sucked, but I bet if you look back you’ll find a few things. You may not feel like you’ve gotten those breaks or received those blessings, but think of it this way. You have what somebody else is praying for. You got the break somebody else is still waiting for. They are there. Don’t let them get buried underneath the bad 2020 mood. No matter how little…

2020 is a year most people will want to forget, but don’t write it off beacuse things happned and were out of your control. 2020 and the thoughts, memories, and blessings associated with it are what you made of it. 2020 isn’t over and can still hold it’s good times, make the best of what we have left.

I’ve been in ths spot where it just never seems to end. Life just keeps sucker punching you. But God will carry you through. One day you’ll look back on 2020 and wish you had the freetime with your kids or spouse again. No matter how crazy this year has been it’s still a year you’ll never get back. We can all agree we’re looking forward to 2021 and hope it’ll turn things around, but that’s not a guarantee either. These are the times that shape us depending on how we react. Either we let this year change us or we change this year. The blessings are there, you jsut have to blow away some of the 2020 smoke to find them.

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