Someone asked me to characterize my 2020. I didn’t have a quick answer.
Reflecting later, I realized that, even during a hugely challenging year, miracles characterize 2020 for me.
Miracles in the sense of things happening that I would never have expected that have saved the day—sometimes one day, sometimes many days. People appeared unexpectedly when I needed them, or they needed me. Situations that I thought were happening for one reason, turned out to be happening for completely different reasons I’d never suspected.
And amid more anxiety, self-doubt, and depression than I’ve ever experienced, there was a call to keep hoping and praying.
We often think of miracles as glitzy and incredible. That means we see very few of them. Yet, if we consider miracles as the small consolations and helps in daily life that we had no reason to expect, miracles happen all the time. Even still, they can be tough to realize.
Finding Your Miracles in 2020
To help someone—maybe you, maybe someone we’ll never know—I wrote these questions to recognize the miracles in 2020 you might have missed.
You don’t have to answer all of them. My prayer, though, is that whichever ones you do look at point you to or remind you that during an incredibly difficult time, you experienced miracles, too.
Waiting for Better Times in Your Daily Life
- What moments of relief and delight visit you out of nowhere?
- When did something you needed appear just when you thought it would never materialize?
- What are you able to get by without that you previously thought was absolutely essential to survival?
- What positives did you easily overlook and now cannot not see?
- What did you accomplish that you thought was beyond your talents and skills?
- What hasn’t been anywhere as bad as you expected it to be?
- What’s new in your life that you seem to have always needed even though you didn't realize it before?
- Who or what appears lost, then shows her/his/itself briefly to help you realize that visibility isn’t the only way we experience the presence of others?
Experiencing the Subtle and Surprising
- What major developments needed to happen gradually, or you wouldn’t have been prepared for them?
- What did you give up praying for that you now see in glimpses? Or that’s now blinding you with its presence?
- What things began subtly and were hardly noticeable as different that, if they had begun where they are right now, would have been unbelievable?
The People Who Care
- Who brought you delight when you most needed it?
- Who entered your life with a positive impact that you have no real reason to have ever met and known?
- Who crossed your path and needed help that you were uniquely ready to offer?
- Who was right by you exactly when and where you needed them?
- Which friends could have easily vanished, yet are still there for you?
- Whose reliability and consistency in supporting you is unceasing?
Consolation Amid Pain
- Where have you been denied what you wanted—for a long time—only to find something even better happened?
- What situations were completely bleak, then were amazingly resolved?
- Where did you discover hope and potential as you endured painful situations?
- What—when you let down your guard—turned out to be remarkable amid what seemed to be a complete struggle?
- What hardships didn’t kill that you that really did make you stronger?
- What catastrophes befell you and made you seek out help/assistance/consolation you’d never have experienced otherwise?
Blessings to you for making it this far this year. And keep looking for the miracles ahead. – Mike Brown