This year has been immensely challenging for all of us. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only posed a threat to our health, but also brought economic and emotional distress. This is compounded by political divisions that have gotten stronger in 2020, ravaging our communities, personal relationships, and peace of mind.
What can we be grateful for in Thanksgiving 2020? There's still plenty. It's even more important to count our blessings this year because gratitude can actually make us happier -- and that's backed by research. Here are seven important things to reflect on in 2020, and matching gratitude affirmations to recite.
Pandemic restrictions have prompted us to stay home, and many have had to lose their jobs. It's a very difficult reality to face; could anything good ever come out of it? We have to believe so. If we use some of our downtime to pause and breathe, we'll find that we can do many essential things we had been too busy for. Things like communing with God, reading the Bible, catching up with loved ones, picking up a (new or old) hobby, or even just doing some home improvement.
Gratitude Affirmations: I am thankful for the time and space to breathe, for the opportunity to commune with God through prayer and the Bible, and for the chance to do things I personally love. I'm glad that I can still talk to my friends and family, with more time to show them how much I value them.
If we think about it, 2020 is not the first time we've had difficulties in our lives. Remember the past times you experienced pain, heartache, loss, and despair -- and each time, you came out of it intact, even gaining new lessons. God has always healed us in beautiful ways: with time, with helpful people, and with signs of grace. Knowing this, we can believe that He will heal us this year and in the years to come, too.
Gratitude Affirmations: I am truly blessed, for God has never failed to heal me. After all the pain that I have experienced, I am here, enriched with more wisdom and strength than I had been before, because of His grace. For all this, I am thankful.
Pillow pictured above: "Be Still And Know That I Am God" Pillow
It's amazing to ponder that we are actually well-equipped to bounce back. We have mental faculties that can come up with resourceful solutions, specific skills that we can maximize, and an emotional capacity that becomes elastic and flexible (if we let it). Having all these doesn't mean we are immune from problems -- sometimes, we really have to experience storms -- but with our God-given capabilities, we can handle challenges and then rebuild once the storm has passed.
Gratitude Affirmations: Thank you for my skills, my mental and physical faculties, my elastic heart, and my overall capability to get up after falling.
One great thing that's been proven in 2020 is that good, kindhearted people still exist -- and there are lots of them. From frontliners to local volunteers to neighborhood donors, these people show us that there's a culture of helping that blossoms through the cracks.
If you're in need of a helping hand this year, there are people who may be able to assist. Your own loved ones are likely there for you. On the other hand, if there is anything you can contribute to the community -- your time, your skills, your homemade face masks -- you are very welcome to join this culture of helping.
Gratitude Affirmations: I am thankful for the people who are helping me and others. I am thankful that I am also able to help in concrete ways.
Blanket pictured above: "I Can Do All Things Through Christ" Premium Fleece Blanket
It's understandable to think of 2020 as a low point in our lives. But what if this is the Lord's way of telling us to reconsider what we had been doing? What if He is guiding us to a new direction that is better for us? You've probably experienced something like this before: you lost a job but that made you pursue a different career that you liked more; or you had a painful breakup but then found the love of your life later on. Ponder on potential paths that God may be leading you to this time.
Gratitude Affirmations: Thank You for the blessings in disguise that have saved me in the past. Thank You for this pause that allows me to think and ponder on my current path. Thank You for the several paths available to me, on which I may move forward.
Our modern-day tools are nothing short of miraculous. Just 20 years ago, we couldn't have imagined we would one day be using our phones to talk face-to-face with people from any part of the world. Not only that. We are now able to inform and educate ourselves with the wealth of good resources online. We have the opportunity to improve our career and market ourselves through digital means. We can look up old friends, gain new ones, and find some form of togetherness to help us get through tough times.
Gratitude Affirmations: I am thankful for the valuable tools that I have at my fingertips, which are blessings that I will use wisely to thrive.
Even during these times when there's bad news day in and day out, there is much spiritual strength to be shared. Churches are still open and active -- in fact, many now offer their services online so we can access them without exposing our physical health. We are able to get in touch with our ministers and spiritual leaders when we need it.
If we're feeling the weight psychologically or emotionally, there are mental health hotlines we can call. And if we just need someone's listening ear or companionship, we can call up a trusted friend or family member who will be there for us.
Most importantly, each of us has a well of inner strength that God replenishes like an eternal spring. When we keep our faith alive through constant nurturing, we allow Him to keep our well flowing, so we always have the vigor and resilience to outlast tough times, and also so that we can empower those who need support.
Gratitude Affirmation: Thank You for being my eternal source of strength, and for others who share Your strength with me. Thank You for keeping my spirit alive and able to thrive. Thank You for the abundance of vitality, which I will share with those who need it.
Pillow pictured above: "I Can Do All Things Through Christ" Pillow
We hope these reflections and affirmations enrich your Thanksgiving this year. Are there other things that have made you immensely grateful in 2020? Do share with us in the comments!
From all of us here at Christian Style, may you have a lovely Thanksgiving celebration and a wonderful holiday season full of gratefulness.
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What an extraordinary year 2020 has been! Here are Bible verses to ponder at the end of the year, to help us learn from the challenges of 2020 so that we may become better Christians in 2021 and beyond.