If you asked me a year ago to write a blog about what I learned in 2020, I probably would have looked at you with tear-filled eyes and fear written all over my face. I had no intentions of learning anything and, frankly, was overwhelmed with confusion on January 1, 2020. But now, a year later, I see what the Lord was trying to show me. (He’s strategic like that.)
To understand this blog post (and the lessons I learned in this oh-so-intense year), I have to take you back to December 26, 2019. Usually, the day after Christmas is spent relaxing, reading a new book, and enjoying the company of my family. Unfortunately, for the Shawver trio, life looked a little different. My husband, Brother Justin, lost his job. Having gone through a job loss myself early into my career, I know the instant weight it brings. “How will we pay the bills?” “When will I find a new job?” “What if … what if … what if …” Given this was the first time we had experienced this in our marriage—and as new homeowners and parents—the weight felt even heavier. It was certainly not the way we hoped to end the year … or begin a new one.
What I’d like to explain next is how the Lord carried us through. This isn’t meant to boast or brag. This isn’t meant to lift us up. This isn’t in any way meant to prove that we are better than others who have been in similar situations. This is merely to demonstrate how I saw God’s provisions come through over and over again — and how He reminded me He was in control.
In addition to Justin’s job loss, we also were adjusting to a new financial situation as a family, given the fact that three short months prior, I had left my corporate job in communications to work for a small, family-owned marketing agency. While this decision meant more time for family and a renewed focus on my mental health, this meant a large salary drop and changes for us. We had no idea that three months later our income would drop even further.
In January 2020, Justin began his job search, and I began to pray for my side-hustle freelance writing business to grow. I began sending inquiries to my network to see if anyone may need writing assistance in the new year. Lo and behold, the Lord had prepared multiple opportunities for me — so many in fact, that the profit I made not only sustained us when we were down to one income, but by the end of the year, it was the exact salary amount I had “given up” when leaving my corporate job. There is absolutely no way I could have done this on my own and to God I give all credit.
Beyond our income insecurities, we also had fears about health insurance. The Lord showed up again, opening a door for us as a family at my job where I was previously considered part-time. My request to move to full-time status was approved and we had medical coverage by the end of January. Again, He provided.
In the midst of a pandemic, most companies were doing layoffs and putting employees on furloughs. Early into quarantine in March, the owner of my company made personal phone calls to each of our employees letting us know our jobs were secure and we had nothing to fear. Another answered prayer.
By the end of March, the Lord provided a job at a local skilled nursing facility for Justin—but given the status of the country and fears surrounding the virus, he didn’t start until June. This delay afforded him the opportunity to be with our son, Graham, while I was working from home from March until June. (Writing and toddlers don’t mix!)
Oh, and I would be remiss to not mention the stimulus checks. In what year has the government ever offered monetary assistance in such a grand gesture? Never in my lifetime. Just another way the Lord sent assistance our way in a time of need.
Nearly a year later, the Lord revealed to us His provisions yet again. When Justin accepted the role in March, we felt this position would be a “bridge” to something better. At the time, we both felt that while it was a step down from his previous roles, it was something and in the midst of COVID-19, we were choosing to be grateful for whatever God provided. Six months later (December 2020), Justin was approached for a promotion at his facility.
I share this with my church family not to say that 2020 was easy or without concern. I know each of you had your own experiences with it—job losses, illness, depression and anxiety … the list goes on and on. I share this with you because what I saw with my own eyes was how at every turn, God was there. I can’t say that I’ve truly ever experienced anything quite like that before. Yes, I’ve received healings and yes, I’ve been a recipient of His blessings too many times to count. But to see His hand move on behalf of our family over and over again is something I will never, ever forget. I know thousands of prayers were spoken on our behalf, too. They did not go unnoticed.
As a type-A personality, I plan things—sometimes down to the minute. I couldn’t have ever planned how the Lord would take us through 2020 in such a profound and visible way. I learned to rely on Him in a way I probably never had before and it was a lesson I clearly needed. I woke each morning reminding myself that if He could take care of the birds, He would take care of us. And He did. And He always will.
Many want to forget 2020—and I understand why. But I don’t. “He’ll Take Care of Me” has a whole new meaning now. And for that I am eternally grateful.
My prayer is that you are able to look back at 2020 and see how the Lord carried you through, too. Whether you experienced change or not, take a moment today to reflect and praise Him. In His gospel, we are blessed beyond measure.
For your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. Matthew 6:8
What About You?
How did God provide for you in 2020? Tell us about it in a comment below!
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.