This past year has been one of intense change. It is difficult to remember the earliest months of 2020, because they seem so far away. When the coronavirus hit the United States in March, it felt like our world became an alternate reality and we were stuck in a new way of living, wondering what each day would bring. This year has been a time of consistent, unforeseen change.
And even now, our country is going through another transition – not just from the coronavirus, but the presidential election. People on both sides of the political aisle have expressed anxiety about the results of the election, but Christians should remember that God is in control, and He is the one who places leaders in positions of authority.
The stress from the effects of this year might have made us question where our peace comes from. But true peace cannot be found in a job, relationship, political party, or social status. It is found in Christ and trusting His plan for us, even when it is unclear.
The social-distancing requirements made us give up a lot this year, which can affect how we view ourselves and our accomplishments. Plans and events are ways that we mark transitions, but they also give us a way to display our lives to the world and manage how others see us.
When we lose a job or decide to pursue a new path, it can be unnerving because it makes us see our lives differently than we planned. Jobs, friend groups, and socioeconomic statuses are all ways in which we give ourselves labels. It is a comforting thing to believe that we can decide how the world sees us. But when these moments or titles are taken away in times of change, we can feel lost.
It can be frightening to trek across new ground, to venture off the path that you might have laid out for yourself over the course of decades. Maybe you decided (or thought that you decided) what each stepping-stone on your path was going to be before you set it down. This one will be when I get married. This will be when I have my first child. This will be when I stop moving. This will be when my loans are paid off. These moments and decisions are not just ways that we try to add structure to our lives. They are also the stories that we tell ourselves about how our life will go.
And maybe God let you think that they were all your ideas for a while, but eventually, we all come to the realization that it is He who directs our steps. He has the best plan for our lives, and He might be asking us to step off of the rock we are standing on and trust Him. That little foothold we placed down might seem like the sturdiest, safest place in the world, but it isn’t. The safest place in the world is in the center of God’s will, so lean into Him in the new year, and remember that your identity is not found in earthly achievements, but in the Savior and how He loves you.
Charlotte Pence Bond is the New York Times best-selling author of Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President along with two other books in the series. Her first solo book, Where You Go: Life Lessons from My Father (Center Street) was released in October 2018 and reveals lessons her father, Vice President Mike Pence, has taught her. She is a current contributor to Lightworkers.com and her work has been published in The Washington Times, Glamour magazine and featured in US Weekly, among other major media outlets. A graduate of DePaul University with a BA in Digital Cinema Screenwriting and English, Charlotte contributed writing and production skills to the Emmy Award-winning documentary Fleeced (WFYI Productions). Charlotte currently attends Harvard Divinity School where she is a candidate for a Masters in Theological Studies, with an emphasis on religious themes in literature and culture.