by | Jan 4, 2021 | Family Life, Prayer, Society, Spirituality

2020 is officially over and guess what?  WE MADE IT!  I did not wait up until midnight to ring in the New Year, but I fell asleep on December 31, 2020 with a sense of accomplishment and I also fell asleep a different person than I had one year prior.  I remember ringing in the 2020 with my family and my best friends saying that the year would for sure be better than the previous year.  I had just resigned from my full-time job, excited to be able to focus more on my family.  I was three months away from heading to China to bring my new son home to our family.  My children were excited to spend more time with their mother and hope was in the air.

I will tell you that 2020 came to a screeching halt very quickly for our family as COVID-19 originated in the location we were scheduled to travel to.  I began to have doubts that I had made the right decision to resign from my job because I really, really missed it and it did not seem we would be traveling to China any time soon.  I also wondered if maybe we misunderstood God’s call for us to adopt again.  I decided very early on to make a Silent Retreat so that I could spend some good quiet time with the Lord, and He confirmed that He had me right where He wanted me to be.  I did not know what that meant, but I did feel a sense of peace.  The week after I returned from my silent retreat the USA came to a screeching halt and our children were brought home to finish school.  I was thankful that I did not have a full-time job to shuffle while teaching four children, one of them with special needs and another with reading delays.

As our family reflected upon the year together, though everything in 2020 seemed uncertain, I can assure you that I never dreamt that I would have ended the year being a homeschool mother, nor could I have imagined I would still not have my son in my arms.  My children would also tell you that they would have never thought I would be their teacher.  We also all agreed that the simplicity and beauty of this year was unmatched.  We loved our simple times together and our ability to grow closer to one another.  We celebrated holidays and holy days with one another in a way that was profoundly beautiful, in a way that made all of us desire not to go back to what was “normal” before this year.

As we begin this new year, we talked about how we would make sure that we took some of our new “normal” forward even if everything in our world seemed to go back to what was normal.  One of the areas we grew most in was our ability to surrender.  Our family became fairly good at surrendering to the will of God, well, because we had to.  I think 2020 offered most of us the opportunity to surrender to whatever God was doing in our and through our world.

It is my guess that everyone reading this had the opportunity to surrender to the will of God.  How well did you do in those moments of surrender?  When you failed to trust, did you ponder how you could have surrendered better?  When you succeeded in moments of surrender did you thank God for that blessing?  When challenges come your way this year, what will you do?  Will you surrender, or will you try to control the outcome?

I can tell you that I succeeded and failed many times in surrendering to the will of God for our family this year.  I thank God for the successes and during my failures I asked God to make me stronger.  So Lord, as we enter into 2021, and you know I desire with my whole heart, nothing more than my son from China, I surrender myself to you, and BEG you to take care of everything!

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Tara Brooke

Tara Brooke is a wife, mother, educator, and child of God.  Tara has worked in various aspects of ministry in the Catholic Church for over 20 years, her last years as a Director of Marriage and Family Life for her local diocese.  She now stays home and tends to the needs of her growing and beautiful family.  She has three biological children and two adopted children, both with Down Syndrome. She loves helping engaged couples grow in their understanding of the Sacrament of Marriage as well as helping enrich already married couples in growing in holiness together.  She resides in Bismarck, ND with her amazing husband, Deacon Dan! 

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