By Mary Anderson
2020 has been a trying year for everyone, to say the least. If nothing else, we have all had to deal with the pandemic in one way or another. In my life, just as the pandemic was starting to shut everything down, we were finishing building our new home and had gotten an offer on our old home. How quickly we went from thanking the Lord for getting our home sold in a day to complete panic that the buyers would back out due to the pandemic or that our new home wouldn’t get finished because construction was getting shut down. We should not have worried. The buyers did not back out and our new home was completed a few days before everything came to a halt. Whew, we had dodged a bullet.
We were now in our new home and I felt so blessed to work with amazing women that truly kept their eyes on Christ through the pandemic. They immediately started a team rosary every evening and my prayer and spiritual life grew exponentially. I went from being caught in the rut of not having time to pray with two toddlers running around to really making the time with my family for prayer. I really felt like I was getting a grip on things at home and in my spiritual life despite the pandemic. Take that Covid-19!
Fast Forward to June. In June we received the devastating news that my 4 year old son has NF1 and with it an optic pathway glioma which will require 12-15 months of chemotherapy to hopefully stabilize the tumor and stop any additional vision loss. I felt like I was punched in the gut. I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t think, I couldn’t pray, nothing mattered. The new house, the pandemic, starting him in preschool, it was all meaningless. I couldn’t get my thoughts together, so, I called my Mom and we cried together. She always knows how to put things into perspective. Her words that God has a plan for all of us and He never gives us more than we can handle were met with “I guess it’s time to put my money where my mouth is.” I’ve said those same words to others, now I was being challenged to have faith and trust. I’ll be honest, it took me some time and as new challenges arise with his diagnosis I have to talk myself through it all again but we are taking it day by day.
So, as I reflect back and ask God “How did You work in this and how have you been present in this year?” this is my answer; God worked in this with His perfect timing, certainly with the completion of our new home and the sale of our hold home, but more, in strengthening my prayer life, through my amazing coworkers, before handing me my cross and asking me to follow Him. God was present in the tears my Mother and I shared and in her comforting words, it reminded me how Christ shares in our struggles and that we are never alone. I found Christ in everyone’s thoughts and prayers, which are the only explanation for the peace we were able to find in this situation, and in their generosity and willingness to watch my 3 year old son as we go to our countless appointments. Finally, God is present in my husband’s strength and support throughout all of the trials this year. They have brought us even closer together than we thought possible. God is good all the time.