As 2020 grinds to a close and 2021 begins, we look ahead with hope in our hearts. No doubt about it, it has been a rough year for all of us. Social distancing has robbed us of time with family, friends, co-workers, and activities. Worse yet, loved ones in hospitals and nursing homes have been starved of the support of their family members.

Businesses have suffered economic backlash from Covid restrictions. Isolation is the norm, especially for elderly shut-ins and those most at risk. Healthcare workers are weary and drained from overwork. It appears no one has gone untouched by the effects of this pandemic.


I’ve had my own personal battles this year with the loss of my dad and a cancer diagnosis for both my husband and myself. I’ve undergone two rounds of chemotherapy thus far with more to come, along with upcoming surgeries, and a year of targeted therapy and possibly radiation.

But even with these challenges ahead, I’m looking forward to 2021 with hope in my heart. That the Lord will bring comfort and healing, and a new lease on life. Already He is molding my heart, teaching me how to lean on His strength instead of my own.

I’ve been told the first round of chemo is the most frightening. And while I won’t dispute that, I’m not so sure it is the hardest. After undergoing the side effects from the first round, I dreaded the second round all the more because I knew what was coming.


In a way, that sense of dread has deepened my understanding of the anguish Jesus experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane on the eve of His crucifixion. He knew what was coming, and His heart was filled with sorrow with what He must go through.

“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26: 36-39)

Jesus knows the hardships we endure. He suffered more than any of us could ever bare. And yet, He did it willingly for our sake, not because He wanted to, but out of His great love for us and for the Father. How comforting to know we have a Savior who is acquainted with grief and understands our struggles.

As we turn the page and begin a new year, may we take comfort in knowing how great our Savior’s love is and the extent He went to demonstrate that love. And may that truth fill you with HOPE in the New Year!

**Have you ever experienced a hardship that gave you a clearer sense of God’s presence?



Cynthia Roemer’s PRAIRIE SKY SERIES: Stories of faith and resilience on the Midwest prairie Inspirational Historical Romance


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