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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

20 January 2021: Katy Schwarz, St Mary's , Buriton

Death to 2020?

I was surfing Netflix for ideas on what to watch the other day when I saw a recommendation pop up for me entitled Death to 2020.

It made me grin. It’s a pretty safe bet that I’m not alone in feeling that 2020 has been a year that on first reflection I’ll be glad to see the back of. I’ve missed family. Friends. Time spent in the community. It’s been easy to focus on what’s been hard about the year and less easy to remind myself of my blessings.

But then I got to thinking. Only a couple of weeks ago my three year old daughter came running into my bedroom breathless with excitement because Santa Claus had come. Later that day we’d headed to Buriton to ride her new tricycle around the nativity trail; a wonderful idea of the parish priest to bring together the community in celebration when we couldn’t all attend the same services we usually would have done.

When my husband and I feared our daughter might have come down with COVID and had to self isolate, we were touched at the kindness and generosity of friends who helped us out. Online chat and video calls were lifelines reminding us of those going through the same things we were and finding a way to stay cheerful. There were opportunities for creativity I might never otherwise have considered; joining the Petersfield Sewing Bee, learning to crochet, painting a picture.

And the greatest blessing of all happened in June and is currently kicking me as I write this; he’ll hopefully be making an appearance in around a month’s time to join our little family. There’s been a lot of joy, even in the midst of some testing times.

Ultimately, that’s what’s helped me find my faith, even through moments of doubt. While it’s absolutely been a tough year, and even though there are times I might have felt lonely or down, as a Christian I’ve never truly been alone through any of it. Some cherished memories were created in the middle of some of the hardest times - and all those moments of joy and kindness are constant, steady reminders that God is always with us.

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