Hello, everyone! Happy New Year! We are officially in the new year, the year 2021. We have just finished 2020. As we move forward, it’s also important to look back at the former. What went on in 2020? How was it? How did we react? How can we learn from it? What were the highs and lows?
This is my summary and take of 2020. Please stay tuned to the end. 🙂
(Trigger warning: mention of suicide, depressing events, depression)
2 Things That People Didn’t Like in 2020
Whoever you ask, this is definitely the biggest thing that happened in 2020. It shook everyone’s lives, stirred the hearts of many, threw millions on hospital beds and changed the life style of all too many people. From when the disease was first known by people to now, the world is a pretty different place. Everyone social distances and wears masks, we stay home and refrain from large gatherings. Events and activities are cancelled. One of the biggest events in the world, the Olympics was canceled— and we don’t even know if they are going to do it this year.
2. Political Division
I don’t know about you, but I feel like this became a greater problem in 2020, especially in America. Many things happened to lead up to this: people had different solutions to stop the coronavirus. The division grew. George Floyd, a black man, was killed by a police officer and the video went viral on the internet, causing people to speak up and riot for racial justice and demand the police get defunded for their brutality. Some acted positively toward these riots, and others denounced the violence and destruction the riots caused. Then the division grew even more. There are those who agreed with Trump and those who agree with Biden and those who didn’t agree with either of them. In Japan, there are those who were for Former Prime-minister Abe (now the prime minister is named Yoshihide Suga), and those who wanted a new prime minister. It was and is a huge mess, no matter who you agree with.
I’ll get back to this later.
God Has a Plan
Many very, very horrible things happened in 2020. Many people got stressed, depressed, sad, and tired of what they were going through. I won’t be surprised if you felt these things going through you. It’s a normal feeling to feel when these bad things are happening.
A sad thing that happened due to the horrible things that I mentioned above, is many people decided to end their life. They just gave up, because they thought that they didn’t want to live in this awful, corrupt world. In Japan, the leading cause of death between ages 15 and 39 is suicide. More than COVID-19. More than accidents. It’s a really sad thing that is very real.
How do we not fall into the whispers of Satan, though? The evil voice that tells that it’s just all bad, that we don’t have anything to live for, that we don’t have to keep going? How can we have hope, peace, joy, positivity, and satisfaction in such a corrupt and crumbling society?
I don’t know about you, but when I feel this way, I turn to God. He’s the only one that can satisfy my heart and that can keep me going. And not just that, I can know that he has a plan for all of this. That’s right. Through the lows and the highs, the diseases and the violence, the division and the depression, he has a plan for everything. He can and will work ALL of it out for good. (Romans 8:28) He can push me through.
Now, you might be wondering, if he has a plan, why can’t he make everything good right now? Why does he have to let us suffer through all of this?
I know for those who are suffering, what I’ve been saying is hard to hear. But God has mercy and grace on us, even if it seems like we have no hope! In your suffering, he is with you the whole way. He grieves with you in the sad times, he rejoices with you in the happy times, he comforts you when you are down. Take the story of Joseph (Genesis 37-50) for example. He was at the lowest point in his life. He was suffering extremely. I’m sure it was hard for him to trust God that he had a plan. But he kept on holding on, and God kept helping him. And in the end, he understood that God really did have a plan for him. A very great one. He said, later, to his brothers who had betrayed him and sold him to slavery: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” — Genesis 50:20
If you haven’t read this story, I invite you to. 🙂
2020 might have been a rocky year, but God held us through. We can keep a positive, joyful, peaceful heart because God is for us. Think about it; the creator of the Universe is on. Our. Side. How much more reassurance and hope could we ask for?
Top Posts of 2020
January 2020— How Japanese Spend the New Years (Part 2)
This post explains some more New Year’s traditions in Japan, continuing from the first post. It talks about the Japanese Zodiac cycle, money giving in New Years, and Juya-No-Kane. It also happens to be the first post of 2020!
Febuary 2020— The Bible Told Through Kanji
This interesting post proves the fact that God can work through anything— even Kanji! See how various Chinese word symbols tell the Bible in a whole new way!
March 2020— The Virus (Part 1)
This happens to be the most viewed blog post in the history of “Life in Kyoto”! It attracted so many people because of its relevance, and it talks about information regarding COVID-19 and how we can react to it.
In this post, I gathered several of my friends (everyone is from a different country!) to answer one question! I know you will enjoy their answers and learn some new things!
May 2020— Hoping in Him
This is a nonfiction piece I wrote in a contest for the group of young writers I’m in. It won one of the categories, so I hope you enjoy it! (*just realizes I used the exact same joke in the blog post* *facepalm*)
June 2020— The Metal Heart ~A Short Story~
This is a short story that I wrote about sacrifice and love. Enjoy!
My favorite series! This blog post, I looked into my favorite book series, Keeper of the Lost Cities. It is a truly awesome series, so after you read the post, READ THE BOOKS! *takes deep breath* *calms down… a little*
August 2020— Procrastination is Not Your Ruler
Really. It isn’t. And in this here post, I remind you of that. You can push through. You can finish what you need to do. God will help you.
This is the fifth edition of international questions and answers, and it’s a real treat! Since all of the people that answered the questions are writers, their descriptions of their home are as elaborate and detailed as a photo!
October 2020— Japan Quiz #1! ~How much do you know?~
I know not many people answered, probably because they weren’t very confident of their knowledge. But definitely try it out! It’s an excellent way to sharpen your knowledge of Japan— no one will judge you if you get some wrong. Heck, ask me to try a quiz of Canada or somewhere in Europe! Estimated score: 0/10
Halloween is an exciting time of the year… I’m sure it is! Japan actually doesn’t celebrate halloween very much, though… Nevertheless, in this post I discuss my all time favorite candies in Japan!
December 2020— The True Meaning of Christmas
Christmas is my #1 favorite holiday. For many other people too. But Christmas just isn’t Christmas if we don’t know the reason we celebrate it! Check out this post to know it or remind yourself of it!
Well, that’s 2020 for you! There were a ton of lows in the year, but God held us through. And God will continue to do that for us if we trust him! Let’s continue to hold onto him!!!
Did you enjoy 2020? What did you like? What didn’t you like? How can you use that reminder of the hope in Christ to battle the trials that may come to you in 2021?