• Courtney McLane Mize

The Best Part of the Worst Year #1

As the fall season sets in and we near the end of this year, my heart is filled with so many emotions. Frustration, gratitude, shock at how these days have been slow yet the year has passed so quickly. As I reflect on the course of the past ten months, I genuinely believe there is a lot more good that has come out of 2020 than many of us realize. Behind the pain and hurt that everyone has experienced this year in one way or another, 2020 has brought so many blessings; lessons, and reminders that I believe our society desperately needed.

So, in honor of keeping my heart grounded these last 70 days of the year, I have decided to share a series titled, The Best Part of the Worst Year: 2020 In Reflection. Each week I will be sharing one thing that I learned in 2020. We can focus on the bad, the unfair, and the unfortunate, or we can tune our spirit towards gratefulness and choose to see the beauty in the mess that has been 2020.

2020 allowed me to learn to let go

So much of this year has been completely out of my control; out of OUR control. My year started with the loss of our first baby while we were living with my in-laws during Tyler's transition into his current career. There was nothing I did to cause the miscarriage. There was nothing I could have done to prevent the miscarriage. None of this was my fault, yet here I was, hand-in-hand with my husband trying to make sense of a situation that made absolutely no sense at all.

Since that early part of 2020, we have continued to face one tragedy after another. Our entire country wound-up in lockdown. Tyler has had five deaths in his family alone. We fought COVID-19. My stepmom is fighting for her life in a clinical trial for Multiple Myeloma cancer. And it feels like everyone I have talked to throughout the year has had similar experiences. As soon as we think, "surely nothing else can happen" something completely unexpected and uncontrollable falls right into our laps, again. So many times I have found myself saying, "WHAT IS 2020?".

However, despite the heavy sadness and seasons of frustration, I have learned to let go. To surrender my ideas, my plans, and my circumstances to The One who is in control. I have learned that, despite my deepest wishes and oldest-child tendencies, I cannot control anything in this life. I can make wise decisions and work towards my goals, but ultimately, we are all at risk of getting thrown a complete curveball at any moment. Not just a little inconvenience, but a grave, drastic, life-changing curveball that leaves us saying, "What am I supposed to do". Maybe that was the Lord's intention behind 2020. Maybe He needed to knock many of us to our knees so that we were forced to look up at Him. Maybe He knew that in this cultural era of efficiency and productivity, we needed to stop what we are doing and be reminded that we are not in total control.

We need to let go to be led.

We need to be pruned in order to blossom.

If we live life with a clenched fist, holding so tightly onto our plans and possessions, how will we ever be able to accept what God may have for us in the future?

Letting go.




That has been 2020. Underneath the trauma and tragedy, THAT has been this year. That is what we are learning, or at least, what I am learning. To let go. That has been the best part of the worst year.