Throughout 2020 we have experienced a wide spectrum of trials and hardships. Many of us (myself included) may have some anxiety about the coming year and what the coming year will bring. It can be difficult to be optimistic while mourning the past year.
As I pondered what to say in this blogpost addressing 2021, the story of Noah came to mind. Most of us are familiar with this story of Noah building a boat anticipating the coming flood, how he gathered two of each animal, and how he sailed for forty days and forty nights. My favorite part of that story is the very end where a dove delivers an olive branch to Noah, a sign that the days spent on his ark were over and he could go back to the earth. The olive branch has become a symbol for me of hope that there are better days ahead. Heavenly Mother delivers us olive branches in our own personal floods. Through poetry, art, nature, or however you connect to Heavenly Mother, She can offer hope in this difficult time.
But I am aware that it can be hard to look forward when so much may have been lost. Even though better days could be coming, there still will be hard things that come. Last fall I studied in Jordan to learn Arabic. Near the end of my trip, I went to Gethsemane. I was so excited and I was looking forward to feeling connected to God but when I got there I felt nothing. In fact, I felt intense anxiety and depression. I stepped inside the church there and attempted to pray. I got nothing. I felt my brain racing and unable to focus. I decided to step outside and look at the olive trees. As I looked at the trees I felt my Mother’s presence. I felt She was showing me that these olive branches were symbols of hope for the future. Looking back, I had no idea of the difficulties 2020 would bring, but I see now that amongst the difficulties there was hope and there was grace.
We may have feelings of anxiety for the coming year, but Heavenly Mother offers all of us olive branches to provide hope for the future. Life still brings challenges but Heavenly Mother’s love can interrupt feelings of darkness or fear. May this coming year bring you hope and may it bring you grace through Heavenly Mother’s presence. Comment below to share some olive branches from your personal life, we would love to hear them!