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There have been moments in 2020 when it felt as if my bones cracked open, forcefully split down the middle so that the marrow is exposed. My capacity to “just keep going and keep the faith,” at moments, feels all together futile, whimsically hopeful, audacious and profoundly necessary.

I’ve been waking up some mornings with a sense of mourning. Moments when the sorrow becomes an albatross of burden, clutching and hanging heavy around my neck, leaving me breathless. My emotional state feels worn, as thin as cheesecloth, by a culmination of all the things. The oppressive heat, or 2020’s summer, is laced with venomous, unrelenting cold.

When I last wrote ("4 Ways To Productively Get Through Your Coronavirus Self-Quarantine, With Love"), we’d already lost so much, and now the increase of loss feels even more unbearable. We’ve lost Congressman John Lewis, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and counting. Some police are continuing to hunt Black and brown bodies for sport. Our right to vote is under daily attack. The government seems far less than stable, and unemployment rates are at an all-time high. California is yet again on fire, and hurricanes are pummeling towns with the yank and sling of a rag doll, leaving destruction in their trails.

As if all of this was not enough, we recently lost our King. Chadwick Boseman, who fought a silent and courageous battle with colon cancer, perished.

Our hearts get to the edge of healing and then they are ripped away again. Dashed open to spill the pain of 2020 all over again.

So, when I hear a person ask, “Hey, are you OK?,” I’m almost baffled by their brazenness to do so. 

No, we are not OK. But in time we will be.

Call it faithfulness, noxious optimism, ignorance or whatever label you choose to apply, but I am choosing to believe that greater is coming. This doesn’t mean harder times are not ahead, but my faith tells me that my latter will be greater than my former. When looking deep enough into the midst of an engulfing sort of darkness, I see the tiniest glimmer of light right across the horizon. I’m holding onto this tightly and not allowing it to escape my gaze.

In case you’re having a difficult time finding droplets of joy, here are five things that give me hope and bring me comfort during this plague of a year. It’s a short list of things to keep you and I uplifted. Because even though we feel lost, we must try not to lose our audacity to hope for tomorrow.