This year has been hard. Let’s not sugarcoat it, let’s call it for what it is. It’s been a year filled with grief. Yes, we’ve all had our own hard years individually, but 2020 has been a year where we all together experienced hardships and disappointments. Though this year has been uniquely difficult, there is some beauty to be found in the reality that we all lived through the pain of it together. Together, we have been able to grieve. And this thought leads me to be grateful. Through the grief, we can still have gratitude. It takes many long nights and rough mornings, lots of tears and shouts, long drives where the only sound is silence, and bitter runs in the rain- but somehow we find a way to be grateful. I don’t know what it is for you, or how you will find your way to have gratitude in the grief. But maybe the words you read next will help you, or even bring you some sort of comfort. Here is what we as YWAM North Cascades found we were grateful for in 2020:


“The year has been a roller coaster. I am thankful for my foundation in truth rather than making choices by emotions. I would not be where I am right now if it wasn’t for challenging heart motivations and to get wise and healthy correction. I’m also thankful that I got to be with family a lot more this year during the off seasons.”             


 -Carlie Harrison

“This year we have experienced cancer, job loss, separation from family and death of a parent. We are so grateful this Thanksgiving, not for the trials themselves, but for the affirmation that God is with us, that He is all we need, and we have a better home waiting for us in heaven.”

-Jane VandenBos


“The more I search, the more I think, the more I realize just how much there is to be thankful for. I could fill a book on what I’m grateful for on this year alone, which may seem weird and strange, but I truly can because of God’s faithfulness and how He has faithfully led me this year. I have a great community, I live in a beautiful place I love dearly, I’m doing things I’m deeply passionate about, I’m surrounded by people that are like family, and God has grown my family and I closer together.”

-Katie Floyd


“I’m thankful for the way sticking it out with God through challenging times grows and matures us. How amazing is it that perseverance is not a useless, fruitless exercise, but it produces character, which in turn produces hope!”

-Heidi Jarva


“This year I am thankful for community and the way many individuals came together in the face of adversity, and for my personal community that was there through a long difficult year. I’m thankful for how faithful God has been to bring me towards him this year.”

-Josh Gustafson


“We are thankful that this year has brought us into marriage, and that through every hard time this year has brought us, our unification has allowed us to stay strong, together.”

-Cohl & Aleena Fulk


“I’m thankful that in the midst of all of the chaos God is not shaken. He’s shown me how faithful He is in a lot of new ways throughout 2020, including the start of a new relationship in quarantine!”

-Charlie Schmid