Is your heart tired and worn out from all that 2020 has brought us? Perhaps you’re not interested in processing or reflecting on the year, and you can’t wait for 2021 to show up.

Processing 2020 - Radical Acceptance, Dealing with Grief & Criticism, and Finding the Joy with Sandy Flewelling

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Although 2020 has felt challenging on many levels, Holly and I did not want to skip over reflecting, and we also didn’t want to count it out as a horrible year. We know that God still worked during this year, and He can help us find the joy and the positive even amidst the struggles.

We invited our friend Sandy Flewelling on to this episode to walk us through processing the year. Sandy does a form of counseling called Soul Care, and she provides us guidance and suggestions for how to deal with the difficulties of 2020. 

Sandy shares valuable wisdom on how to accept what is, deal with the divisions in our families, churches, and communities, and how to recognize and process the grief we may be experiencing. 

Topics Discussed:

  • Why we invited Sandy on this reflection episode [1:45]
  • What is Soul Care? [4:00]
  • Why we need to reflect on 2020 instead of just moving on [6:20]
    • How to begin processing what we’ve been through this year
    • Ask 3 questions: 
      • Who would you like to be for me in 2020?
      • What would you like to do in me through it?
      • How would you like me to respond?
  • Dealing with the divisiveness in our relationships, churches, and communities [13:20]
  • Processing our grief [22:00]
  • Unfulfilled goals & dreams in 2020 [25:22]
  • How leaders can process the intense criticism of this year [38:00]
  • How to know if you need to reach out and talk to someone for support [42:00]
  • How to look back and find the joy [47:55]
  • Fun question of the day [51:00]

Key Quotes:

  • “Try practicing radical acceptance… simply accepting that this year has been what it was, and there’s nothing we can do to go back and change it.”
  • “We’ve always disagreed with each other; but people are filtering themselves less and less.”
  • “Anger is a really convenient way to push aside grief.”
  • “2020 did not rock the Kingdom of God.”
  • “There is no benefit in beating ourselves up for something that has already happened that we cannot go back and change… so let’s just not do it.”
  • “Life is not a sprint.” – Esther
  • “People can be fierce… and it’s so important to know who you are in Christ, to know the authority He has given to you, and to take yourself regularly to that place of ‘this is who I am.’” 

Resources & Links:

Connect with Sandy:


Sandy Flewelling is passionate about helping you find freedom in your relationships with God, others, and yourself. Whether speaking before a group or sharing a conversation with one in her cozy office, her deep desire is to share the good news that God loves us with a life-changing love.

She attended The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology where she earned a Master’s in Counseling and now owns and operates Soul Care of Maine. 

In her spare time, Sandy is a Women’s Pastor at Discover Church in Hampden, Maine. She is an unashamed lover of two long-haired felines, Buddy and Bear. Her home is in Maine, where the tender beauty of summer makes the long winters worth enduring.


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