New Year 2021: Resolution of gratitude

How are you feeling as we enter 2021?

Last year was a rollercoaster for many people in the UK and around the world. Here at home, and in the communities World Vision works with, we’ve all dealt with huge changes in our home and work lives. And too many of us have also faced loss.

There’s a lot from 2020 that we’ll want to leave behind, but perhaps there are some memories and lessons we can treasure and keep with us into the new year.

Five years ago, World Vision UK’s Tabeth Phiri’s life turned upside down, when she lost her husband. Going through 2020 alone was not easy, but as she faces 2021, she shares why thankfulness is her perfect New Year’s resolution.


In the last five years I’ve been on a difficult journey.

I became a widow in 2015, when my husband, Moses, died suddenly at the age of 36. It was such a shock. He left home for an overseas business trip and little did I know that was the last time I would see him.

Back then, I remember thinking I wouldn’t make it on my own. I’d lost my best friend.

When it’s difficult to be thankful

After Moses died, some days were really tough and full of tears. Other days, I would be ok. But I had lovely friends, neighbours, and family. They’re still there for me today – and I’m truly grateful for them all.

This last year has been a difficult time for so many reasons. Hearing about the extra difficulties that children in World Vision’s communities are facing is not easy. But seeing the commitment of staff, volunteers, parents and children themselves, to overcome these issues is just inspiring.

For me, living alone throughout lockdown was not fun. But if I learnt anything after Moses died, it’s the importance of my faith. Even in difficult times God is still there, and I’m thankful for that.

I believe there’s always something to be thankful for, regardless of the situation – even when you can’t be thankful for the situation.


A new perspective

If you’re facing difficult times, as the new year starts you might wonder what there is to be grateful for. It’s so important to remember lost loved ones, and to acknowledge the disappointments of the last year. But it’s also vital to realise that, as we start 2021, there are good things to come – even if we don’t know what they are yet.

So, here’s my top 5 list of things I’m thankful for – whatever my situation:

  1. The gift of life. Right now, when I wake up healthy, I say ‘thank you’.
  2. Family. I’m personally so grateful for my family, especially my mum (pictured with me above). She’s been such an amazing mum – she’s been there for me and encourages me when I have tough times.
  3. Friends. What a blessing it is to have great friends in our lives and people who’ll walk through our life’s journey with us. You may not have celebrated New Year with friends around you, but I want to encourage you to stay connected. If you’re able to, reach out, send a message of thanks to those who mean something to you. It will feel good to you – and could mean the world to them.
  4. Faith. For me, my faith and my God are such a blessing. Even in the darkest days He makes a way. And I am certain he has good plans for this year.
  5. Everyday things. Jobs, homes, good health, a sound mind, living in a peaceful nation, clean water, electricity – these are all things we can easily take for granted, but they’re true blessings.


2021: A fresh start, full of thanks

This is my journey and my perspective. But I encourage you, whatever your situation, to consider what you can be thankful for as we enter 2021. I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions, but this year, it seems right to resolve to make 2021 a year of gratitude.

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