DETERMINATION: Stay Determined to Making It Through this Mess

By Sally Tippett Rains

It’s been a rough week—for all of us. Whether you are facing a serious situation, lost a loved one, felt sad remembering 911, mourned the loss of Cardinals great Lou Brock, or faced something unique to you that I haven’t mentioned. I’d say we are all doing well to be standing and still looking for inspiration.

COVID-19 stinks and it’s making us all in such a bad mood.

But here’s the thing– and it’s my 2020 Vision: We can stay determined to make it through this mess—and maybe even come out better on the other end, bringing others with us. As bad as we think our personal situation is, we aren’t the only ones suffering and when you reach down and lift others up to be with you, you will all have a better chance of surviving.

Think about it, if two people fell into a hole and they just kept trying desperately to climb on each other to save themselves they would be pulling each other down and tiring themselves out. But if they worked together and one boosted the other up– once he or she gets up to the top they can turn around and help the other out. That’s turning a disaster into a success by being determined to survive– and bringing others with you.

Are you going to be the one who says, “what else can go wrong?” Are you going to be the one who says “my life sucks?” (I dislike that word but people do use it.) Are you going to let the tough times give you a bad attitude?

This week I heard a pastor talking about church. Whether you are going to church or watching it from your computer or TV at home he said: “You are the church. No devil in hell can close you down.”

If we are determined to survive this pandemic and whatever we are facing– no devil in hell is going to shut us down.

We are going to strive for Excellence every day no matter what—and we are NOT going to fill our life with negative and hopeless thoughts. It is getting easier every day to just admit 2020 is a flop. We are all getting sarcastic about it. While we do get down sometimes, it’s our choice to head the other direction.

What if you celebrated a big anniversary with your spouse this year? What if your child was born this year? What if unbeknownst to you now–next year a family member was going to lose his/her memory and this year is the last one you will have a conversation with them? What if this is the year your loved one will survive the long-time health situation you have been praying for. In all those cases, then 2020 is a wonderful year. We just need to get our life into focus on what is important.

In fact, I can see clearly now with my new 2020 Vision. I am even more determined to thrive during the pandemic. And I’m determined to make my little corner of the world a better place.

Just because bad things happen doesn’t mean we can’t have the attitude to live the lives we were given and survive– and more than that, we can thrive! Remember life is always changing. One moment I may be crying from the intensity of life, the heartbreak of losing loved ones and the pop-up memory of others… but then there are the moments I am looking at pictures of my grandsons, watching a Hallmark Movie, or enjoying nature and the exhilaration of taking a walk. When we get up and force ourselves to find something positive we find there is beauty all around us—both in people and in things.

Even though some things are bad—and I know some things are really bad—remember that many things are good. Look at your feet right now. They are right where they are supposed to be.

You can survive this. Let that be your 2020 Vision. You can make it. Just stay determined. Choose Happy.

Bible Verse

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.  — James 1:12


“Time can be an ally or an enemy. What it becomes depends entirely upon you, your goals, and your determination to use every available minute.”  — Zig Ziglar

Action Plan

All day long on Sept. 11 we were reminded to “Never Forget.” Never forget what? Was it the horror we saw on TV? Was it all the deaths that happened? I think what we should never forget is the way all those people ran towards the buildings as others were running out. The first responders and kind-hearted bystanders were not saving people because of their race, gender or whatever people tell us divides us. They were saving their fellow human beings.

There was so much love for our fellow man and it wasn’t based on anything—we were all pulling together after a tragedy; and nobody stepped up higher than the first responders.

With all that has been going on recently, and placing so much negativity on law enforcement let’s remember how much they meant to us on Sept. 12, Sept. 13, Sept. 14.

There is much work to be done to improve things, but I hope and pray we can come together and feel love for each other. The love we felt on those days right after 9-11 when we were not Democrats or Republicans; we were Americans.

If we all keep yelling and fighting — we will never just look at each other as humans and have compassion in our hearts. Let’s slow down and look at things with love in our hearts.

Maybe the best Action Plan for this week is to have an open mind, appreciate people who are trying to help us, and learn to ask questions about things we don’t understand –or feel we are against. Let’s stay determined to have a loving week, which could then turn out to a loving month, and so on.

One Last Thought

It makes me so happy when people are reminded of me when they see a sunflower. It touches my heart when something I post helps someone or you see a sunflower and it made you think of me. Post happy things and you will see others start posting happy things to you. If you want to stop seeing the bad posts on social media—be the person who interrupts other’s scrolling with a happy post.

Remember—choosing happy is a choice. And you have the choice to NOT choose happy. You have the choice to feel sorry for yourself for all you’ve gone through (and you certainly have gone through a lot), You have the choice to hang on to old hurts and strict ideals that keep you separated from those you love. No one should tell you how you should feel– including me. You have a choice to choose despair… but why would you?

I’m determined to choose happy.

Sally Tippett Rains is a motivational speaker, inspirational writer and author of 13 books, including Choose Happy; Find Contentment in Any Situation. She is the volunteer Executive Director of Rainbows for Kids and content manager for

“I would be happy to pray for you if you have something specific, feel free to contact me. Please know I pray over my weekly blog and ask blessings for each of you who read it. God bless you. Whatever you are facing– you are doing a great job!”— STR