I’m sitting on my back patio waiting for some much needed sunshine to appear because its rained for days. I just got back from a 7am grocery run for “senior citizens” of our community and I’m anticipating a 10am news conference telling me that Plano is starting a “shelter in place” order. I have a list of COVID-19 goals and to do’s on a yellow pad that stares at me everyday. Too bad that I can’t stay focused long enough to actually accomplish much. I’m a purpose-driven person and I’m looking for purpose in the current craziness and reality of life.
I’m immunity compromised because of a medication that suppresses my immune system and I’m over sixty, so I’m “fragile”. For someone who has been a hard worker, fierce mom, encouraging friend, caregiver of husband and my mother and leader in my church, “fragile” is not a word typically used to describe me.
I thought 2019 was a tough year – a difficult pregnancy for my daughter and a surgery, two job losses in the family, cancer diagnosis for my husband followed by surgery, radiation, chemo and hospice resulting in his death in January of this year. (Thank you, Jesus, that he is with you.)
But 2020 is already one for the history books! Who would have believed that we would go to bed one night thinking things were okay only to wake up to a real nightmare? The virus was here. In our country. With us. The word pandemic moved into our neighborhoods.
Just as I felt I was coming out of some of the fatigue, fog and deep grief following the loss of my husband, a pandemic hit. I find myself moving through each day with a new fog, difficulty focusing and a real fear of the future that I am not exactly prepared for; mentally or physically.
You might be feeling some of these same things. To varying degrees, we’ve lost our work community, social community, live church community and our family community overnight. Hugs and coffee with friends and co-worker casual conversations in the hallways of our offices are a thing of the past. Vacations, eating out, concerts and trips to the gym and salon are no more. Freedoms are fleeting. There is alot to grieve about.
As Christ followers, our hope and trust is in God – totally. We should acknowledge Him and His Word that He is with us and is working for our good and His glory. At the same time, God is not going to the store or shopping Amazon for us. Groceries don’t magically appear on our doorstep. He is not transferring supernatural funds to our bank account to pay our bills. Money has not started growing on the trees in our yards. We are going to wrestle with some fears and anxieties as we grieve this virus that has invaded our world. We’re human. Let’s cut ourselves some slack if we’re sometimes feeling afraid or gloomy.
But we are called to be wise and to seek His guidance, so how can we continue to trust God, be wise and find purpose as we continue through the unknown days ahead?
* Name our feelings and take them to our Father
* Pray for our needs, insecurities and families
* Make a list of our blessings – physical, spiritual and relational
* Keep some order in our days
* Put some projects on our blank social calendar (clean out a closet, walk every day,
delete unnecessary files, organize old photos, send cards, start a COVID-19 journal,
paint, color, crochet, garden, etc.)
* Talk with someone if feelings turn into depression or on-going anxiety
* Stay in the Word
* Pray for everyone
Even Jesus, in His garden prayer, asked His Father to “remove this cup from me” (Luke 22:42). He knew the pain and sacrifice that would be required of Him and He was not jumping for joy. He was crying and grieving what was to come. In the next verse of that chapter, Luke writes “now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him.” So, the suffering was not taken away. Jesus accepted His Father’s will, but He was also strengthened as He prayed. We can be, too!