Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Eight Months




We are rapidly heading towards month eight of COVID in the United States. 

Month eight.

Who would have thought at this time last year that we would be here now, in this situation? People dying every day all over the country of a virus that the American government has politicized. Many high risk people unable to leave their homes, or can only leave for the most essential of tasks. People not being able to hug whomever they want. Business meetings taking place on something called Zoom. Doctor's appointments occurring online.

Weddings canceled
50th anniversary parties postponed
Birthdays where hopefully if someone plans it, people drive by your house and wave while honking their horns.
Families divided by thousands of miles because they don't want to get on an airplane. Or, they can't because they are high risk.
No concerts, fairs, or large gatherings.

I haven't even begun to scratch the surface.

Add in racial tensions like I have never experienced in my 49 years, natural disasters of every kind, and political tensions that make me believe America may not survive.

I could go on and on but the point is, life as we know it in this country is different in ways that I personally never imagined. I do wonder from time to time if that "normal" way of life will ever exist again. I don't think so.

In general, as Americans, we are broken.
So broken.

In the first few months of the pandemic, I was an absolute mess. I had just lost my dog less than six weeks prior to the start of the pandemic so I was home alone ALL DAY LONG. I couldn't leave my house, because of my high risk status. I was scared to death of catching COVID. I was obsessed with the news and any form of media because I always needed to know what might happen next. I couldn't get the follow-up medical appointments I needed until people figured out telemedicine. To this day, I still have a specialist I cannot get in to see. I typically see her every three months and I haven't seen her since last year.

As a person with a major chronic illness, I know a lot about feeling isolated and I have some excellent coping strategies, but adding COVID to the mix added a whole new complicated layer to living with my illness.

Frustration and anxiety gave way to anger. I was angry at just about everyone, especially when some places in my state started opening up. I was angry at people for not wearing masks, angry I couldn't go to church because of the policies in place that made it unsafe for me, mad at family members who were engaging in high risk activities because then I couldn't have contact with them. I was angry that my friend couldn't have a funeral for her mother who had recently passed. I was angry at the media, the government, and just about everyone else.

However, the thing I was the most angry about?
The way people were treating each other.

And unfortunately, that is still happening today, especially today. We just had a presidential debate last night and fifteen minutes on social media this morning, and I felt sick. Over the past seven months, I have been mortified with what I have seen and heard. Friendships and family relationships fractured...cussing coming from people whom I've never heard utter a cuss word their whole lives...the nastiness...the guilt placed on people based on how they are considering voting...the hatred.

Is this what we have been reduced to?

But, here's the thing. In the midst of my stress, anxiety, and anger over the past seven months, something happened.

Jesus happened.

I didn't suddenly "find Jesus" during COVID. 
I already had Him. 
And come to find out, He has always had me.
I had made that commitment the Summer of 2018.

However, the isolation and the questioning about what was happening in the world, and especially in our country, led me to find Him on a whole new level. Part of this was due to starting up a weekly in depth Zoom Bible study with two friends I met from my church. We did two Bible studies, both by a Bible teacher by the name of Jen Wilkin. One was on chapters 1-11 of Genesis and the one we are almost done with now is on the Book of Hebrews. 

Yes, Hebrews!

Doing such in depth (and hard!) studies with other Christians made Jesus more personal to me. Now that I finally understood it, I was moved by the Creation story in Genesis and in awe of the supremacy of Jesus that I found in Hebrews. I was spending more time in my study Bible, more time in prayer, and seeking Him out more. I was spending less time watching the news and less time on social media, although to be honest, that still needs some work! I subsequently found myself feeling less sorry for myself, less anxious, and my anger has dissipated.

It's very hard to feel sorry for yourself when Jesus suffered and died on the cross for me.

It's very hard to feel anxious all the time when you come to understand He is in control.

It's very hard to be angry all the time when you realize that He created every single person and loves them as much as he loves you.

Spending more time with Him these past seven months have made me more grateful...for who is in my life, for who is not in my life, and for what I have. It's heightened my appreciation for all of His wonder that I have discovered in the MANY walks I have taken this year...the birds, trees, colors, and animals.It has definitely made me more grateful for my family. You never realize how much you take people for granted until you are not allowed to hold them.

I don't know what the future is going to bring. I pray it brings change, a vaccine, a kinder America, and peace for the ones who are searching. But I do know that I'm grateful for a Savior who loves me unconditionally and will be with me every step of the way, no matter what the outcome is.

2 comments:

  1. I am happy you find such comfort in strength in the Lord, may He continue to bring you peace.

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