I can’t remember if March roared in like a lion or pranced in like a lamb, but I can assure you we will not forget how it was lived out, day by day, around the world.
Everything has changed and while, for the most part, I have kept a fairly even keel throughout; I have moments when it all starts to pile up and holding to positivity and faith is a bit of a challenge.
There are the good moments like connecting with friends through car windows or from the front steps of the house, moments with our family and church on Zoom meetings and knowing we are watching the same church service as one or more of our loved ones at the same time. Total gratitude I married my best friend and we actually enjoy hanging out together.
There are great moments like watching a hospital staff line the perimeter of the upper level of their building with hands raised singing “Waymaker” because some guy decided to take his speakers to the parking lot to pray for them and encourage them. Things like cities making all kinds of noise when nurses are changing shifts to thank them and every day people are finding out they weren’t as self-centered as they had feared as they share supplies and show kindness and sacrifice their own wants for the good of others. Celebrities offering concerts from the homes to bring encouragement. Churches of all sizes figuring out how to reach their people and the world from their own homes.
And there are sad moments. There are a lot of every day joys that have been swept away. There are weddings and funerals and births that are happening without the usual gathering of family and friends. There won’t be proms, or spring sports, or end of year preschool picnics. No meeting up with friends at a park after school and hitting up the local frozen yogurt place before scattering off to various ball practices. And people are dying. Every life that is represented in the daily count was loved and mattered to other lives.
There is fear of infection and death threatening to cast the darkest of shadows over a simple trip to the grocery store. There is fear of loss of income and jobs that have no guarantee of being restored once this passes. The unknowns are vast and global in size and are only added to the conditions in this world that were known and were terrible in their own right. Fear that has a very real motivator and yet can be carried to an unhealthy extreme.
We remember a friend who has a child who lives somewhere that was just listed in the news as an area in crisis. We cringe when we hear of another case being diagnosed somewhere because the reality of the nature of this thing sneaks a little closer to home. Suddenly it seems we know and love and are connected to actual individuals in the health care system. We feel like we are doing pretty well and then a news report flashes across the screen that we are two weeks away from what could be the worst.
So we teeter between walking by faith and freaking out. We read with disbelief the death toll in a country like Italy and we hope with all our hearts to not be next, while we grieve for the staggering losses these people are experiencing.
Last night as we ended the day looking at the faces of our family in four little squares on the computer screen, I kept going from one to the other. The love for them was so intense it overwhelmed me and I was just tired enough that I felt myself slipping from the present moment to the forecast for how things may transpire in the coming months and it wasn’t pretty.
There are some who seem to be so steady and continue to share only the positive and God love them, how we need those people.
But for me it is a ten steps forward, two steps back process. I have to say with boasting in the Lord alone that I have graduated from the old two to one ratio. For the better part of the days, I am holding fast in faith that God is control. However; moments of fear or doubt come in little unexpected bursts and can leave me feeling wiped out. Only by His grace and Spirit in me do I find that these nose dives drive me to more intense prayers and praise.
How are you doing?
I hope you are holding up. I hope you are finding that God’s arms are catching you when you momentarily stumble over a pit of despair or hopelessness. I hope you are accessing His Power through the Holy Spirit as you pray and praise and encourage others. I hope you are not only speaking hope, but asking Him to give you ways to share that hope in tangible methods.
One thing I have found helpful is to keep a little note pad on the counter and every time something good happens or there is something that is a grace gift in this time, I jot it down. When my own light seems to be going dim at the end of a long day, I look over that list and remind my soul of all the benefits God has given us.
You would be on that list, my friend.
This little place where we can meet, this is a gift of grace from Him to me.
So journey onward, soldiers…and I will see you tomorrow <3