I am devastated. Who could’ve ever imagined anything like this happening?
It feels like the end of the world, like an asteroid has struck the Earth, like there’s a world war going on, like a zombie apocalypse.
But as drastic as this situation feels for all of us, I can’t help but equate it to my life and everything that I’ve been through the past two and a half years.
It feels like the world is getting small tastes of what my life has felt like the past two years, and I hate that for us; I wouldn’t want anyone to feel the ways that I have felt and experience the pain that I have experienced.
Everyone is scared for their health and safety, waiting for the next shoe to drop and end it all. People are afraid to go out and expose themselves to the toxicity, something that constantly runs through the back of my mind, whether or not there is a virus running rampant.
Everyone is being distanced from their friends, another aspect that I have experienced, one that is so hard. We were not made to live this life alone, and times like this are when you most want to be surrounded by those you love, but also the time that you feel most alone.
Everyone’s life is on hold. Nobody knows what the next day is going to bring, knows when their life will return to normal, when they can return to the things that they love, return to a life of community (and not just virtual community).
This part is the hardest for me. My life has already been on hold for an extended period of time. I’ve already lived through this kind of uncertainty. I’ve already been separated from my friends and halted my studies, not knowing when I will be able to return. It feels so unfair that I have to do it again.
I don’t write all of this to complain or claim that I’ve had it worse, I write this to let you know that I’ve been there, and I know the feelings that you’re feeling. I write this to bring you hope, to prove that things will get better.
One lesson that has been hard for me to learn is that there is a season for everything. Ecclesiastes 3 says “There is a time for everything… a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance… a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing [ironic because we shouldn't be making contact with one another]” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,4,5 NIV).
This is the time for us to mourn, to keep our distance, to reflect; a time to love others and appreciate what we have. Even though this timing may not feel right for us, I know it doesn’t for me, this is God’s perfect timing.
It may go against our nature to take a pause like this, but obviously it’s what we need, and we need to appreciate that.
Appreciate the time we have to work if we still can, relax when we rather be out and about; enjoy the time we have with our families, the time we have to try new things and catch up on our hobbies, to play games and watch movies and enjoy the outdoors from our own backyard.
As I’ve written before, perspective is everything. We can feel bad for ourselves, or we can take advantage of this time and what it holds.
And it’s ok to feel a little bit of both. Some days I feel sorry for myself and hate these circumstances, and some days I embrace them and try to appreciate that I can still do school work even if I’m not on campus, that I get to be at the beach with my family, that I have free time to exercise, relax, and be creative.
This time is so hard, and it looks like it’s going to be hard for a while, but if we shift our mindset and perspective, it will make things a little easier each day. Try to take advantage of this time and enjoy every day, there’s really nothing better we can do for ourselves.