(Written Monday, March 23, 2020)
I cried tonight.
If I'm being honest, I've felt like crying at least 3 of my 7 days in social distancing so far.
Okay, now that I've been dramatic, let me back track & explain myself.
A little over two weeks ago, I was living my normal life. I was going to my internship in Nashville & my internship at church. I went to a concert at an arena, full of thousands of people. I was having movie nights with my friends. I was leading worship for youth students & women. I was going to stores, driving wherever, getting coffee (the good kind, not the "make from home" kind that I can never achieve). Then coronavirus hit.
Now, instead of living my "normal" life, like many others, I've become someone who is holed up in my house, scraping my mind trying to think of things to do to occupy myself in this newfound season of "nothing."
As someone who is constantly on the go, this has been a very difficult transition.
When coronavirus first hit in the United States, I took it seriously, but I believed it wouldn't be able to "get me." I wasn't in the age demographic that it seemed to be hitting & I washed my hands constantly, so I was good, right?
Then, businesses started to shut down. People started to post that they were going to practice this thing called "social distancing." Heck, toilet paper started to become nonexistent in stores- TOILET PAPER.
I felt like I was living in a utopian/ dystopian novel where everything seems to go wrong. That kind of novel was always my least favorite going up. This was my own personal nightmare.
I found it hard to breathe. There were unknowns. My world, like everyone else's, was being flipped upside down.
But then there was hope.
I went to record worship for our church's online-only series (we already streamed online, but now we are currently online-only for services because of coronavirus) last Monday. When I got there, I was instantly greeted by two dozen (give or take) people that I've served with & have come to know & love over the past year. We were all there, despite the sickness going around (please note that this was BEFORE they called for meetings of 10 or less everywhere. We were careful, I pinky promise).
We have FAITH in our God.
We went to sing the first song ("Long Live The King" by one of our worship leaders, Daniel Doss). When the words came out of our mouth, all the tension & fears we may have walked in with disappeared. It was as if God was saying, "It will be okay. Just trust Me."
It was POWERFUL.
I'm pretty sure there wasn't a dry eye in the room by the end of the first song.
That was what turned my brain back to normal. While yes, my world was about to be flipped upside down (I was going to be in "social distance" mode), my God didn't change.
So now that I'm in "social distance" mode, I've tried to find a new routine. I'm still waking up & making myself get semi-ready. I still make my bed before I go downstairs. I read my Bible every day. But I'm doing some new things as well. I've started to read a book every day. Right now, I'm getting to finish a book that I've been trying to finish for over a year now- A YEAR, y'all! I'm getting to watercolor & watch Disney movies. I'm FaceTiming my friends at least once every few nights. I'm going on walks in my neighborhood with my family. I'm baking. I'm writing letters to my friends (which hopefully most of them have gotten since I've written this! They went in the mail this morning).
I'm creating my new "normal" during this season full of unknowns... & I'm hoping that these habits of rest will stick, even after life returns to its normal pace.
I believe God is giving us this season of rest for a reason, though. I believe that we have had so many distractions lately that we've strayed away from putting Him first & leaning on Him. Instead, we're trying to fill voids with media or sports or concerts or travel or basically anything but HIM.
He gave us a PAUSE button & He is the one in control of hitting PLAY.
However, God has a funny way of sneaking things in when we least expect it. He's the master of behind-the-scenes work.
Tonight, my friends & I were texting each other, checking in to see how were were all coping one week into social distancing. One friend told us that she cried because she missed friends & social interaction. I told her that was me yesterday: on the edge of a full-on cry fest from missing people & needing social interaction. We trust God & know He has a plan, but it's still hard sometimes.
About half an hour later, our other friend texted back & what he said stuck out to me so much ( & not just because he used all caps in some of the message). He said, "God is SO BIG & we only get to see an iota of what He can do!"
If you don't know, I'm a wordaholic. I love looking up the definitions of words to see how they fit into the sentence that I had just seen them in. Iota stuck out to me, so naturally, I looked it up.
By definition, iota means "an extremely small amount."
That's when I felt my brain start to turn more than it had been the past few days.
If we can only see a glimpse of what God is doing here on Earth, how much more is He doing up in Heaven?! We only see a teeny glimpse of the miracles that he does down here; Just imagine: there must be a million more miracles going on up there!
God is SO COOL.
My heart is breaking for so many people with this virus & its affects right now. To the people who have lost their job in this time due to the virus, I'm sorry. To the bride who is having to postpone her wedding that she has been planning for months on end, I'm sorry. To anyone who has gotten the virus, I'm sorry. To anyone who has lost a loved one from this virus, I'm sorry. To anyone, anywhere, struggling with social distancing or just their new schedule being at home all the time, I'm sorry & I understand.
But above all, my heart is breaking for those in the world who feel utterly lost right now. My heart is breaking that our world seems to be so busy that most times, we can't find the time to rest & listen to our Creator. My heart is breaking for those who don't know God & how amazing He is.
Because He is SO GOOD. He has a plan & all we need to do is TRUST Him through this, no matter how long or hard it may seem.
As I was reading my Bible this morning, I kept hearing, 'Psalms 46.' I decided to finally flip my Bible over a few chapters & just take a look to see what it was. What I didn't realize until I was in the midst of reading it was that it was exactly what our world needed to hear right now, during the middle of coronavirus.
Psalms 46 (NIV):
1 God is our refuge & strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way & the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar & foam & the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come & see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow & shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still & know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
11 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress."
I pray that despite all of the unsettledness in the world right now, you will trust in Him & cling to His promises. He is our REFUGE (a noun meaning "something providing shelter" & "being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble."). I pray that if you don't know Him, that you will reach out with any questions you have, whether that be to me or someone else you know who has a relationship with Christ.
This is not a time to be fearful; this is a time to be THANKFUL. Thankful for a God who keeps His promises & is with us every step of the way.
Stay safe, wash your hands & have a great day, y'all. Hang in there- God's got this.
Thursday- 6:15 PM
Sunday- 8:20 AM, 9:40 AM, 11 AM
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